Written by Guest Blogger Shakerah

New year, new beginnings……but the cycle goes on! Will we ever rid ourselves of the nagging thought of “what to cook?” or “what’s for lunch?”…??? Gone are the days of hot chips at 10am when school was just across the road. Tediously planning menus …always on the alert for something new and interesting to make our days easier. Having a basic plan does ease off some stress while allowing flexibility and room for some creativity as well. My kids have now declared Tuesday as “pie day”-even if I alternate the type of pies every Tuesday. And Friday is a non-negotiable: Nani’s Samoosa day (must have Green Cheeky Chutney with it though). That leaves me with just 3 days a week of “what’s for lunch?”

Here is a simple Menu Suggestion that you can stretch in many ways. You may want to prepare a little extra of the basic so that it can come in handy for those unplanned days or unexpected guests.

Beef Chow Mein (Menu 1)

1 kg beef – cut into thin strips

1 tsp garlic

1 tsp green masala

1 tsp black pepper

1 tsp Salt

3 tbsp mayo

3 tbsp Nandos Pepper Sauce

1 tbsp Vinegar

Cook beef in above, keeping meat firm. (Now freezer suitable for sandwich fillings)

Stir Fry with:

Cubed Robot peppers



Julienned Carrots

2 cups Boiled Spaghetti


Chilli Sauce, tomato Sauce, Worcester sauce, Soya Sauce, butter.


Menu 2: Skip the veggies, add a tin of tomato and onion mix, some sauces, and serve with spaghetti and onion rings

Menu 3: Add a tin each of baked beans, butter beans, red kidney beans, Mexican tomatoes, and a tomato based pasta sauce. Serve with sour cream, pur, cheese and dhania – Finger licking!

Lunch Alternatives: Choose from a variety of bagels, croissants, pitas, wraps, footlong rolls……. Fill with steak and each week alternate your flavor by using different sauces. My absolute favourite being guacamole, a tbsp of sour cream, tomato/pepperdew chutney and some cheese or even feta cheese.

For a healthy option, surprise your hubby with a serving of grilled tomato, and mushrooms stuffed with beef and drizzled with olive oil!

For Cold Days: leave out the spaghetti, add a serving of hot chips and create your very own Steak express.  Or, as my cousin Sumayya has taught me, leave out spaghetti and veg, and preferably layer steak with leftover salad, chips, sauces and cheese to create your own Junk Casserole!

Good Luck to stretching that menu!



More About our Guest Blogger

I wish to introduce you to my dear friend, Shakerah.  I have spent time in her kitchen only to come out mesmerised and in awe. My taste buds always have an epic feast when I visit her!  Equipped with a degree in B Comm Marketing, having worked in the corporate field, and having a business of her own, Shakerah now lives her passion. She runs Décor and Delight, a culinary school with a difference. She offers insight, useful skills, and confidence for the cooking enthusiast to journey on an adventure of taste – making everyday cooking different.