July meal planner 5 – Summer veg and legumes

family meal planning

family meal planningSummer vegetables and legumes e.g. peas, beans, lentils, chickpeas, feature prominently in my meal plan this week, all for the very same reason – they are cheap, plentiful and nutritious.

A meal made from legumes as the only source of protein or in part, will drastically reduce the cost of your weekly grocery bill whilst offering extra nutritional benefits such as fibre and antioxidants. Seasonal vegetables because of their abundance are also cheaper now giving us every good reason to celebrate low cost healthy eating. Start the children eating legumes when they are small so that they get familiar with the texture and taste.

Did you know? Legumes are  plant based incomplete protein which when cooked or served  with seeds, starchy foods or small amount of animal protein create complete proteins. A complete protein contains all the essential amino acids children need for growth and repair and adults need mainly for repair. I use ready cooked beans/legumes in tins because of their convenience, however dried legumes are much cheaper to buy but need your time to cook properly before using in the recipes.

About our family meal planner
This week’s family meal planner
Shopping list

About our family meal planner

The recipes included in our meal planners for the week and child friendly and all form part of a balanced daily diet and will give you plenty of nutrients from each of the food groups (proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals), says Sian.

The meals include animal and plant protein such as white meat, fish, red meat and eggs. On the meatless day you’ll find chickpeas, cheese, seeds and nuts. Sian says the secret to low-cost, healthy dinners is to plan ahead to make sure you are stress-free, and have the correct ingredients in the right amount in your kitchen ready cook.

Each week, Sian provides you with five easy recipes for the week’s family meal plan. You can decide when to make them, on whichever day suits you best. There is also a shopping list (below) that can be printed ready to take with you to the supermarket.

This week’s meal planner

Shopping list

Tip: To save more money – always check your own fridge and food cupboards for items on this week’s list. Remove these items from the list before you go shopping.

Baked goods

Pitta bread – 4
Bread –  4 slices

Cereal, grains, pasta

Basmati rice – 100grms
Flour plain white – 150grms

Dairy egg products

Cheese mozzarella – 130grms
Natural yoghurt or cream – 250mls
Natural yoghurt – 200grms
Eggs – 4
Milk – 140mls

Fats and oils

Vegetable or sunflower oil – 3 tblsp
Soft butter or flora green – 25grms
Canola /rapeseed oil – 1 tblsp

Fruit and vegetables

Lemons – 3
Limes – 2
Carrots – 6
Courgettes – 1
Garlic – 1
Cucumber – 1
Herbs (dill or parsley or tarragon) Dried if not fresh 2tblsp
Onion –  5
Tomatoes – 2
Red pepper – 1
Yellow pepper –  1
Green pepper – 1
Summer baby potatoes – 2.5kg
Baby spinach –  1 small bag
Cherry tomatoes – 20 approx.
Fresh parsley – 1           
Spring onions –  1 bunch
Lettuce – 1
Vegetable of your choice – 1

Meat, Fish, Poultry

Mixed fish e.g. salmon, haddock, prawns – 400grms in total
Beef mince (lean) – 250grms
Chicken fillets  – 8 or chicken pieces – 4
Bacon lardons (slices diced will do) – 100grms
Ham –  4 slices

Store Cupboard

Lentils – 0.5 cup
Chickpeas –  1 tin
Tin tomatoes – 1
Tomato passata – 300mls
Tomato chutney (optional)  (tomato sauce is an option)  – 4tblsp           
Ground almonds (optional) – 25grms
Kidney beans – 1 tin
Lemon curd – 6tblsp
Caster sugar – 2tsp
Coriander – 0.5tsp
Cumin – 1.5tsp
Paprika pinch (optional)
Turmeric – 0.5tsp
Dried chili flakes – 0.5 tsp
Chicken stock cube (1 fish cube if possible) – 2
Sparkling water – 140mls


Garden peas – 1 small pk
Corn  (optional for chowder) – 1 small pk
Puff Pastry – 1

Note: Turmeric, cumin, paprika, chilli flakes and coriander are spices and herbs I regularly use in my recipes and meal plans because of the variety of flavours and also because of their health properties. I would recommend purchasing them even though so little is required of them this week. You will use them again.