Meal planning

We’ve been eating so well lately, thanks to my renewed effort towards meal planning. I realized (with a little help from the One Roast Vegetable teleclass) that I had been doing it all wrong. I used to buy food and then figure out what to make with it, by looking up recipes online on my favourite website, http://www.cookinglight.com. Some of the recipes were hits but some were misses. And sometimes I would lose the motivation to cook at all, and I love cooking! That way didn’t seem to be working out so well.

Shelley’s class helped me to see that my way was backwards. The trick is to figure out what meals you want to cook, probably using your favourites as a base, and then buy food based on those meals. It seems so obvious when I put it that way, doesn’t it? Plan your meal, and then your grocery shopping trip. It’s less work, and less wasted food.

The nice thing about this is that we’re having our favourite meals more often. And if we have a meal that we think is just “OK” and not “super yum” then we ditch that recipe, never to be eaten again. I hope in time that I’ll have six to ten weeks’ worth of weekly meal plans made up (featuring about four to five entrees a week to allow for leftover nights), so that I can rotate them with a bit of flexibility where necessary. I hope to also incorporate more delicious recipes using fish into our routine, that’s another goal of mine right now.

I’m happy to report that since we’re eating a bit better, Chelsea is eating very well too, and she actually seems to like a lot of the “real” food that her mommy and daddy are eating. Hallelujah! Making snacks and meals for her has definitely given me a push in the right direction to make sure the snacks and meals for me are healthy too. I mean, I never really ate that poorly, but now I’m trying to do even better.

My weekly meal planner worksheet has a column for each day of the week and rows for the actual meal, the items to buy at the grocery store, and whether or not the meal will make any leftovers. Tonight’s plan says we’re having Italian Sausage with Three Peppers – yum!

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