It has been a wondrous week of food between Christmas and New Year. This was the first year we bought a half a Christmas Ham, and were most pleased finding a free range, preservative free ham from PJ the friendly butcher at the markets. It smelled so scrumptious and delectable!

2014-12-20 015 Ham bag

Ham bag

There was only one problem with the ham, we could only eat so much at a time. My family enjoyed sliced ham and cold salads for Christmas Day lunch and my son is always asking for a ham and cheese sandwich with butter please!

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Isis River Farm Ham

So I set my task to meal planning with ham. I tend to reverse meal plan, picking what ingredients I have on hand and either substituting an ingredient in a recipe with what I have in the pantry/fridge or if I have planned in advance with what I have at home then I only have to go to the shops to buy the select couple of ingredients needed or fresh veges (not a full grocery shop). Reverse meal planning works better for us as I can buy what’s in season and what is available from the markets and then find recipes to match what we have bought. This way of meal planning provides our family with a variety of meals that we don’t get with bored with, very little food waste and it is a more simple and frugal approach. Meal planning also is a great way to cook real food in bulk so that you get more than one meals worth, saving you time and effort when life is a bit hectic. Read here for Natural New Age Mum’s tips on meal planning.

So this week in the kitchen…

Ham Boscaiola (recipe from my husband’s head). Made 3 meals.

2014-12-27 027 Boscaiola

Cooking ham, mushrooms, cauliflower and cream

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Adding the gluten-free pasta

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Ready to serve

Ham, Broccoli Risotto (recipe based on Chicken, Corn and Chive Risotto from ‘Survival From The Fittest’ cookbook). Made 4 meals.

2014-12-27 030 Ham risotto

Adding the rice to the cooked ham and veges

2014-12-27 033 Absorb

Absorbing the stock and evaporated milk

2014-12-27 034 Portion

Portioned and ready to freeze

Love cooking multiple meals in bulk together with my husband! This is the way we have been preparing our meals even before our son was born, as it saved us so much time when we both worked full time and stopped the temptation of take out. For us we enjoy spending a night cooking up a storm, chatting away with the music pumping and a glass of wine.

How do you use up the festive food left-overs? How do you meal plan?

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