There’s no question that menu planning makes life easier.
Already having the decision made about what’s for dinner means one less thing to think about on busy days, and that’s one less reason to get take-out.
I like her approach because she doesn’t try to use wildly creative meals for each night of the week.
- She chooses meals that are simple and familiar.
- She adds variety with different side dishes.
- She plans only two weeks of meals, and then repeats them for a month’s menu.
She also demonstrates how she uses her online calendar to help her, but the same principles could be applied to a written plan taped on the fridge. If you want to get started with menu planning, her article is a great resource.
What’s on my menu?
I’ll confess I don’t menu plan at the moment. We eat more fruits and vegetables during the summer, and this makes it easy for me to quickly decide on dinner based on what I see in the fridge.
You could say I pantry plan. I try to keep foods in my pantry that I use often, so when I decide to make something, I already have the ingredients. This works for me because I tend to make fast meals that don’t require a lot of unique ingredients or the oven. As the season changes and the weather gets colder, I’ll start menu planning more, using the ideas that Toblerone shared.
Here are some meals we’ve had recently:
- scrambled eggs, steamed broccoli, carrots
- chicken wraps with spinach, red pepper, and miso
- chili with extra tomatoes, black beans, and tortilla chips
- quinoa salad like this one with chopped vegetables
- stir-fry chicken and brown rice
For lunches I usually have a smoothie with a banana, frozen berries, peaches, apple juice, protein, cod liver oil, and raw honey. (It sounds healthy, but I still like root beer and m&ms too.)
I like to prepare multiple meals at the same time by batch cooking. (Some people call this freezer cooking or once-a-month cooking.) This can mean that I might make a triple-batch of soup or chili and then freeze it in smaller portions. Or maybe I will chop extra vegetables to use for the next night’s dinner.
On Friday, let’s share ideas for batch cooking.
I’ll bring some of my favorite batch-cooking recipes and techniques, and I want to hear your expertise! Be thinking about how you can make more than one meal at a time, and let’s share these ideas on Friday. Maybe you have a time-saving tip or a recipe that freezes well. If you have a blog post about it, you’re always welcome to share a link to it in your comment so that we can read more.