Beach Cottage Meal Plan

Sun 29th, Apr, 2012

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Good Morning Sunday, Good Morning Beach Cottage ladies.  Well as you know, I switched off yesterday and had me some unplugged time – interesting thoughts to come on that…I had an AMAZING time out and about with Miss Beach Cottage, talk about spoil ourselves…


But for today, sharing this week’s meal plan…

Now, if you read last week’s meal plan post, you will know that it was my first week back from the Easter holidays and my biggest aim was to get my fitness back and get really healthy again…I have had a lot of contact from you about this, it seems many people are feeling the same.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not super-unhealthy, and in that I mean I always cook real, clean food from scratch, I like to buy food in season and I like to walk, get out in the fresh air and stretch every day…but some of that had slipped a bit and so on top of that I wanted to ensure at least 2 long walks a week (in that I mean 2+ hours), walking other days too and stretching plus during the day-time to up my consumption of veggies and water significantly.   I did last week and have a post coming up on the results…interesting to say the least.

But let’s have a look at what some of you said, shared and wrote in that comments section…

Jen from Arriving blog left this comment

I’ve had a horrible time pretending that I can eat whatever, whenever – so last week I decided to suck it up buttercup and get back on the train. For eating I’m just focusing on clean eating (whole foods). Trying to make sure I get 4 proteins, 3 veggies, 2 fruits, 2 whole grains, and 1 fat each day (Which is actually quite a lot of food!). Allow myself two cheats on the weekend and workout regularly. Oh… and I’ve cut out sugar because I was practically free basing the stuff. The first four days off sugar I had a raging headache. BUT – I lost 2lbs this week and I’m sleeping much better and yippe, not a single hot flash (yes, already, sucks). I guess eating good food is good for my hormones? Doing a lot of walking for workouts and 30 day shred dvd a few times a week. So yes… healthy living posts, bring them on!

PS – you should make Waikiki Meatballs for your people, bet they’d love them.

…that’s my kinda Beach Cottage comment ladies, I like her style – the clean eating, the stopping sugar and the sleeping better…sound like what you need?  I reckon so!

I haven’t tried the Waikiki Meatballs yet, but Jen left the link in the comments if you want to check them out! (go here for the link)






I love that doing this meal plan post means sharing too…Jo left me a comment that she uses her Slow Cooker / Crock Pot for a Tuscan sausage pot and I liked the sound of it, so I have saved for when the weather gets a bit colder here….(she left her recipe for me here if you would like it too)

Ha, I’ve just been sitting down with a cup of tea writing my own meal plan when yours came up. I’m loving getting some more ideas for the slow cooker. I only really have one recipe that I do in it at the moment some I’ve tried in the past have turned out a bit bland despite what I would have thought would have been rich in flavour ingredients. This week we are having…Lasagne & salad, Tuscan sausage pot (my tried & true favourite slowcooker recipe), Beef & roasted sweet potato salad with a pesto dressing, a Roast chicken, and some sort of easy throw together pasta for Fri night. Looking forward to the Surfer boy easy curry recipe.


Tammi has had a wake-up call…so inspiring!  losing 12lbs from lifestyle changes…wowzas, go girl!


My 40′s are fast approaching and I plan to enter it the way I intend to continue, fit and healthy! I have a few health issues and after seeing my brother in law in February who is in renal failure due to not managing the same issues it gave me quite a scare. On our return I cut out sugar, upped my intake of wholefoods and kick started a simple workout regime that to date has seen me drop almost 12 kgs and come of meds completely!! It’s something I will always have to stick to if I am to prevent heart disease but well worth it.


Alison said this, thanks for your comment Alison…

I tell you what Sarah, when I hit 50 I really started to see other people through new eyes. It really is a turning point in the aging process. There is a huge range of attitude, health, fitness and energy among people in their 50′s. It seems to me that it is the decade that many people just give up on their health and appearance.

