A few weeks back I was asked to give a talk/presentation for my MOPS group about cooking - the best ways to make healthy food, fast, and affordable. I got a lot of good feedback about it, and had a lot of fun preparing it, and so I thought I would share it with you, too!
I am going to break it up into a kind of series, and showcase a different aspect each Thursday. I am going to break it down into "sessions" and give you just a bit of info and a lot of examples each week.
We all know that dinner time is probably one of the most stressful times during our day. Everyone is worn out from the day, everyone is hungry, there are a million things we still need to do before bed. Either two scenarios happen. Either you have no idea what you want for dinner and thus play the "What do you want? I dunno, what do you want?" game - OR you are trying your hardest to make dinner, but it is burning, half your ingredients are missing or have gone bad, one kid is crying, one is screaming, your husband comes home and wants to have some indepth conversation with you and AHHHHHHHH!!!! Yeah, I know, it happens to all of us. So how do you keep this from happening?
The best way to do this is to get some kind of meal rotation going. This is helpful in case you get stuck in a rut, you always have a place to go and look for recipes that you know your family will eat!
- You can make it as simple as writing down each dinner idea (ie, Tacos, Spaghetti, etc) on a 3x5 notecard, put your collection of notecards in a recipe box and then just cycle through them! This is an easy way to keep track of all your families favorites, or add or delete them!
- You can also make 3 ring binders to divide dinner ideas by category. You can even go totally "Type A Personality" gung-ho on it and color code to your heart's content. Whatever you need to do to get you to actually use it!
- Do a search on Pinterest for "Meal Planning" and you will come up with an absolutely ridiculous amount of ideas. Just remember to KEEP IT SIMPLE! The more complicated you make it, the less likely you are to stick with it. (I tried to be snazzy and add a photo link here, but I wasn't quite up to the challenge, so click here to see the cool pinterest board I made for you!)
Need some inspiration for new recipes to refresh your arsenal of "tried and true"?
- Sign up for emails from cooking magazines and websites. Cookinglight.com and myrecipes.com are some of my favorite places to get new recipes from, and you can sign up to have recipes delivered to your inbox every day or every week.
- Also, um, blogs? Haha. Blogs are a great source of inspiration - not only do they try out recipes for you, but you can also find tons of other blogs from the blogs you already follow. Get an RSS reader to keep all of your favorite blogs in one place, or sign up for new posts to be emailed to you!
- Magazines are another great place for inspiration, especially ones geared towards families and moms. Parenting, Parents, Better Homes and Gardens, they all have a recipe section and they have all been tested so you know that will work and are fairly simple to do!
- Get a dry erase board, or a piece of paper or something and write down that on Monday you are eating Sloppy Joes and a salad and on Tuesday you are eating breakfast burritos. Or whatever. You get the idea, just write it down so you don't forget! If you feel like switching things around, that is fine, but at least you have some idea of what you can have for dinner!
Ok, so now that you know what you are going to eat this week, you need to make a grocery list! I usually make this as I figure out what we are going to have each week, and this cuts down on me having to look up the recipe multiple times. Then when it is time to go to the grocery store you know exactly what you need to buy, and you know that you will have everything on hand that you need!
How do you plan your meals for the week?