Being a co-founder of a meal planning app, you probably think things run like clockwork every day here. And to a large extent, they do. Although of course as we are real people with everyday crazy things that pop up, so it is good to have flexibility. Also, when it is holiday time, I don’t like to make anything too complicated and also outsource the cooking more to other family members so I can have a break. It is nice to have weeks that are entertaining-free, so you can really relax. If you are at home when most people are away, apart from the odd extra child, holidays mean only feeding our own family of 5 which makes for an easy week.
Gaby’s week on a plate over holidays
There is no innovation here: most days of the week on holidays or during the school term breakfast is either Weetbix or scrambled eggs, with the occasional pancake meal thrown in on a Sunday. One of my kids doesn’t eat cereal, so he is a dedicated egg eater, along with myself. We don’t adorn the Weetbix with anything, so this is a pretty wholesome and filling meal for everyone and a good start to holiday days, which can often result in late nights for all.
Lunch and snacks
During the school term, we like to keep it simple with sandwiches, fruit or veggies for a snack, and a baked treat. During holidays, we mainly substitute the fresh sandwich with a toasted sanga with ham and cheese plus some salad inserted after the toasting process. For snacks, we munch on fruit, raid the freezer for whatever baked goods are contained there, and have nuts or a banana smoothie to fill the gap in the afternoons.
On holidays I often don’t stress about banking too much food. I often opt for meals that are easy to prepare on the day. Also, if it is summer in Australia, so we are looking for things that don’t heat the kitchen up too much.
Homemade pizza with simple toppings. Our lovely vegetarian friend brought around kale and leek, which we fried off with some garlic and oil as a delicious topping. The kids didn’t really go for it, but the adults loved it. A friend gifted us a pizza stone that you can put on the BBQ, which has been a revelation over summer. I am amazed how quickly the pizzas cook on the BBQ – thanks Megsie!
Sausages and veggies: This was your classic emergency meal and a great example that not all meals need to come from a recipe. Bangers and mash with some frozen veg is a very low maintenance meal – a holiday winner in my book.
Nachos: I use the bean mixture from bean quesadillas. Nachos are a great as a holiday meal and love having the variety of salad ingredients to top them with. Avocado is coming down in price, so this is a more achievable meal on a budget over summer.
Chicken and chorizo paella: I didn’t have any seafood, so just used chicken and chorizo and omitted the prawns and oysters. An easy meal that is well-received in our house.
Pantry tuna pasta: I love a pantry meal and this is one of the easiest around. These ingredients are always to hand at my house, and when you are on holidays there is nothing easier than this.
Mango chicken and salads: This simple marinade is one of the easiest and yummiest out there. I had marinated the chicken on the day I’d bought it (two weeks ago) and simply pulled it from the freezer already marinated. I like to pair it with a few salad options, which this week included a simple pea and spinach salad and coleslaw. Dead easy and super fast.
Sneaky takeaway: It is holidays so takeaway is a perfect break to the evening routine. I generally ike to choose something that I can’t replicate easily at home. However, we went to a big sporting event and the kids got to choose their own meals: they opted for either burgers or pies, as did we – sorted.
So there it is: a fuss-free meal plan when you are low on inspiration and want to simplify your eating over holidays. Each of these meals can be cooked by almost any member of the family – a few might need some adult person help for cutting or dealing with hot ingredients. Dinner done.
For a great app that allows you to easily plan your meals, check out PlanBuyCook, available for iPhone and iPad now.
Join our Dinner Done Challenge to get your meal planning sorted. It includes a free printable meal planner and shopping list template, recipes, tips and know-how to get you from zero to meal planning hero in just 25 days.