During the month of July I welcome other bloggers to share their Meal Plans with you. Each Monday in July I plan to share a guest post. Last week we heard from Whitney J. Weiss at Bows, Blue & Boots. I have one spot available if you’d like to be involved! Learn more here.
Today I’d like you to meet Jenn Sebestyen from the blog Veggie Inspired Journey.
The one thing I hear most from busy moms (and sometimes dads too) is how hard it is to come up with meal ideas. Some of you dislike grocery shopping, some of you dislike cooking and some of you just dislike the planning. In my eyes, these are all related. You can enjoy grocery shopping, but if you get all that goodness home and have no plan for it, a lot of it will likely go to waste. Same goes for cooking, if you have no meal plan, cooking can seem like a daunting chore and you are less likely to make it happen. You are not alone! On the rare occasion that I don’t plan our weekly meals, we end up ordering take out a lot more.
I’ve got my meal planning down to a science now and it only takes me a little bit of time. Of course it helps that I have a plethora of Pinterest boards all neatly organized like a gigantic cookbook. Feel free to browse them here. Whether I’m searching for recipes on Pinterest, a cookbook, or just Googling online, I almost always have a plan for what I’m searching for, which makes the task a breeze.
First and foremost, I take a look at our family schedule for the week. My hubby’s job often has him working late hours. He doesn’t really care for beans, so if I know he’s not going to be around, I will plan a meal based on beans for that night. If we have an evening of swim lessons or baseball practice, I will go for something quick and easy or a crockpot meal. This is how my list might look like after this step:
Mon: hubby gone – beans
Tues: swim lessons – crockpot
Thur: baseball practice – quick
After I’ve got the idea of what our week will look like, I fill it in trying to do a different cuisine type each night so we don’t end up eating pasta three days in a row. I usually plan a pasta night, Mexican night, soup/salad night, stir fry night, burger night, casserole night, etc. The list is endless here depending on what your family likes. You could do pizza night, baked potato bar night, make your own taco night, grill night, etc. First, I fill in the nights I already have flagged…in the case above that would be Mon, Tues and Thur…and then I fill in the rest with a cuisine I didn’t choose on those days. The final result would look something like this:
Mon: Black Bean Tacos with all the fixin’s (This link is for a black bean salad…I turned it into a taco by placing it in a tortilla…voila! And that’s vegan sour cream, by the way.)
Wed: Kale and Quinoa Minestrone served with a crusty baguette
Thur: Black Bean Pecan Burgers, Salad from our garden, Watermelon
Notice that I used lentils, black beans and quinoa in 2 recipes each. This way I can make a big batch of each of those, store in the fridge and use as needed without having to cook smaller batches all week-long.
I don’t generally plan out each day’s breakfast or lunch. I almost always make more dinner than I know we will eat so we have leftovers to eat for lunch. We have a garden in our backyard, so I rely a lot on fresh lettuces and veggies for salads throughout the week as well. I also might make a big batch of our favorite Banana Ginger Pancakes or a big batch of oatmeal to have all week-long. These are both easy to customize with servings of fruit, nuts, nut butters, etc., each day.
Bio:My name is Jenn. I am a proud wife and mom of 3 beautiful children, a 6 year old son and 2.5 yr old twin daughters. I can read cookbooks like novels. Healthy cooking and eating has become a passion of mine. I believe that how we fuel our bodies plays an enormous part in our health. It is my goal to keep my family as healthy as possible through the food we eat and hopefully inspire others to try some healthy plant-based recipes as well. Read more from Jenn at Veggie Inspired Journey or follow her on Pinterest.