Meal planning can be stressful, especially when you’re short on time, resources or creativity. “What can I make to eat?” is a common question that most of us ask ourselves every day. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Follow these tips, tricks and recipes to make meal planning a little bit easier, healthier and enjoyable!
Planning ahead is key to avoiding mealtime woes. Before you go grocery shopping, think about what you want to cook for the week. Create a list of ingredients and recipes, based on your schedule, dietary needs, and preferences. This will save you money, time and food waste.
Meal prepping is a great way to save time and make sure you have healthy, delicious meals for the week. Cook meals in advance and store them in the fridge or freezer for later. You can also prepare ingredients and snacks ahead of time, such as chopping vegetables, baking chicken, or making energy bites.
Batch Cooking is a form of meal prep in which you cook a large batch of a dish, such as chili, soup, or casserole, and then portion it out for multiple meals. Batch cooking is also a great way to use up leftover ingredients or produce that might go bad soon.
Use a Meal Planning App
If you’re not sure where to start, consider using a meal planning app such as Mealime, Plan to Eat or Yummly. These apps allow you to search for recipes, create meal plans, generate grocery lists, and even track your health goals.
Explore New Recipes
Eating the same meals every week can get boring, so don’t be afraid to experiment with new recipes and cuisines. Here are some ideas:
Swap Out Ingredients
One easy way to try new recipes is to swap out ingredients in your favorite dishes. For example, if you usually make spaghetti with meat sauce, try substituting spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles for the pasta, or using lentils or tofu instead of meat.
Cook with Seasonal Produce
Another way to add variety is to cook with seasonal produce. Not only is it more affordable, but it’s also fresher and more nutritious. Check out your local farmers’ market or subscribe to a CSA (community-supported agriculture) to get a variety of fruits and vegetables.
Try Different Cuisines
Explore different cultures through their cuisine. Whether it’s Thai, Indian, Mexican or Italian, there are endless options to choose from. Try a new recipe every week, or join a cooking class to learn new cooking techniques and flavors.
Quick and Easy Meal Ideas
For those days when you don’t have much time or energy to cook, here are some quick and easy meal ideas:
Eggs are a versatile and affordable protein source that can be cooked in many ways. Scramble some eggs with vegetables, make an omelet, or prepare a frittata with leftover ingredients.
Salad in a Jar
Prep a salad in a jar by layering greens, vegetables, protein, and dressing. Just shake the jar and enjoy a healthy, filling meal on the go.
Cook an entire meal in one pan, such as a sheet pan dinner, a one-pot pasta, or a stir-fry. This minimizes cleanup and maximizes flavor.
Healthy Recipe Ideas
Here are some healthy recipe ideas to inspire you:
Grain bowls are a delicious and nutritious way to use up leftover grains, protein, and vegetables. Cook quinoa, brown rice, or farro, and top it with roasted chicken, tofu, or beans, and a variety of veggies, such as kale, sweet potato, and avocado.
Zoodles and Veggie Noodles
Zoodles and veggie noodles are a great alternative to pasta, and a sneaky way to add more vegetables to your diet. Use a spiralizer or julienne peeler to make zucchini, carrots, or sweet potato noodles, and top them with sauces or stir-fries.
Smoothie bowls are a trendy and healthy breakfast or snack. Blend frozen berries, banana, and spinach, and top it with granola, nuts, and shredded coconut for a satisfying and colorful bowl.
Meal planning can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. By planning ahead, exploring new recipes, and incorporating healthy ingredients, you can make mealtime a breeze. And remember, don’t be afraid to ask for help, whether it’s from a friend, a cookbook, or a meal planning app.
- Q: What are some healthy meal prep options?
- A: Some healthy meal prep options include grain bowls, roasted vegetables, and protein such as chicken, tofu or beans.
- Q: What are some quick and easy meals?
- A: Some quick and easy meal ideas include eggs anytime, salad in a jar, and one-pan wonders.
- Q: How can I add variety to my meals?
- A: You can add variety to your meals by swapping out ingredients, cooking with seasonal produce, and trying different cuisines.