I try to make weekly meal plans. I don’t get to this task every week, but when I manage to plan a weeks’ worth of meals, we always save money on gas and food. It means that I don’t use the car to make lots of trips to the supermarket – I tend to shop once or twice for what I need. I make a shopping list based on the weekly menu and stick to it. Occasionally, if there is a sale on something that I use regularly, I’ll buy it.
It also helps me schedule my day more efficiently. For example, if I know we’re having rice for dinner and I’m going to be out of the house right up until dinner, I can set the timer on the rice cooker so that it starts the rice and has it ready by the time I get home.
Another added benefit is that it helps me take a global look at our diet. Are we eating too much soy? Not enough calcium? Vitamin B12? Getting our greens in? Since we’ve been eating more of a vegetarian and somewhat vegan diet, it’s especially important to pay attention to these issues.
The internet is a huge boon for planning our meals. Along with my growing and wonderful library of cookbooks, I also rely on the world wide web to fill in the gaps. I subscribe to quite a number of blogs that constantly inspire me to try new recipes. Tonight we had Braised Chinese Eggplant, a recipe I found online. It was fantastic – I loved it and will definitely add it to our regular rotation. Thank you Bryanna!
Here is my menu for this week:
Braised Chinese Eggplant With Sundried Tomatoes (see picture above)
Jazzed Up Jasmine Rice (so easy in the rice cooker – to the rice and water, I add a garlic clove, a knob of ginger, a stalk of lemongrass, a splash of rice wine vinegar, S&P – I learned this trick from Shauna at Gluten Free Girl’s blog)
Raw Kale Salad with Dried Cranberries & Pine Nuts
Grilled Marinated Tempeh Triangles
Sauteed Brussel Sprouts
Mashed Garlic Potatoes with Gravy
Pesto Pizza on Brown Rice Tortillas with Grilled Zucchini, Eggplant, & Red Onion
Mixed Green Salad with Balsamic Vinagrette
Avocado Salad With Tempeh Bacon
LEFTOVERS (the best!)
What are you planning on eating this week?