Why do I meal plan?
1. Reduces my stress. Knowing what to cook and knowing that I have the ingredients in the house makes life so much easier, especially at 5pm with 4 tired kids in tow. Personally I find the thinking about what to cook, worse than the actual cooking. And you have to do it everyday!
2. Helps me ensure we have a balanced diet. Being organised is really the key to healthy eating. The weeks I don't meal plan, I often forget to put in a fish dish or we don't eat nearly as many vegetarian meals as I would like. This way I can plan for the dietary goals I am currently working on.
3. Saves time and money at the supermarket. When I meal plan, I shop from a shopping list. I'm good at sticking to the list. I head to the supermarket every 1-2 weeks and the fruit shop and butcher about twice a week. When I don't meal plan, I find myself at the supermarket nearly every day. Working without a list means there is much more room for 'extras' to sneak into the trolley
4. I put the meal plan on the fridge. The kids read it and look forward to their favorite meals and complain less about a less favourite meal. Because the menu is written down they tend not to ask "Is this all, can I have something else?"
How do I meal plan?
1. I plan my busy days first. The ones where I am out of the house working or the ones where there is a mass of kids activities. I plan quick, easy meals on these days
2. I fill in the gaps and rotate between proteins and grains. Rotating fish, eggs, beans, red meat and chicken. Grains can vary between potatoes, pasta, rice, polenta, quinoa, couscous
3. Plan a new dish when I know I have time
4. Aim to balance my plate with 1/2 veggies, 1/4 grains and 1/4 meat/eggs/beans/fish
This week's plan (actually I'm going to do two weeks as I'm feeling inspired)
Monday: Pumpkin soup, salmon patties, kale chips and salad
Tuesday: Tofu stir-fry noodles
Wednesday: Japanese inspired soup (veggie, tofu and potato). Moroccan chicken and veggie grattin
Thursday: Soy sausages and steamed veggies
Friday: Porcupine meatballs on carrot and zucchini noodles
Saturday : Minestrone soup and home-made pizza
Sunday: Oven baked fish and chips with salad
Monday: Mushroom and barely soup, roast chicken and veggies, zucchini fritters
Tuesday: Slow cooked lamb and apricots on polenta
Wednesday: Zucchini and cauliflower soup, leftover stews made into pies
Thursday: Tuna pasta and salad
Friday: Mexican wraps (quorn strips, guacamole, salad veg, cheese) on home-made tortillas
Saturday: Try a new recipe (maybe a soup too): TBC (bean, egg or fish based)
Sunday: Gozeleme and salad
Ok, I'll now print this off and put on the fridge and create a shopping list.
What's on your menu this week?