Are you Mother Hubbard, with nothing to eat? Or are you the stuffed to the gills cupboard, but still…. nothing to eat? Probably you are somewhere in the middle but leaning one way or the other.
I have to be honest with you here, I rarely plan meals. I don’t mean to show off but I can mostly pull together a pretty balanced and tasty meal in a matter of 20 minutes or half hour on any given night in my house. This comes about in a few ways. First you have to know your way around your kitchen without recipes (that takes lots and lots of practice) Second you need to have some basics on hand at all times. The first one takes time the second one just takes a trip to the store to by dry goods!
My staples – rice, beans, lentils – some kind of leafy green, onions, tomatoes – spices
Google is the most amazing resource for a mostly empty cupboard! Just type in the 2 or 3 ingredients you actually have on hand and google it! This is amazing but sometimes a huge time waste as you go down the rabbit hole. But with a touch of self control it can be miraculous!
For example what if we search onion, rice, lentil About 8,890,000 results (0.39 seconds) bread, black beans, tomatoes About 12,400,000 results (0.42 seconds) – carrot rice cinnamon About 12,200,000 results (0.39 seconds)
Type in what is in your cupboard and start there for your grocery list!! Fun and amazing what you might find! This will save you a little bit of money in your grocery bill by not just picking a recipe from scratch that you need everything for.
Meal planning – plan for 5 days but pick out recipes for 7 just to have a little wiggle room in case you are not in the mood.
Be okay with some of your vegetables being of the frozen variety, especially if you are planning for a whole week. Make your recipes with the fresh veg early in the week. Who knows what might come up where you might not make all of the meals. That way if you don’t get to your recipe it won’t go to waste in your fridge.
*helpful tip, if your spinach or kale is going bad in the fridge blend it up with some water, throw it into your ice cube trays and they are all set for tossing in soups or for your morning green smoothies!*
Sometimes meal planning can be overwhelming because of the staggering amount of choices, let’s call it the “google effect”. We have the world at our fingertips and we can’t seem to extract even one recipe! This happens to me alot. Believe it or not often times meal planning is better when you have very few choices.
Some weeks I challenge myself to make all 5-7 meals from just one cookbook (remember what that is?). This narrows my search and I find so many great recipes that have forgotten about, from way back when the “google” didn’t exist. I love looking back, I used to write comments on the side of the recipes with notes, sometimes changes or additions, sometimes I even wrote in who or what I made it for. It is like a little recipe time capsule!
Are you a Mother Hubbard? Are you a Googler? Are you a Cookbooker? By the way your local library is likely to have amazing cookbooks! I love library cookbook sections!!