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!
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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)
Now I’m hungry…
What’s your grocery routine?