Updated: May 9, 2020
One word: themes.
When you've finally decided to get your meals in order and stop wasting groceries (plus your time, money, and sanity!) give yourself a pat on the back. You're now going to have the power to answer the formerly dreaded question, "what's for dinner tonight?"
And you're going to answer it with absolute joy.
Most plant-based meal plans I come across will recommend making a big batch of grains, beans, and roasted veg and creating 'different' meals from that. I suppose adding an asian sauce to that mix will remind you of that cuisine but...
Going that route will probably give you the healthiest food, but in our house, that kind of meal is reserved for lunch bowls. For dinners, we like real meals (for lack of a better description). So, throw that out the window.
The Best Meal Planning Tip
Set a theme for each night of the week.
If that's all you do in your meal planning adventures, you'll save so much time and headspace just from that.
I found this trick online. The writer of the blog post said she sooo wished someone would've told her this years ago because it's the single best tip from her many years of meal planning. I can't find that article to link to, but thank you, writer, for sharing this simple and beautiful best practice!
Creating a cuisine theme per night keeps things as varied as you want them to be, and gives your weekly meal planning a huge head start.
Keep the weekends open for new recipe inspo, going out (ie curbside pickup), and keeping things open and playful.
For us, this is what we've set as our weeknight themes, and it's still going strong years later.
Set yourself up for a successful week by starting with a super simple dinner.
The best Mondays are when the 'cooking' involves boiling noodles or making some fresh rice - easy! And simply reheating a delicious pre-made sauce.
I also love a great one-pot-wonder for Mondays.
My husband Cryder's favorite cuisine is Mexican so I had to add it somewhere in the week. It's also my favorite way to eat beans (a staple for the longest living people on the planet #Centenarians) - with fresh cilantro, spicy salsa, lime, and something crunchy, preferably tortilla chips. 🤤
My favorite thing to eat are noodles. And my favorite thing to cook is pasta. So hump day is reserved for anything Italian-esque.
Cryder and Elle used to hit up our favorite Japanese restaurant every Thursday - just the two of them. Adorable.
So Thursdays are dedicated to all things Asian, including Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine.
Obvi we need the appropriate party food after a busy week. Pizzas, burgers, nacho platters, or any other cuisine that feels celebratory is what fills our Friday nights.
And there you have it!
No need to set impossible standards for yourself. Keep it simple.
More meal planning tips to come. ✌️💓