I’m too scared to stop aerobics, pilates and swimming! My weight stayed the same from 20-45 but a few kilos have gone on since then that I would like to lose. Part of my grand plan in the last year has included ‘looking after me’ more, getting rid of things/situations that annoy me and replacing them with things that make my heart sing…and reading A Beach Cottage of course.  If you focus on caring about your wellbeing you make better choices.


I so agree with this!  I know a few people who just give up and sit around wondering why they feel old, overweight etc.

..and I have done the whole getting rid of things that annoy me…I wasted far too long in my life putting up with horrible situations people shouldn’t have to go through…now, guess who’s number one?  Me!


and then look what Susan said in reply to Alison, she just completed her first 5k, talk about inspirational!  I love that!


Well said Alison. I like your “looking after me” attitude. Anything we can do to keep ourselves healthy is very important. I am in my 50′s and enjoy exercise. Was never “an athlete” but just did my first 5k yesterday. My goal, to cross the finish line…and I did it! I eat very healthy but do enjoy a treat now and then. All sorts of “fun” things happen to us as we age so I think that being as healthy as possible will help the process. Weight gain happens, it seems, without me even trying so without exercise, I don’t even want to envision that! Like I tell my kids, “it’s all about choices”.

Sarah, love your blog and love this topic! Thank you for sharing your thoughts on exercise and crockpot cooking. Happy Happy!


and then this amazing comment from Kath, who has taken her health by the scruff of the neck….good work!


I actually started my own new thing this week. Unlike you, I have quite a bit to lose. Many years of putting everyone and everything first has taken its toll on me, being over 50 now, and trying every “diet” under the sun hasn’t helped either. None of them were right for me, so I devised my own plan and so far, it’s working. I’ve lost 8 lbs. this week. Like I said, I have a lot to lose, but the way I’m doing it is that I stopped drinking diet soda. I only drink hot tea or cold water with the occasional diet Arnold Palmer (1/2 iced tea, 1/2 lemonade, both unsweetened, and I add a bit of sugar substitute). Lots of water. Breakfast is a piece of fruit, since I don’t usually get hungry until almost lunchtime anyway, lunch is usually a small salad with some protein, like an egg, tuna, or chicken and dinner is whatever I make for the family, only I VERY carefully watch my portion sizes. As for exercise, I haven’t gotten to the formal exercise part yet, but I have been so physically busy here that I move much of the day. It’s springtime in NY so there are garden beds to dig, and we are in the midst of a home improvement marathon to prep the house for my daughter’s high school graduation. It seems like every day I find a new project! I am also hoping to start taking a Zumba (Latin dance aerobics) class as soon as I can free up the time.



So that’s a snapshot of the comments, it was really interesting….and amazing the power of blogging too, I know that only a tiny percentage of those of you who read actually leave a comment (I can seeeee you lurker-loos!), so I am thinking by rule of averages that many of you may well have been nodding your heads in agreement too, let’s do it!

I have said on here before that I think walking & fresh air are key to my mental health….. but these comments show just how important it is for all of us from different walks of life to not be some kinda health nut going on and on and on to anyone who will listen about eating organic food and being super-perfect, but more about just fitting into real life things ways to live well and  to balance everything.  As I get older that is what I am trying to do anyway…

But, let’s get back to this week’s plan…a few Slow Cooker / Crock Pot again this week (many apologies for the lack of Easy Curry last week on the blog…there is one reason and one reason only…we ate it all…I couldn’t really say no when all my kiddos wanted seconds because I hadn’t taken a photo of it for blogging purposes)…soon ladies, soon.

This week’s roast is again chicken, our favourite to be honest and because I roast double for leftovers (two chickens, double potatoes etc), it’s a no-brainer, and plus I use the bones to make stock and soup….this week rather than lemon I am going to do a stuffing as it gets a bit cooler here, must remember to get the meat for that.

