While my ex-colleagues or classmates may have month end closing of accounts these few days, I too have the monthly closing of my meal plans. It is 30 days since I started this series and I am determined to continue no matter no many dishes have been repeated and just take your sweet time to come here to look at what I have cooked.
Being an accountant by background, I have the tendency to summarize data and analyzed the data. The raw data does not mean anything to the reader and a summary, in my humble opinion is deemed necessary for reader’s benefits.
Before I proceed, I have to highlight the following points which you have to take into consideration when referring to my meal plan.
- My meal plan basically caters for 2 adults and 2 children aged 7 and 9.
- My cooking objectives is to provide nutritious meals to the children since they are at their growing stage.
- Usually, I will try to cook dishes that were liked by all the 4 family members.
- All members in the family are supposed to eat the same dish, meaning, I would not cook a special dish just for any particular members of the family.
- I will try to rotate the meals as long as possible as I do not want my children to be too picky in their food.
We have no special diet as to the type of food but I will ensure that what we have eaten are all in moderation. However, very soon I will start a one month vegetarian diet !
We seldom throw away food and we ate leftover foods. Perishable items will usually be consumed within the day and meaty items, if cannot finish will be kept for next meals. Usually, yesterday left over dishes will be “transform in another new dish” in the next day to avoid boredom. However, these overnight dishes were not included in my analysis below.
Spicy food is generally not cooked because of the children. I missed all those spicy food such as curry, belachan kangkong and etc. It is a pity that when my kid ate the curry, they have to dip the curry into some plain water before they put it in their mouth.
I preferred to dine in rather than dine out as my kids are quite a big eater and they generally preferred home cook food.
Generally, every meal shall include one soup, two fish, meat or tofu dish, one vegetable dish.
Meat dish and soup will usually cook in the morning and shared between lunch and dinner. Vegetable dish will be cooked prior to the dinner.
We don’t have a maid and all the work from dish preparation, cooking and cleaning was done by either my wife or myself.
Marketing were usually done once a week on Saturday to Sunday.
I HAVE PREPARED SOME NICE EXCEL WORKSHEET IN HTML FORMAT BUT IT DID NOT WORK FOR SOME CATEGORY. I AM RATHER UPSET OVER THIS. THEREFORE, I HAVE ATTACHED AN EXCEL SPREADSHEET FOR YOU TO DOWNLOAD AND READ (WHAT I COOKED TODAY SUMMARY). I also have the difficulty to write any more thing as it is a big post and I cannot name the dish that I posted here, I therefore apologize for that also.
I have categorized my dish into the following broad categories
Soup dish – Soup is a must in my family. if the soup is to last for 2 meals, it will be cooked in the morning and if only one meal, I will usually choose some quick soup made with fresh leafy vegetable.
Meat dish – This shall include pork, chicken and fish.
Tofu and egg dish – All the tofu relatives be it taukwa, tofu, taupok and etc. Egg dish is included in tofu dish since it’s nutritional value is quite the same. May also include dishes such as fish cakes, fish balls if it is a dish on its own. A good way to visualize this categorization is the items that you bought in the stalls that sell bean sprouts ……
Vegetable dish – This is another must have dish unless there are too many dishes.
Whether a dish is classified as a vegetable dish or a meat dish will depends on the portion of the raw ingredient in the dish. For example, for chicken braised with bamboo shoot, if I cooked the entire chicken and I use the bamboo shoot as a side ingredient, it will be considered as a meat dish. However, if I cooked the whole packet of bamboo shoot with some chicken slices, it will consider as a vegetable dish.
A must in the family. Soups were usually cooked in the morning for two meals. Sources of vegetables to cook soup can be:
All sorts of melons, gourds and those that will not turn “ugly” after you cooked for about 45 minutes and able to keep it for the next meals. Eg. Radish, sweet corns, bitter gourds etc.;
Most green leafy vegetables and usually these were quick soups which was prepared just before the meals for one meal. E.g. Chinese spinach, water cress, Bok Choy etc.
Beans and roots and soya bean products . It can be peanuts, black turtle beans. Roots can include lotus roots. Soya products include bean curd stick, bean curd, taupo etc..
