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Saturday, 11 January 2014

Sian's Plan: Cook Well, Eat Well, Be Well

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Sian’s Plan for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.
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It's that time of year again, when a lot of us are making New Years Resolutions to become healthier.  As a mum, every year I plan to start meal planning weekly and cooking healthy meals for our family each night, but at least once a week we "have too much on" and resort to cooking a frozen pizza.

I manage a few weeks meal planning and then often start forgetting to plan for the week ahead or run out of meal ideas.

Lucky, for me I was given a trial of Sian’s Plan  It has been designed with busy parents in mind.  Sian’s Plan guarantees healthy eating. Her tools and support help busy parents provide real, healthy, home-cooked food, easily. Utilising over 30 years of experience, Sian has created a colour coded meal plan and essential shopping list solution that is practical and flexible. Every recipe comes with the ‘Sian’s Plan healthy guarantee’; they use healthy cooking methods, quality ingredients and are quick and simple to prepare. In short, Sian’s Plan helps you to cook well, eat well and be well.

I gave Sian's Plan a trial for a week.  As a vegetarian, I was pleased to see there were lots of Vegetarian Meals for me to choose from.  For the week, I had to choose four Red recipes, which take under 35 minutes to cook and use simple ingredients and cooking methods; one Green recipe which takes under 35 minutes and uses store cupboard and leftover ingredients (this is a great idea to help people reduce food waste for economical and environmental reasons) and one Blue recipe, which are dishes that take longer to cook, but all have 8 portions, meaning you can freeze these for use another day (one White day) - with no cooking! I planned to cook my Blue recipe on one of our quieter days and save my white day for our busiest day of the week!

I made my Weekly Meal Plan. 

Next I created my Grocery List of EVERYTHING I needed to buy that week to make my meals.  I could edit the list to add items or take out items that Ialready had in my store cupboard.  To save time, you can Click the button to order all your groceries online at your chosen Supermarket, but I had already planned to go shopping, so I printed off the list and off I went.

I save lots of money when I shop for a list of food and especially like knowing that all the food will be used up in different meals over the week.

On my first day of Sian's Plan, I made Winter Vegetable Lasagne.  

The meal was full of vegetables and healthy for all the family!

I made the Vegetable/Tomato Base.

As this simmered I made the white sauce.

When they were both ready, I began to layer the lasagne, I found a way in which this method was healthier than my own recipe Vegetable Lasagne.  In this version the white sauce is only poured onto the top layer, therefore you need less.  In my own version, I was adding white sauce (and grated cheese!) on every layer.  Making this little change saved lots of calories and cut down on salt and fat, but the lasagne tasted the same.

I poured the white sauce over the final layer.  I sprinkled grated cheese on top.

This recipe made LOTS of lasagne.  The recipes are all based on four people, and as a family of two adults with four children they fed us well.

We ate our lasagne with vegetables.  If you were having smaller portions of lasagne then you could have some home made wedges (recipe on Sian's Plan) or garlic bread with it instead.

I continued using the plan for the rest of week.  I found all of the recipes easy to follow, fairly quick to make, delicious and healthy.

I think Sian's Plan is a great way of helping parents start to meal plan or to help them continue if they had started and lost their way.  In my opinion, it could save you time and money and improve your health!  It has inspired me to keep meal planning this year.

Sian's Plan are kindly giving you, my lucky Blog Readers, a 25% Discount if you sign up in January and use the Link and Coupon below.

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Over to you readers:  Do you like to meal plan for your family?  

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