Meal Planning Routine Perfected

Meal Planning Routine Perfected

Meal Planning Routine Perfected

With dietary restrictions on top of the vegan thing, I have to put thought into weekly meal planning, and that is OK because I actually enjoy it. It’s embarrassingly become a point of pride with me. One of my favorite weekend activities is thinking about and shopping for what we’ll eat during the week. Freaky right? I guess I just love food that much!

Vegan "Shrimp" Cakes with Vegetable Tian

Vegan “Shrimp” Cakes with Vegetable Tian

Meal planning is helpful for several reasons:

  • You make sure to eat a variety of foods during the week.
  • It is easier to stick to a diet.
  • You are not swayed by the junky stuff at the store when you shop off a grocery list
  • You get to use creativity.
  • You pre-plan to make sure you have the ingredients for the new recipe you’ve been meaning to try.
  • You save money by only buying for the meals you’ve planned for (unless your hubby tags along  to the store with you, at least that’s my experience).

I have a certain routine I’ve developed over the years that I’ve become fond of. Here it is:

  • Gather cookbooks and favorite restaurant menus for inspiration. I also tend to do this near an internet source so I can visit my favorite recipe sites or Pinterest.

    Vegan Cookbooks

    My Current Favorite Vegan Cookbooks

  • On a note pad or piece of paper, write down 5 or 6 meals you plan to make during the week. This allows for a night of eating out or leftovers. Take into consideration: leftovers in the freezer, what’s in the pantry, what you didn’t end up making from last week, what you’ve been craving or just saw Giada make on TV.

    Weekly Meals

    Plan 5 or 6 meals for the week.

  • Be sure to write down recipe book names and page numbers of meals you plan to make that week for easy navigation.
  • Also, print out any recipes you are going to use off the internet. I keep the recipes I ended up liking hole-punched in a binder organized by meal category. As I said, freaky.
  • On the back of the list, write down what groceries you need. Don’t forget to add in what you’ll want to eat for breakfast and lunch too.

    Grocery List

    Grocery List

  • Head to the store to stock up. Don’t forget to bring your reusable bags or leave them in the car as I’ve been known to.
  • When I get home from the store, I keep the list of meals on a recipe holder in the kitchen, at dinner time I can glace and see what I can make and know that I already have everything on hand.

If I know we’re going to the farmers market, I will wait on the grocery list to incorporate what we get that that is fresh, in season and local.

Here’s what the Horns will be eating this week:

  • Super Nachos for the Superbowl
  • Mediterranean Orzo Salad over Arugula
  • Veggie Sushi Bowls
  • Brussel Sprouts, Brown Rice, White Beans and Mushrooms
  • Curry “Chicken” Salad Wraps with Massaged Kale Salad
  • Strawberry Crumble Bars (Special Superbowl Treat)

    Weekly Meals

    Our Menu

Now I’m hungry…

What’s your grocery routine?

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