Since we had Cove, I have tried to put more of an emphasis on cooking clean and making sure we have plenty of healthy options at the house. This is especially true now that he is eating what we eat. Dinner used to be very unorganized or last minute, leaving us eating out more and eating food that made us feel like sloths afterwards. While I don’t think that my method is the best one out there, it is super easy and takes less than thirty minutes (for a mom with a little baby – that’s huge).
Monthly meal planning is really not an option for us. We never know our schedule that far in advance, and I like the flexibility of being able to make plans with friends and not feel like I am wasting food at home. Because of those reasons I only do weekly meal planning. First, I look through all the weekly ads at our favorite grocery stores. I pick out the meats and veggies that are on sale that we really like and then I come up with menus based on those items. For instance, on Father’s Day week, pork tenderloins (we’re obviously not vegetarians) were on sale for $1.99 a pound, so two of my meals that week were with pork. Last week corn was 5 for $1 at Sprouts and brussel sprouts were only $.98 a pound, so those were some of the sides we had. This way, I can pick the healthiest items and still save money. (Not saying that pork is healthiest meat out there, haha)
Second, I go through my list of recipes or search on Pinterest for recipes using these ingredients. Then, I add the recipe to each day. This is pretty loose for us. For instance, if I say that on Monday we’re having flatbread pizza but I wake up on Monday and decide that it would be easier/or I am in the mood for something else that day, I just switch it with another day. I typically go shopping Monday or Tuesday morning so that we have something for the rest of the week. Breakfast and lunch for us are usually easy items like oatmeal and fresh fruit or sandwiches, salad or leftovers. I can buy these things for us to eat the entire week and then I will do something different the next week to change it up. I do the same things with snacks. After I plan my meals and snacks, I make a list of what I need at the store and I only buy what we need.
That’s it! Super simple and takes only a few minutes. I think what took the longest for me was compiling list of recipes we eat. I have them all on my phone now, so I don’t have to go through recipe books and scrolling through my Pinterest feed for what I think is the right picture. If we try something new and we like it, I just add it to the list under the main ingredient it calls for.
Here are a few of our summer favorites:
Spring Rolls – Shrimp and Basil – I usually make a few extras for lunch the next day and then we dip them in peanut sauce.
BLT Salad (From the Londoner)- I add grilled chicken for Ian and put the dressing on the side so we have leftovers for lunch the next day.
Grilled Salmon with my Mom’s famous seasoning and fresh veggies (this week it was sautéed spinach and roasted brussel sprouts)
Flatbread Pizza on Naan bread, mozzarella, goat cheese, spinach and sun dried tomatoes. – Here is a similar recipe. I just improvised and added things we already had.
Turkey Burgers with sweet potato fries. I make my own patties with jalapeños, onions and seasoning. Sometimes well top with avocados and sometimes we top with homemade feta greek aioli.
Buddha Bowls (From the Minimalist Baker) with roasted chickpeas, sweet potatoes and kale.
And Date Night is one night so I don’t have to cook:)
What are some of your favorite recipes? Do you have more efficient ways of meal planning?
*Thanks to No Mas for the sweet authentic Mexican made tote. (You can find one in the their gift shop directly next to the restaurant.)