September meal planner 2 – Healthy family dishes

september meal planner 2

september meal planner 2What cooking methods are best for cooking healthy meals each week? This is a  question I have been asked many times since I started teaching cookery classes. In my experience not only as a teacher but also as a busy mum, time and season determines the cooking method.

Under 35 minutes include stir fry, boiling/simmering, dry frying, baking or a combination of these. When time is not such an issue try casseroling/stewing (cooking the day before is even better because the flavours seep into the vegetables and meat) or roasting /baking.

Shallow and deep frying and grilling should be used less often. I have prepared this week’s meal plan with the basic cooking methods I feel that are most appropriate now that the Autumn has arrived.

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

Did you know that butternut squash is an amazing nutritional fruit, yes fruit! That can be cooked in both savoury and sweet dishes. Prepare in many different ways including roasting, grilling, mashing, casserole/stews pureed for soups and in breads, pies and muffins. Pumpkins are from the same family with seeds that can be dried and used to top yoghurts, cereals and salads.

About our family meal planner

These family meal planners are made up of meals that are child friendly, forming part of a daily diet that is balanced for the whole week. It will give you plenty of nutrients from each of the food groups (carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals), says Sian.

The weekly meal plans are inclusive of animal and plant protein such as fish, white meat, red meat and eggs.  You’ll find nuts, chickpeas, cheese and seeds on the meatless day. Sian says the secret to affordable, healthy meals is to plan ahead to make sure you are stress-free, and have the right ingredients in the correct amounts in your kitchen ready to cook.

Every week, Sian provides you with five simple recipes to 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

Beef Products
Stewing Steak – 750 g

Cereal grains and Pasta

Pasta – 200 g           
Plain flour – 3 tblsp       
Self raising flour – 120 g 
Puff pastry – 400 g   
Semolina – 200 g

Dairy and egg products

Butter – 65 g           
Eggs – 3 medium           
Cheddar cheese – 60 g           
Cheese brie – 60 g           
Goats cheese – 60 g

Fats and oils
Olive oil – 3 tblsp           
Vegetable oil – 2 tblsp    
Suet – 30 g

Fruits and fruit juices

Lemon zest – 1           
Bananas – 2           
Apple – 8

Legumes and legume products

Lentils – 1/2 Cups

Fish products

Fish salmon canned (or cooked) – 200 g

Poultry Products

Chicken fillets – 8

Soups, sauces, and gravies

Beef stock cube – 2           
Vegetable stock cube – 2  
Sweet chilli sauce – 2 tblsp           
Chicken stock – 600 mls

Spices and herbs

Garlic bulb – 2          
Fresh parsley – 4 tblsp


Caster sugar – 300 g

Vegetables and vegetable products

Broccoli – 1           
Green pepper – 1           
Sweet red pepper – 5         
Baby spinach leaves – 1 bunch           
Butternut squash – 2 1/2           
Onions – 8
Carrots – 5
Potatoes – 450 g    
Your choice of vegetables – 2 servings

Sian is a home economist with over 25 years experience as a secondary school teacher and now running her own private cookery school with a focus on meal planning. After years of seeing people struggling to provide healthy meals everyday for their families, she created her own meal planning system at