Jos left me a comment that she does Portuguese fish stew in her slow cooker so I am doing that this week too…



Beach Cottage

Easy Weekly Meal Plan

Sunday : { Roast Chicken with Stuffing }

Monday : { Leftovers }

Tuesday :  { Portuguese Fish Stew } (recipe here though I probs will do bread not rice)

Wednesday : { Pea & Ham Soup } (prompted by my friend lg)

Thursday : { Toad in the Hole }

Friday :  Chilli



Beach Cottage Super Easy Chocolate Tart  { recipe here }

Beach Cottage Muffins { recipe here }



With that I will leave you, but I would LOVE to hear what you have been up to this week, in terms of cooking, eating and getting out and moving it!

Have you been partaking in the eating of healthy things, have you moved your behind or just been thinking about it?

oh and as ever, please share what’s on your meal plan this week…I am trying two from last week’s comments…too kewl!




more from the beaches… see the Beach Cottage Daily Pics here

and Barley doing his thing in Beach Cottage Land, baby



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41 Responses to “Beach Cottage Meal Plan”

  1. Liz says:

    Funny to think it’s already Sunday there…I have a great White Chicken Chili I love that will likely be on tap for this week. Sometimes I go rogue and add potatoes just to make it more filling.

    I also love to make chicken pie but was going to try and change that up and make a beef version with mashed potatoes (kind of like a shepherds pie, I suppose). I enjoy making things that will leave leftovers. I love leftovers. One less meal to make!

    Love all the suggestions that help get me thinking about what I’ll make for the week. I need to spend more time cooking. I get busy sometimes and don’t want to take time to eat, or rather to make dinner (It’s just my daughter and I right now and she’s often not hear at dinner because of work). Yes, I need to eat better. With that said, I’ll confess that I’m off to make hot fudge for ice cream. I bought vanilla this week and I have a really simple hot fudge recipe that is phenomenal. A girl needs her splurges.

  2. Fleur says:

    I’m about to do my meal plan for the week here too, but its going to be all about eating up what we have here and trying not to shop! Finally moving back into our house on Friday after 3 weeks camping out whilst our floors are replaced.
    Cant wait to hear about what you got up to with your daughter x

  3. alison says:

    Mmmm, I’m eyeing off the slow cooker in this week’s Aldi catalogue.

    Sarah, your family must not only be very happy campers with you doing all this home cooking but will appreciate more and more as they get older the love and caring behind it. My nephew only ever took home made food to school. His friends used to swap food at recess with him because they thought his was home made things were so good…and my nephew liked the novelty of eating something from a packet!!


  4. Jos says:

    Yay for the stew on Tuesday – enjoy – it’s one of our favs at the moment. We are on a eat more veggie challenge – trying to up how many different ones we can get into each meal – easy at this time of the year with slow cooked food as I just grate in a whole bunch. We had the most amazing bolognaise the other night – grated in a bunch of veggies including beetroot which gave the sauce the most divine gloss and colour – try it! So far we have hit a record 10 veggies in one meal – will be hard pressed to top that – but a challenge is a challenge! Try it – it gets addictive and you end up eating veggies you would never consider before – all in good health, particularly as the colder weather hits!

    PS – fabulous inspiring post Sarah – great to read about so many women choosing health and taking charge – congrats to them all!

    • I’m always grating something into the bolognaise, carrots or zucchini, the kids never notice. I haven’t tried beet root yet though. Will have to give it a try ❇

  5. Food is my life at the moment! I know fat in food is not my enemy, SUGAR is!! SoI have gone the high protein, low carb route and NO sugar since early January and have lost 14kgs, which is now noticeable- I’m pretty tall, so +/-10 kgs doesn’t show. I have always done clean, cooked from scratch meals, but now I am leaving the rice, pasta, bread and cakes for the kiddos. Do you know how great a curry is with extra broccoli or veggies in it instead of rice? I make a cauliflower mash to replace potatoes or rice with a stew or meat and make a great eggplant lasagne with a riccota white sauce, the kids have the meat sauce with pasta. I wanted to be below a certain weight before I exercised so I didn’t damage any joints, and I am there now, so that is my next challenge. I just do not want to go into menopause or my fifties ( 6 years away) carrying extra weight.
    We get our own beasts butchered so I have 1 whole freezer full of beef that I am going to work through this winter. But like anyone, I love variety and buy all the other meats too. My eating plan and lifestyle needs, involve plenty of protein! Then of course I have my own hens for eggs. My hens live a long natural life, ie we don’t eat them! I knew a bloke once who was a family member of an egg and chook Dynasty and he taught me very early on that a dozen eggs, is the most inexpensive, nutritious meal that a mother can serve her family. I agree, and for we time poor mummies- they are quick to cook!

