And the winner is… Rochelle! Thanks for your entry, we hope you enjoy your Dry Erase kit.
Words by Samantha Brennan
Aside from the obvious must-haves, like family and great food, there are two things I can’t live without: red pens and notepads. I am a serial list-maker – I have right here on my work desk two diaries and four notepads filled with scribbles and important deadlines, ticks and crosses, and reminders of what and when I need to do things. I love a good list.
Meal planning is one of those things I really enjoy – organising what our family is going to eat for the week is a weight off my shoulders, and fun to do. Being so into lists as I am, I’ve created a bit of a system when it comes to dinner planning, to make sure cooking is easy, the food is delicious, and there’s plenty of variety. So here are my top dinner planning tips.
Start with the proteins. I start with choosing seven proteins (we’re meat-eaters) – so it’s usually red meat three times in a week, poultry twice, fish once and a vegetarian option in there, too. Then I choose difference cuts for each: beef (steak and mince) as well as lamb, and a whole chicken plus chicken breast fillet.
Choose the cooking styles or cuisines. I try to mix things up by making tried-and-true family favourites as well as new recipes during the week. We might have grilled meat and salad or steamed vegies once or twice, then make an Asian stir-fry, a soup, a Middle Eastern tagine, an Indian curry, and an Italian pasta.
Different carbs and vegies. Once you have the cooking style sorted, it’s easy to build in a good variety of carbs (rice, pasta, bread, grains, starchy vegies) and vegetables (roasted, salads, steamed, stir-fried).
Make one double-batch recipe. I try to make one freezer friendly meal per week, so there’s a ready-to-go meal always on stand-by. Pasta sauces, pie fillings, soups and casseroles are ideal, but even raw meatballs or pre-crumbed fish can go in the freezer and halve your preparation time another night.
Try something new when you have the time. Whether it’s your day off or the weekend, save challenging recipes for when you have the time to enjoy cooking. I’ll often try a new recipe during the week, but if it’s going to take longer than about 30 minutes, I’ll save it for another day. Once I can replicate it without the recipe, it graduates to my weekday repertoire.
Are you a list-maker? Check out our great new competition!
This week, we’re giving away one Dry Erase kit, worth RRP $41.70. Here’s a look at what the winner will receive…
Rust-Oleum Dry Erase, RRP $41.70
This whiteboard paint rolls on like regular paint, creating a space in your kitchen, living area or home office that you can write on, clean up and re-use over and over. Suitable for use with any dry erase markers and erasers, it’s perfect for meal planning, managing the kids’ activities or rewards charts.
Visit www.rustoleum.com.au for more information.
Now, here’s how you can enter to win!
- Sign up to TheFamilyKitchen.com.au enewsletter (if you haven’t already).
- Like TheFamilyKitchen.com.au on Facebook (and share the love by sharing this link!).
- Join in the comments below and tell us: what’s your best meal-planning tip or trick?
*Competition opens 6.00am Tuesday 20 August 2013 and closes 11.59pm Monday 2 September 2013. Open to Australian residents only. Only one entry per person. The winner will be announced here at TheFamilyKitchen.com.au on or before 12.00pm Friday 6 September 2013, and contacted using the email address provided with their entry. For full terms and conditions, click here.
Like free stuff? For more great competitions, special offers and giveaways, click here.