Every Monday I break out my legal pad and create our meal plan and grocery list. Today, I want to share the basics that make this process quick and easy for me. I really enjoy this part of my week, but I also know it can be easy to get stuck in a rut and not know how to move forward.
When I first began cooking, I would often search my fridge and pantry hoping to find something worth making a meal out of. But, well, I’m sure most of you all know that is much easier said than done…..
After a few meals from scratch were lovingly thrown in the trash by my hubby, I realized something had to change. The only way I was going to be successful at cooking was if I learned how to meal plan. But where on earth was I supposed to start?!?!
I had a few cookbooks but it was difficult to find recipes with our plant-based preferences. The internet was an amazing resource! Almost too amazing……I could easily spend over two hours looking for recipes and come away empty-handed. Nobody’s got time for that!
I’m proud to say that meal planning has gotten a million times easier! It just takes practice.
Whenever I find a recipe that we both enjoy, I make a note on my phone. I now have over thirty recipes on that list! Every week when I create my meal plan, I just pull recipes from my list. Its so easy!
Here’s a peek at what my meal plan looks like week to week: (I generally cook five meals a week and double most dishes so that we have leftovers for lunches and weekends.)
- Soup with bread – I have been rotating these three soups for months!
- Pasta (gluten-free or veggie) – Our latest favorites are roasted veggie and vegan mac ‘n cheese.
- Beans with quinoa or rice – My go-to recipes are cilantro lime rice with black beans and this quinoa salad.
- Mexican or Italian – Our favorites are enchiladas and lasagna!
- Something new – I normally try to test one new recipe every week to keep things fresh and expand our options. This is a great opportunity to explore seasonal produce!
I hope this is helpful for your routine! What are some of your own meal planning tricks?