On Monday, I shared my approach to planning meals. The strategy I use allows me to make good use of what I have and minimize trips out for groceries. I maintain a list of what I have on hand and I arrange it by food group so that I can make improvised meals and recipes by pulling from each part of the list. I also create some detail within the lists like separating out fresh vegetables from frozen or canned ones. This allows me to spot which items I should eat first to prevent waste.
Here are some examples of improvised meals I can create from my current list.
- I have spinach, various veggies and canned beans to make chopped salads for lunch.
- I can make a Mediterranean-inspired chicken and rice bowl with grilled chicken, spinach, brown rice and feta cheese.
- I have tuna, celery, onions and whole wheat bread. Sounds like tuna salad to me!
- I have fresh veggies, frozen peas and whole wheat pasta to make a tasty pasta primavera.
My list also helps me think about what recipes I can prepare. I can see that I have all of the ingredients for Scrambled Egg Muffins. I like having these in my refrigerator right now so I can have a healthy breakfast instead of just snacking through the morning. I also have everything for Quick Pad Thai. This tasty meal comes together quickly and uses mostly staple ingredients. Cook Quick Pad Thai along with me!