Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Meal Planning: February


I have been really terrible at sticking to my meal plans lately. I absolutely love to peruse through my cookbooks and see which recipes I want to cook. I’ll admit, I have an excel sheet with a lot of recipe names and their estimated times and what season the produce/meats are best and other miscellaneous information. I’m a bit of a data collector (you should see my hiking list! It’s at about 1250 hikes!), but for me it’s fun. And by creating a monthly meal plan, I’m less likely to eat out or eat bad food.

Salmon Pasta with Fennel and Kale
 

I like to give myself some wiggle room in my meal plan, so I usually only plan for 4 meals a week. That way I have a couple days for leftovers and a free day where I can make whatever I’m inspired to make, whether it’s from extra ingredients sulking in the fridge or when I spot a really great looking bunch of carrots or potatoes or onions or kale or… Well you get the idea.

Tuna and Chickpea Salad with Cucumbers
 

Most of the time, I pick a single part of my meal, like a side dish or a main dish and then pick simple accompaniments. For example, when I have a salad listed, I usually pair it with something simple like rice and pan seared steak or chicken or fish. Sometimes I don’t even follow a recipe, I just use it as a guideline and add my own interpretation (actually that happens a lot).

Soy Earl Grey Tea Latte with Raincoast Crisps

If I don’t have a meal plan set, then I typically am a bit looser in my definition of what’s good or what is bad.  I tend to eat out more, or just get the Chinese food from the deli at my grocery store. Over the past few months, I’ve really missed cooking, so I really want to try to squeeze it in better.  All of these recipes can be prepared in 30 minutes or less, so I should be able to spend my time more efficiently.

Salmon Rice Bowl with Peas
 
Anyways, here is my meal plan for the month:

Week 1:
Favas with Herbs
Corn Chowder
Saucy Steak (orange marmalade sauce over steak)
Gingered Sticky Rice

Week 2:
Salad Greens with Beets and Goat Cheese
Bistro Beef and Mushrooms
Fennel and Parsley Salad
Gold Squash Soup

Week 3:
Crusty Sourdough Bread with Parsley Pesto
Asian Chicken Wraps
Poached Salmon with Poppy Seed Vinaigrette
Cool Jicama Slaw

Week 4:
Garlic Thyme Chops and Onion
Pork with Cranberries and Port
Rough Cut Breadsticks
Creamy Carrot Soup

Desserts and Breakfasts:
Apple and Vanilla Ice with Grapefruit Segments
Honey Toasted Fruit Granola
Maple Nut Oatmeal
Almond Bread

How do you meal plan? What are you planning on cooking this week?

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