I turned 35 in January and made a conscious decision to be more mindful when it comes to our weeknight dinners.
Working with food all day means dinner becomes an after thought and I tend to just throw random ingredients together. And then, often my brain is so fried (developing and styling dishes everyday for other clients) that I can’t, for the life of me, think on the spot what to make for dinner, or I am just too tired to cook, so we resort to take out. The madness must end!

I decided to create weekly (Monday to Thursday) rotating meal plans and shopping lists for our weeknight dinners. This allows me to plan ahead, shop for the ingredients on Sunday, thus making sure the pantry and fridge/freezer is stocked. So no excuse not to cook the planned dish for the evening. And it’s healthy, balanced, good clean eating recipes that are so easy to prepare! All recipes are done within 30 – 45 minutes max with minimal dishes involved.

My Meal Manifesto:
1 – 2 meat free meals a week
Less red meat ( and when consuming, only free range)
One fish meal a week
Less dairy
Loads of colourful vegetables
Healthy fats (olive oil. coconut oil, avocado oil)
No wheat or gluten
Low GI grains – quinoa, brown rice, wild rice
Legumes (chickpeas, lentils etc)
Easy & delish
Minimal dishes

These dinners have made such a difference in our lives. We’ve been doing this for 4 weeks and are feeling good. We are losing excess weight steadily, feeling more energetic and most of all, by eating this way, when dining out or entertaining over the weekend, we tend to be way more mindful with our food choices but don’t feel guilt when we decide to treat ourselves to something laden with all the carby droolworthy stuff.  Alongside the dinners, we’ve also made adjustments with regards to eating breakfast religiously in the am and making sure we have a protein snack (frittatas are working for us) and a healthy packed lunch (which is usually leftover dinner).

So it’s a mindful lifestyle change without having to go extreme (I am not a fan of fad diets), in fact, it just makes life easier. It all comes to planning better and making better food choices. And if you only shop for what is needed, you end up saving some bucks too.

I plan on sharing 3 or more menus, starting this week with ”weeknight menu 1”.
Below you will find the shopping list for exactly what is required to make these 4 dishes.
The meals serve 2 – 4 ( Serves J and I dinner with enough leftovers for lunch.)
Recipes will be posted on my blog every morning Monday – Thurs.
The idea is, once you have all the menus, one can rotate them and swop dishes out within the menus to keep things exciting.
So here’s my menu for week 1 with shopping list below.
Happy cooking! C xx

Veggie Grazing Bowl with Tahini Dressing

Crispy Skin Trout with Greens & Avo 

Ostrich Meatballs and Tomato Hummus

Pan-fried Chicken Breasts | Cauliflower 2 Ways & Greens

Week 1 Weeknight Meals Shopping List

Monday to Thursday
(Serves 2: Dinner + Lunch Leftovers OR Dinner for 4)

2 small Mediterranean cucumbers
1 x bunch of beetroots
1 small butternut
100 g kale
80 – 100 g julienne beetroot
1 x red onion
100 g fine green beans
100 g asparagus spears or replace with longstem broccoli
200 g baby spinach
Salad leaves (optional – can use baby spinach too)
4 radishes (optional)
1 kg cauliflower florets
+ – 100 g long stem broccoli
500 g baby rosa tomatoes
1 – 2 avocados – optional as they will be in season (and more affordable) in March
2 – 3 lemons
Fresh mint
Fresh coriander
Fresh garlic

Meat, poultry, fish
4 x free range chicken breast fillets
500 g ostrich mince (or replace with free range lean beef mince)
2 – 4 x +- 150 g trout portions

200 g feta cheese
milk or replace with almond milk or your own personal preference

Pantry goods
2 x tins chickpeas
Red and white quinoa
Good quality olive oil ( I only use Willow Creek Olive Oil)
Willow Creek truffle flavoured olive oil (optional)
White wine vinegar
Ground cumin
Ground coriander
Smoked paprika
Coarse salt and pepper

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