Meal Planning saves so much time and money in the long run but it does take a little bit of time investment to start. I always encourage people to start by planning a few meals then plan more as you get practice.
You can always use these meal plans to give you some ideas. Make extra and include leftovers as part of your plan.
Let’s talk about breakfast. Take some time to consider how much time you have to prepare breakfast every day. You may want tofu scrambles, pancakes, and fresh muffins but most of us don’t have a lot of time first thing in the morning. Instead create a realistic plan.
- Oatmeal with blueberries
- Toast with SoyNut Butter and fruit
- Overnight Oats
- Smoothie and toast
- Baked Sweet Potato
I make oatmeal quickly in my Instant Pot or in the microwave. Toast and fruit are always quick. Overnight oats don’t take time in the morning but take a little time the night before. We make sweet potatoes in the Instant Pot then reheat them in the mornings.
My best tip is to make a big batch of oatmeal on the weekend then reheat individual portions all week. That allows you to choose different toppings or mix-ins each day.
I’m going to skip lunch for a minute and go to dinner.
I take our weekly schedule into consideration when planning our meals. I usually play about 5 days worth of dinners and reuse leftovers when I don’t want to cook and for lunches.
I like to have a little variety like soups, casseroles, pasta and salads. I also like to mix in some things that are really quick and easy to make.
- Broccoli and Mushroom Stir Fry (quick and easy)
- Crock Pot Mexican Casserole
- Lentil Shepherds Pie
- Breakfast for Dinner — Breakfast Tacos
- Quinoa Lentil Salad
To save even more time spend a couple of hours on one day cooking beans, rice and chopping a variety of veggies. Then each day mix and match foods to create different meals. You can have wraps one day, salads another, burritos, bowls, etc.
I saved lunch for last because I like to use dinner leftover for lunch. The Stir Fry doesn’t reheat well but the rest does!
- Leftover Mexican Casserole
- Potato Soup (Crock Pot)
- Quinoa Lentil Salad (This makes a great lunch, I just keep the greens and raw veggies separate until time to eat)
- Veggie Sandwiches
I don’t assign specific days for each meal but will make the recipes that take longer on days I have more time and reserve the quick and easy meals for my busy days.
Double up your dinner recipes to eat for leftovers but always have a back up plan. If you don’t have a back up you’ll end up grabbing fast food or skipping a meal and over eating later. A great back up plan may be frozen burritos, PB&J or single-serving soups.
Don’t get intimidated by meal planning, take 5 minutes and plan the rest of your meals for today (or tomorrow). That is a great start!
Before you run off to plan your meals for the week take a moment to enter the Plentils Giveaway! It ends on Tuesday!
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