Whether you want to save time, money or just organize your life meal prepping can be sometimes the solution to your problems or at least simplify your life. If you’re looking to lose weight, meal planning can also help you maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle. Here are some meal planning ideas to reduce your stress levels in the kitchen:
- Look for meal planning recipes.
Browse health friendly websites that offer recipes that fit your family’s eating style and taste. Take that opportunity to engage other family members into the meal prepping process and meal selection by doing so minimize the conflicts at meal time. We can also obtain meal planning ideas through friends, books and magazines at the local library.
- Prepare one pot meals.
Instead of spending time on cooking several meal components look for a recipe that includes most if not all food groups for example; vegetable, bean and barley soup. Those meals tend to be very feeling and nutritious. Freeze leftovers in small containers.
- Meal planning on a budget can be challenging at times.
Try to stretch your budget by looking at grocery circulars for discounts that include fruits and vegetables in season. Many ingredients can be substituted for more affordable alternatives making the recipe work for a lower cost or better fit your taste. Cilantro can be used in place of parsley or capers instead of olives or artichoke hearts. There is nothing wrong with cooking frozen vegetables that can be cheaper than their fresh counterparts. Vegetables retain most of their nutrients at time of freezing.
- Cook in big batches.
Cook meals that will freeze well and freeze them in individual containers. Pulling a container from the freezer with a home cooked meal and having it on the table within minutes is priceless especially at dinner time. Stews and breads freeze well and provide you with a perfect solution.
- Keep a well-stocked pantry.
A well-stocked pantry can provide you with an answer for a last minute meal combining some pantry items with what you already may have cooked in the fridge. Last night’s quinoa can became the perfect addition to today’s salad. Meal planning recipes can be improved by substituting or adding some of the components for others found in your pantry (tomato sauce, Beans, nuts, seeds, olives, rice, pasta, quinoa etc.)