  6. Kristin says:

    Love your blog! I’ve recently moved to a Florida seaside town and love it! My boyfriend and I recently had a great beach workout this morning…a community beach clean up!!! 2+ hour of walking on the sand lifting an increasingly heavy bag filled with trash.

    A plus for the environment as well as our waistlines. Love when you post recipes, please keep doing so. We’re trying a slow cooker recipe tomorrow – salsa verde pork tacos. Will let you know it it’s a success!!!



  7. Marnie says:

    Lots of meat and veggies this week. My iron gets low, so I need it. I’ve changed my habits completely and have lost over 12 kilos since Christmas and dropped 2 dress sizes. Getting there one sweaty day at a time.
    x Marnie

  8. This week I’m thinking:
    - Grilled chicken w/ pineapple salsa, quinoa with a little parmesan grated on top, and fresh steamed broccoli
    - Grilled pork tenderloin with a fresh pear sauce, salt roasted potatoes, steamed green beans
    - Taco night (will be a big taco salad for me)
    - Spicy thai beef salad, roasted asparagus
    - Chili and cornbread, salad
    - Grilled turkey tenderloin, steamed green beans, brown and wild rice pilaf

    Tomorrow I’m going to make a little treat for the family – Mascarpone mousse with strawberries (And since I’m allowing myself two reasonable treats (think one serving size) on the weekend after being super clean and sugar free all week, I’m going to have some! Today I had some dark chocolate with sea salt, it was divine, and actually quite low in sugar, far less than a flavored yogurt in fact.)

    I will try to put a few of the recipes up during the week – it will give me something to blog about ❇

    Ps – Thanks for the sweet mention. ❇

    • PPS – About the sugar thing….have you seen this? It’s a bit long so watch it a bit at a time if you need to – it’s all about how sugar is processed by the body – it’s very eye opening. Just based on the last two weeks of limiting sugar in my own diet and the changes in how I feel are convincing enough – but this kind of drove the point home for me.

  9. syrahsuzie says:

    Just did my weekly shop yesterday so my plan for the week is:
    Sat: Lamb chops and oven-roasted ratatouille
    Sun: Jamie Oliver’s Pork and pepper goulash (would be great in a crock pot)
    Mon:Pasta primavera (lots of veg and lemon and herbs – no cream!)
    Tues: Beach cottage Chorizo stew (new recipe!)
    Thur: Duck confit,Rosti and green beans (Mr’s birthday)
    Fri: Prawn and asparagus risotto

    We all started to get our weight under control six months ago (more veggies, less sugar). I’m the slacker (lost 10 kgs) but we are all more energetic and walking lots. We have a Wii Dance competition on rainy days! It’s been great doing it as a family – lots of support, no nagging allowed.

    Loving these Menu posts (and all the others!).

  10. le_third says:

    hello there Sarah … good luck with your goals fitness wise – you are starting from such a strong base :) you might want to check out anther sarah for the sugar free angle – she is a gem – sarah wilson – an aussie who lives up byron way … her quit sugar program is worth a real look.

    have a great week – off for a catch up read for me. BTW I have lost nearly 10kg on the higher protein less carbs eating method since Nov 2011 – it’s all GOOD :) le xox

  11. Selby says:

    Talk about fallen off the wagon with food- usually I’m pretty decent but this week I’ve been laid up with flu & eaten silly things because they were what I could do in 10 mins or less. This week I’m slowly mending so it’s time to help my poor body out with loads of veggies n fruit to fight of the last of this beastly lurge.

