Ever get home, look in your fridge and pantry and think… ‘there’s nothing to eat?!?’ This is a common occurrence in households who have given no time to planning meals for the week. Meal Planning might sound time consuming and/or a hassle, but it doesn’t need to be. Let me help you get on top of your week some simple tips!
BREAKFAST - Choose two options and alternate:
If you are not too bright in the morning, keep things simple so you can cruise through your morning without getting frazzled. My hot tip – choose one option that can be prepped ahead of time. CHOICE 1: a breakfast like a bircher muesli, berry and oat smoothie or a chia pudding can be in the fridge ready to go ahead of time. Pack into a transportable container and breakfast can be consumed at work or after morning gym workout. CHOICE 2: a warm breakfast like scrambled eggs with some spinach, mushrooms and tomatoes, or some hot oats can be enjoyed on days when you have a little extra time.
WORK LUNCH – Soup or leftovers:
In the winter months I love trading salad for soup. I recommend doing a soup cook-up and freezing individual portions for lunch at work. I can grab one out of the freezer and dash with little fuss in the morning. I also recommend cooking a double batch of dinner in the evenings to ensure a balanced lunch is on hand for the next day.
DINNERS – Introduce routine and 1 new recipe each week
Think about meals you can cook without too much stress, those auto pilot meals that you can do without following a recipe. These meals should take up the majority of the week. Next, think about choosing one meal each week that is new. If you like it, cook it again the following week and build it into your repertoire. If you are completely clueless in the kitchen, perhaps try a cooking class and get some meals under the belt that can be part of your weekly routine. Here are some ideas:
Lisa’s Top Auto-Pilot Meals
- Stirfry – mix it up each week by swapping the protein and flavours– chicken and cashew, spicy pork and broccoli, beef and chilli, marinated tofu with mixed vege, legumes and mixed greens.
- Basic Curry – perfecting a dahl or curry is a top idea in these winter months. There is nothing more warming and hearty – plus, a curry makes perfect leftovers for lunch!
- Spaghetti bolognaise – mix it up each week by adding in different vegetables, legumes, spices or swapping spaghetti for vegetable noodles!
- Omelette or frittata – an egg based meal is a fast meal and a good way to boost your vege intake. I make a frittata once a week and use up all the vegetables left in the fridge at the end of the week. Frittata is also great cold.
- One Pan Meal – chicken thighs or salmon fillets bake up nicely with a variety of vegetables in around 30-40min. I love chopping and then popping it all in the oven – I can walk away and come back in 30-40min and dinner is ready. Check www.FEEDinc.net for some One Pan recipes.
- Friday Fun Meal – homemade pizzas, burgers and tacos can be very healthy if made by yourself with quality ingredients with a focus on wholegrains and wholefoods. I often place leftover roasted vege on top of my pizzas, giving them a gourmet pizza feel.
- Fish and chips – I am not talking about the deep fried varieties you get from the fish and chip shop. Try cooking a fish fillet in a foil parcel with some soy, lime and chilli, along with some homemade sweet potato chips. Combine with a side of salad and you’ve got a simple, balanced meal.
Don’t forget to try a new recipe each week, but those ideas should get you started on a more organised week. Plan and prep and you will feel like there is ALWAYS something to eat.