Today wraps up the end of Meal Planning Week here at My Plant-Based Family. If you missed any of the posts you can find my Meal Plan and Part 1 and Part 2 of my Meal Planning Tips that Really Work. My Meal Planning Pinterest board and Meal Plans Page is full of inspiration too. As we end this weeks series I want to briefly address a few questions that come up with Meal Planning.
What do you do when you plans change and you can’t follow the Meal Plan?
This is where I find it helpful to have some foods like beans and grains cooked ahead of time. When I get home to late to make dinner and I can avoid take out I depend on pre-made (often cooked by me but sometimes store-bought packaged) food like rice or quinoa and beans.
I always try to keep a box of gluten-free pasta and a jar of sauce in the pantry also. I can toss in frozen or fresh veggies if I have them available.
How can I please everyone with a Meal Plan?
I find it impossible to please everyone at the same time. If you ask other people in your household to help you plan they will “get a say” in the meal plan. One of my teens hated stir fry so if I made stir fry one night I would try to make a dish he liked the next night. At least once a week we would have a “Leftover Buffet” and everyone go to pick their meal.
If you don’t plan, you will most likely have unhappy family members anyway so don’t let that stop you from creating a Meal Plan. Posting a Meal Plan where everyone can see it may create more excitement about the meals they like.
I like to keep foods as raw as possible, but I feel like I keep making the same dishes over and over again…thoughts on raw veggie recipes?
We don’t focus on a lot of raw recipes but we do incorporate them into our diet. A big help here would be to wash and cut produce as soon as you get home from purchasing it. Then you can grab ready-to-eat fruit and veggies and include them with each meal. When I create custom meal plans I usually include a salad every day.
If salads and wraps are getting old consider soups, just search for raw vegan recipes, or different preparation techniques like a spiral veggie slicer. I like to buy veggies that I’m not very familiar with and try new recipes. We sometimes get stuck in a veggie rut, I find adding a new sauce or salad dressing can make my typical salad come alive. I love eating sandwiches made with a hearty bread that is brimming with fresh veggies and maybe a humus to hold it all together.
I make a plan but can’t seem to stick to it, any suggestions?
Making the plan is definitely the first step so don’t be too hard on yourself. Make sure your plan is realistic, you don’t want to over commit here. Planning difficult or time-consuming recipes should probably be avoided unless you really have the time and desire to spend a lot of time cooking. The second step would be to make a list of the ingredients you need to follow your plan. Third, go to the store and buy the items on the list.
Those steps are often the biggest hurdle. Of course you need time to cook, so figure out when you have time to prepare. If that is only on the weekend then cook the bulk of your meals on the weekend. If you have an hour each evening to cook then pick recipes than can be made in under an hour.
Don’t get discouraged. I create Meal Plans almost every week and rarely stick to them completely.
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Do you have Meal Planning questions? Feel free to post your Meal Plan (or a link) in the comments.
Also check out The Cheapest Plant-Based Meal Plan Ever from last year.