Canned products – usually we used canned mushrooms and canned kernel corns.
The soup base can either be from pork or from chicken. As my kid do not like to eat the pork rib and I have to finish all the pork ribs, I have sort to buy the “big bones” – bones with no meat and boil the soup. Usually these soups will have other side ingredients like red dates (红枣）, goof berry (枸杞)，dried squid (鱿鱼干)，dried scallop (干贝)，anchovies (小鱼), honey dates (蜜枣) to make it tastier and provide more minerals and vitamins.
The picture are not that attractive. Please refer the number to the table as I have difficulty of typing the name
I don’t really cooked meat dishes on a daily basis as both my wife and my daughter are not keen to have meat (especially pork). For my son, he likes to eat meat but he is “extremely prosperous” now. As such, meat to us is secondary. As long as there are something that can be munch, that will be okay. Meat usually is alternated between pork, chicken and fish. As meat preparation can be quite time consuming and is difficult to cook a small quantity, we sometimes buy some ready made meat dishes like Yakitori satay etc. to add as the dish.
The proteins that the kids are getting are mostly from soup and other soya bean related products. If you looked at the fish that I cooked, I have intentionally include “commoner’s fish “ like ikan selat kuning, types of fish for nasi lemak. The main purpose is to expose my kids to have as many types of fish as possible and “train” them how to eat fish with bones. Believed it or not, they can;t even handled fish like fried black pomfret! For me, these fish are cheap and protein amount is almost the same. They can’t continue like a baby where we only use kurau, white pomfret, codfish(鳕鱼), salmon, black and red grouper etc..
TOFU AND EGG DISHES
These dishes are my kids favorites. My son and daughter will fight for eggs cooked in any form (fried eggs, braised eggs, poached eggs), any members of the soya family (tofu, taukwa, taupok, taukee, taupi, etc.…) and fish balls, cakes etc. This is my cushion or buffer dish. Anytime I run out of dish to cook, I will just have some eggs related dishes and they will finish the rice very quickly. For us, on the average, my family will need 30 eggs and if I am baking, we need even more eggs. Because they are egg fanatics, I usually try not to cook until necessary and they will pressure you to cook eggs (IS IT AN INSULT TO MY COOKING THAT ONLY EGGS ARE DELICIOUS?).
Another item is tofu. They like it, for our house, one tofu is not really enough for them unless I “shout” at them to leave some for my wife and me. Braised taukwa, taupok is another dish they fight for. Theoretically, this raw ingredients are very cheap, nutritious and easy to “feed” them (很好养!) !. However, I purposely not to repeat too often for fear that they will become too picky.
I come from a family of 5 boys and my mum used to cook more meat dishes than vegetable dishes. My wife comes from a family of 5 girls and my mother in law is not fancy of eating meats at all. When she stayed in our house, she will ensure there were definitely vegetables in the meals. She is very particular with the vegetables that she ate. If today she ate the preserved salted vegetables, then tomorrow, definitely no bok Choy soup or Szechuan vegetable soup or winter melon soup as she considered this is very cool. She will chose some dishes that are slightly less “cooling” like Kailan. If she cooked a white leaf vegetables like cabbage, then today, she will select a green leaf vegetable. That is something that I learned from her.
The practice of eating vegetables was brought down by her and now my daughters will request for vegetables if I did not cook vegetables. My son, who initially is a carnivore have gradually been changed to an omnivore and I should say his consumption of vegetables have increased tremendously. He is able to accept a more variety of vegetables. In fact, during this period, I have cooked 29 vegetable based dishes using 18 types of vegetables.
At times, we don’t cook the full meals but have any noodles instead. There are times where we cook “oiled” rice such as chicken rice and the dishes will be reduced accordingly.
As this post is getting longer with lots of images, I have to end here and the next in the pipeline is all the pictures will be posted on the Pinterest Website. Please feel free to use the picture and maybe in another post, I will share with you various meal plan issues that I encountered. Should you want to see the individual day’s posting, please follow the calendar below:
In the event, you are interested in any of the recipes, please let me know and I will try to post and share with all of you! It is my sincere request for all readers to comment on my meal plans and rest be assured that all this plan was not planned in advance. I am really tired now and happy reading!