Recipe for Menu Planning
No matter how busy you are, you’ve got to eat!
I use the resources in my eBook “Simply Dinner: the Game Plan” to organize my recipes and plan meals. Check out Simply Dinner: the Game Plan! It has a blank recipe card template with four 3×5 cards on one page. Not to mention enough recipes designed for a low-carbohydrate diet for a month of menus. No fancy ingredients here, and please note they are not vegetarian.
Before I created this, I used a Google Doc template to keep my recipes on my computer and smartphone. To find it, go to templates at Google Docs, search “recipes” and choose the template by Mikelle Auman Williams. This template has tabs along the bottom for different categories of recipes. To print them two to a page I needed to insert a row at the bottom of each recipe.
2. Plan meals as part of your weekly planning. I like the Vertex42 Weekly Meal Planner. Consider sales and seasonal foods, nutrition, variety, visual appeal and textures. When there is little time for cooking, use crockpots, freezer meals, and make-ahead mixes. After planning, make a grocery list of items you need to buy. If you have a smart phone, consider these apps: Food Planner, Dinner Spinner from Allrecipes, Fooducate & Sparkpeople.
Plan B: List some of your favorite meal plans on cards. Include a main dish, side dishes, and dessert. Make about 10-15 cards, on the other side list ingredients needed for a shopping list. Mealsmatter.org and Recipenutrition.com are great online resources for recipes and meal planning.
- Pork Chops
- Sour cream scalloped potatoes
- Green Beans
- Apple Crisp
Plan C: Make separate lists of main dishes, side dishes, and desserts, then randomly select an item from each. You could even use a dart-board for this! A healthier version from Eatingwell.com could provide alternatives too.
Plan D: Eat out! Keep a list of favorite restaurants.
UPDATE: I have now created an eBook with recipes designed for a low-carb diet. For a fun & simple system for meal planning, check out Simply Dinner: the Game Plan!
Food Diaries: printable food diaries at Make Healthy Food Choices and Track Diet.
AWESOME: A Month of Menus is a 72 page printable pdf from Kansas State University complete with recipes, shopping lists, measures and substitutions! Everything you need is right there. Still more recipes are at Free Healthy Recipes from the National Heart, Lung & Blood Institute.
This is one of the weekly activities for a Year of Personal Development.