When meal planning I hear a lot of individuals struggle with variety. Meal planning can be made easy by using one main ingredient to build different meals.
Don’t feel the need to reinvent the wheel each and every night.
Start by looking at what meats or protein sources are on sale. If meat products are too expensive that week, look for meat alternatives such as beans. They are always an inexpensive option. Publix announces their sales every Wednesday for the upcoming week which is why I typically shop on Fridays. This gives me enough time to be informed of sales and develop a meal plan. Last week Publix had pork tenderloin on sale so I will use this for my meal planning example.
I decided to cook my pork in the slow-cooker to free up my time to work on Monday!! Since I cooked the meat that day, I kept my sides easy…. I served with Roasted Rosemary Sweet Potatoes and Collard Greens. (sorry no picture)
I took the leftovers and used inexpensive ingredients to create different meals but minimal cooking.
On the second night I made baked potatoes stuffed with pork tenderloin and side salad made with organic greens I found on sale!!
Since the greens were on sale I decided to use the same ingredients on the third night. Salad greens are easy to grow at home as well so feel free to get in touch with your green thumb!! On the third night I made pork tenderloin salads with homemade croutons!!
To make the most of meal planning just takes a few simple steps:
1.) Don’t try to re-invent the wheel each and every night
2.) Choose one main ingredient and vary it up 1-2 ways
3.) A variety of produce can drastically change your meal presentation
4.) Think of ways to change FLAVOR & TEXTURE (Example: use leftover pork in a stew or soup)
5.) Think of themes for your meals (example: Mexican Night – pork tacos, Sandwich Night- pulled pork sandwiches, Chinese – pork lo mein)
Just remember to have fun!!!! There is no wrong or right way to meal plan, it’s just about being intentional!!!!
Cook smarter not harder!!!