    • Candice says:

      Hi Selby we just thru the flu it was horrible . Hope u feel better soon look after yourself our flu left us for a couple of days and than slapped us with a second round .

      Can I share my feel better soup recipie .
      Salicylic acid in the garlic and onions help move the flu on , taste great , heaps of chicken gets the fussy ones keen on the soup . Drag yourself to the kitchen and get the large crockpot/slow cooker out . Gather 1kg of chicken legs , 8 garlic cloves , 3 onions , couple of carrots , celery .,corn .. what ever u have in fridge , a sweet patato , 2 cans chopped tomatoes , chicken stock if u have it , or a packet on dry instant ,or just water .
      Also some dry spagetti . A little later on .
      Place chicken in pot , add all chopped vegies and crushed / chopped garlic but add 2 more whole garlic cloves to the pot , stock or water and the cans of tomatoes , season . Cook on high 4 hours , remove bones , a big stir add the spagetti { I break the spag into finger lenght or shorter bits } The soup is already thick so only small amount of spag is needed /or add more water for more feel

  12. Deanne says:

    we are having pea and ham soup here this week too- I am trying it in the crockpot for the first time.
    I have had a busy social week with lots of meals out – so this week, smoothies, soups and salads to balance it out.

  13. Candice says:

    Hi Sarah , like your meal plan , I will be trying these goodies next week . Luv these grest ideas Sarah and all the girls input is so cool . I really enjoyed the read .
    I had to share my feel better soup with Selby , didn’t see last sentence as i posted sorry for my error , hope its ok to reply to the girls , as soon as I saw the words flu I had to rush in & share chicken soup . Approx cost $5.00 for 6 .
    Lately I have been trying to spend around $5 a meal for 4 . It has to tick all the right boxs for the fussy eaters and large enough portions for teenage boys . Low fat and healthly and pass the taste critics of my family…. I would love to have a 14 day meal plan $70 for 4 adult portions it would be a when your back is to the wall budget meal plan . Cheers

    • sarah says:

      I like your budget style…I was doing that when we were on a tight budget re the business…that has stuck with me, not that I have ever been over the top on budget anyway…amazing what you can do when you think about it x

  14. Dorothy says:

    Hello Sarah, what make is your slow cooker please? Do you ever photograph it? Thankyou.

    • sarah says:

      it is a non-branded make, but I would like the next one to be a Crock Pot I think…

      I haven’t photographed it now, I didn’t think it would be of interest… x

  15. [...] Read the rest of this great post here [...]

  16. Glennie says:

    Sarah, this blog is such perfect timing for me. I’ve always meal planned and we eat well with our 5+ a day fruit and veggies but we are both overweight – he craves salt and snacks between meals and I have a sweet tooth. So a health scare a month ago for me was the wake up call – sugar almost banned (which sounds funny when I’ve just blogged about making jelly !!!) and snacking has just about stopped. Cross fingers and toes we can continue. x

    • sarah says:

      good luck Glennie, you can do it!

      I really think moving helps too….especially stretching, I have researched this more lately and it works xo

  17. Tamara says:

    Do you know what I think? Climate has so much to do with health and fitness! Just as I decide on upping my outdoor fitness we have the wettest April since records began! Days and days of dark skies and relentless rain. I’ve been good all week and dodged the showers but today (Sunday) there was no let up. Ah, what to do? Spend the day baking of course! When it’s cold and wet outside all I want to do is curl up with a hot water bottle and eat nice things like chocolate :-( Oh for some lovely inspiring Australian sun, blue skies and sea :-)

    • sarah says:

      yes I hear you, especially when I lived in England…I love walking in the rain with an umbrella and wellies though xo

  18. jan says:

    Great posts and conversations here..I have faced the giant of sugar addiction/carbs and after only 12 weeks of focus.have dropped 14 kgs and feel so much better..more to go but my priority is to deal better with time,energy choices so there is less stress and more enjoyment in the dailies..thanks always for the positives and encouragement to live this life with intention and joy

    • sarah says:

      you are welcome Jan, and thanks for your lovely comment

      CONGRATS ON 14kg! wowzas that rocks! x

  19. Tammi says:

    Sarah, it’s inspiring to see that so many of your readers who are in the same boat health and fitness wise are taking the bull by the horn and doing something about it. I find I am much more motivated knowing I am not alone.

