Have you been in a dinner rut recently? Every family has their own menu of quick standbys – spaghetti with canned sauce, scrambled eggs, macaroni and cheese, pizza. You hear about how important it is to eat healthy, but end up watching well intentioned produce wilt in your crisper drawers. To make the most of your mealtimes select your meals in advance and make sure they fit into your schedule.
Let’s face it – making a delicious, home-cooked meal takes time. Some recipes might call for overnight marinating, constant stirring, or other time-intensive tasks that conflict with your busy schedule and can’t be put off until the last minute. So when sitting down to make your meal plan for the week, have your weekly schedule close at hand. Many recipes list the preparation time involved, so you can use these estimates to match preparation times with the downtimes in your schedule.
While you’re making your list of meals, make a grocery list on the side. If you lay out everything you need, you can make a single shopping trip and save on time and fuel. You can also consider how long your ingredients will stay fresh (3-5 days for most vegetables) and plan the meals that use them before the expiration date.
And if you end up with more carrots than you need for your soup, don’t hesitate to whip up a healthy snack. While many recipes are complicated, you can also find several quick, simple, and tasty snack recipes that go beyond opening a box or picking something up at the checkout stand.
We’d love to hear some of your favorite recipes. What’s your favorite standby? Or how about the most daring recipe you’ve tried?