The best way to ensure you eat healthy meals is to plan them out. If you don't plan for it, it won't happen.
Meal planning doesn't have to be complicated, but it doesn't come easy to everyone. Do you struggle with meal planning or feel uninspired when it comes to ideas for healthy and easy meals? Here are a few tips and my plans for the week.
Meal Planning Tips
1) Plan quick and healthy breakfasts and make your own coffee (skip Dunkin Donuts). Plan to have the same basic breakfast for most days that week. This will simply shopping and prepping and will also help to decrease food waste.
2) Ayurveda teaches us that lunch should be the bigger meal of the day. A simple way to do this is to make more servings of dinner, eat a nice portion that evening and save a substantial portion for lunch the next day.
3) If your calendar is in flux, plan only 3-4 meals and keep your freezer/pantry stocked for impromptu meals. I typically have fixings to create a quick dinner such as a salad topped with tuna and veggies, some grilled or roasted veggies to serve with a side of quinoa or basic veggies for a stir fry (and rice is always in my pantry). If you have a carnivore in your house, simply grilling up a small piece of meat to serve along with any of these will satisfy everyone.
My plans for the week:
Breakfasts: -Yogurt with frozen berries and toast. I’ve been making my own yogurt which is so easy with an InstantPot. I use a quart of ultra-pasteurized organic milk and I have enough yogurt for all week)
Lunches: -Simple salads (greens topped with a handful of veggies, maybe a sprinkle of seeds or nuts and an easy vinaigrette) -Veggie sandwich made with hummus, lettuce, thinly sliced zucchini and radishes served with pickles -Leftovers from dinner
Dinners: -Butternut Squash & Jalapeño Tacos Roast cubed butternut squash tossed with taco seasoning, chopped Jalapeno, onion and black beans. Serve in a soft taco shell topped with avocado slices and a cilantro lime slaw (shredded cabbage, thinly sliced red onion, jalapeño, cilantro and the zest and juice of 1 lime) -Sourdough Margherita pizza Make a crust with sour dough starter or purchase dough. Bake the crust until cooked through. Top with pizza sauce, sliced fresh mozzarella cheese and fresh basil leaves. (add whatever other toppings you want). Bake until cheese is melty. -Zucchini Cakes with Salad and Toast (I use ceramic ramekins, but it works better in the cheap aluminum ones). I plan on 1 egg per ramekin – beat eggs, whisk in a TBSP or 2 of flour and a splash of milk. Set aside while you grate lots of zucchini (about 1 small zucchini per ramekin or ½ a medium sized one). Stir it all together, add salt and pepper. I like to add fresh parsley and a sprinkle of dried basil and garlic powder. Pour into well-greased ramekins and cook until done. Serve over dressed salad greens with a side of toast. I will simply dress my lettuces in a drizzle of balsamic, a drizzle of olive oil and a little salt and pepper.
I already have staples in my kitchen, such as milk, eggs, carrots, celery, onions, frozen berries, nuts, taco seasoning, flour, rice, spices, herbs, canned beans, broth etc. Being stocked up on essentials always helps!!!
My Shopping List:
Butternut squash Jalapeño Small head of cabbage Cilantro Salad Greens (Probably some green leaf lettuce, kale and chard, but it depends on what looks good) Zucchini, 4 small-medium Lime Radishes Avocado Hummus Fresh Mozzarella Eggs Pizza Sauce Taco shells/tortillas Some veggies for backup meals – probably broccoli and cauliflower
What are you cooking this week?
Happy & Healthy Eating!