    This week the majority of our meals with be slow cooker based. I already have a beef stew simmering away and a loaf of bread rising. Other meals include pumpkin soup, a thai curry, beef stroganoff, devilled sausages (as requested by our 9 yo – so easy to please) and your 40 garlic chicken. I am really enjoying this segment :)


    • sarah says:

      thanks Tammi, may I ask, what are devilled sausages? x

      • Tammi says:

        Hehe, devilled sausages are a casserole type dish, our kids love them and it’s best to use good quality sausages. I was going to leave the link here but I can’t seem to find it on the blog I got it from, you may want to check the blog out anyway as they have some great family friendly recipes there and they are easily adaptable…..Exclusively Food.
        When I find my written version I’ll email you the recipe :)

  20. Gina says:

    Perhaps I need to up my mileage. I’m definitely a walker too. Hiking is one of my favorite things ever,but don’t get to do it all the time,but do walk around the nighborhood quite a bit. I love simple healthy foods,but do love my sweets in moderation. Not trying to be a Debbie downer or anything,but boy do I get frustrated when I do all that and watch my portion sizes and don’t lose a thing! I’m like ok doing everthing the same except walking more and eating less and not.losing.a.thing! Then I get discouraged and eat as much as I want because I figure it doesn’t matter anyway. But I do try to keep up with the healthy foods and exercise because I like being healthy. I’m about 40 lbs overweight. Even tried the 30 day shred. Toned up,but didn’t lose a thing again. Anyway love your recipes and if anyone has any advice and was in a similiar situation I’m all ears!

    • ellgee says:

      Hey Gina,

      It’s a vicious cycle isn’t it – you try and be “good” and then see no results and think what’s the point??? I know how you feel…… From everything I’ve ever read about losing weight, it really comes down to Calories in vs Calories out. You can’t go wrong if you are burning more than you are eating. My advice would be to really count the calories – use an app if you have a smartphone or you can even find free counters on the internet. That way you can really see and track exactly what is going in and also out – all your exercise.
      You can work out your BMR which will tell you how many calories you should be eating to see a deficit and a loss. The other thing I have learned is that it just takes time. There is no quick fix (boo hoo). Also with regard to doing the 30 day shred etc, my guess would be that you actually put on muscle when you toned up – and we all know muscle weighs more than fat! So don’t be discouraged – keep going – it’s worth it!!! Go Gina!!

      lg xxx

    • sarah says:

      have you tried adding hills into your walking & walking much faster? a stroll won’t use up many calories, though it’s better than nothing :-)

  21. ellgee says:

    Hey! I saw you are doing a pea & ham soup and thought the lovely beach cottage ladies would like to know my recipe – it couldn’t be easier.
    1 packet dried mixed beans – I used Italian Style Soup mix – you find them with the dried lentils etc – and I rinsed them in cold water.
    1 Smoked Ham Hock. I used a big meaty one about 1 kg
    1 onion chopped and a couple of cloves of garlic.
    I sauteed the onion and garlic for a few minutes to get rid of that raw taste, then threw them in the slow cooker along with the beans and the ham hock plus about 4 cups of water. I eyeballed this bit, so if you think you need a bit more water add it.
    Cooked on low for about 6 hours. I didn’t add any salt because the ham is salty enough, but I did add some pepper and some thyme (because i love it)
    When it was done I pulled out the hock and pulled all the meat off and put it back in the soup w/o the bones.
    It was delicious.

    lg xx

    • sarah says:

      nice thanks…haven’t done one of these for a while as you know, but will throw a few extras in and report back x