Weekly meal plan: a culinary family excursion at home
I love good food and travel. When I can combine both experiences, it’s a true delight!
My husband and I visited quite a few countries before having kids. We saw many great places and made delicious culinary discoveries.
How often have I wished to hop on a teleporter to go and have dinner at one of the places that had a great impact on our taste buds!
I’d go back to Yaoundé, Cameroon, to have “poisson braisé” (grilled fish) in the blink of an eye.
Or fateer (pizza or pastry) at Fatatri El Tahrir in Cairo. Too bad that restaurant is now permanently closed. It was so delicious! (If anyone knows of an Egyptian restaurant in the Edmonton area that serves fateer, you have to tell me about it!)
There was also that amazing trout with roasted veggies in Turkey, or those fantastic, spicy noodles in Zhongwei, China… Mmmmm!
Planning weekly meals
Do you have a hard time coming up with dinner ideas?
Before we started making a weekly menu, my husband would ask me every single day “What should we have for dinner?”
I rarely knew what to say and was totally uninspired.
So we decided to plan weekly meals over the weekend. We like to get the kids’ input as well and have realized they have favourites that come back week after week!
With a weekly meal plan, we know what we’re going to have every day of the week, it makes grocery shopping easier, we waste less food, and most of the time, we even know who’s going to make dinner on a given day.
But I do have to admit that when I’m not super hungry, it can be hard to come up with a weekly menu.
A world of flavours
My kids got an interactive globe from their grandparents for Christmas to learn about geography.
My husband came up with the most brilliant idea a few weeks ago to make good use of it. Each week, we spin the globe and one of us (adult or child) closes his or her eyes to point at a country. That country becomes the inspiration for one meal for the week.
We search the web for recipes originating from that country and make our own version. So far, we’ve had a little taste of the Maldives, Hawaii, Sudan, Northern China, Kazakhstan, Brazil and Madagascar.
Here are some of my favourite recipe discoveries to date:
We’ve had lots of different meals from Hawaii but this Hawaiian Chicken was a cut above. I loved the combination of coconut milk and pineapple.
I was happily surprised with Ful Medames and craved it for days. It was really good for breakfast. I combined two recipes to make my own version. Unfortunately, I didn’t write it down, but I mostly followed this recipe. I used two cans of fava beans, didn’t use as much garlic and lemon juice (one lemon instead of two), and topped with feta cheese and arugula instead of parsley…
As much as us adults loved it, it wasn’t a favourite with our children.
That meal was prepared by my husband and son. It was a success and we all loved the Chinese pancakes!
We served the cheese bread with Brazilian Picadillo and Heart of palm and tomato salad. Everything was delicious—especially the cheesy, chewy bread! However, I think it’s worth mentioning that I didn’t like the bread as much the following day as it didn’t have the same texture. A friend who once lived in Brazil suggested to freeze them and warm them up for breakfast. That might be worth a try!
A culinary experience worth trying
We are very satisfied with our new discoveries so far. It’s been great to drift away from our go-to food and travel a little while staying at home. It’s also a wonderful learning experience for the children, both geographically and culinary!
Give it a try and share your favourite recipes with me by email!
I'm Marie-Pierre, an easygoing mother of two and a documentary family photographer. I believe we can all learn and grow from other people's experiences. Real life stories help us relate to each other, open our minds and feel better about ourselves.
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