I meal plan every week, which helps considerably during our busy weeks juggling work, school, kids after school activities and sports. I find meal planning invaluable for the following reasons:
- I don’t have to think each day about what we are having for dinner
- I can prep in advance if I need to
- I know that the ingredients are all in the house.
- Being prepared also helps to keep the shopping bill under control – shopping to a list is much easier than mindlessly wandering the supermarket aisles seeking inspiration at the last minute!
I prepare my meal plan each week the day before I shop. Usually the kids have a some input, and I choose meals according to what we have planned for the week and how late I am going to be home from work or sports training (and therefore how much time I am going to have to cook). I don’t stick to any hard and fast rules but generally try to include one vegetarian meal, one chicken, one fish/seafood (sometimes this is tuna or tinned salmon) per week. I also look in the freezer and pantry to see if we have any ingredients that need using up. For recipe inspiration I refer to my own bank of recipes (on the blog!) Google, The Thermomix Recipe Community and my collection of cookbooks on the shelf.
I don’t overcomplicate things, many family favourites are repeated often, and many weeks I simply re-use a menu plan that we have eaten before.
Five meals are shown in my menus, as one night a week is designated for leftovers (from the freezer or a meal from the week) and one night week is a ‘mystery dinner’ – which is usually on the weekend when I like to try something new or a recipe idea that has inspired me.
We have no food intolerance issues or allergies to work around in our family, and we try and offer our kids a variety of flavours, spices and different ingredients.
I have linked to recipes where I can in my menus (either from my blog or other sources) and links will be updated over time as I add new recipes to the blog after photographing and typing them up.
I hope you are inspired and my plans are of help to you and your family