When I decided to try and sort out my recipe criteria for longer term benefits, I wasn't really sure how I would narrow it down. When I menu plan now, I flip through magazines and my binders of recipes and pick. Or I just “wing” it – I know what I have in the house (usually) and I will very often type random meats and dishes into my favourite search engine to come up with pages and pages of results. And although this has held me in good stead, it is usually done hurriedly and when I'm stressed out 20 minutes before bed on a Sunday night!
As I got started on this article tonight, I went back to the Org Junkie's recipe selection criteria and tried to find something I could adapt and include in mine. Reading hers over, I realized that although there are things that can be adapted, the types of food we cook for our families and ourselves are largely based on us – our culture, our ability, our eating habits, our likes and our dislikes.
Seems obvious, doesn't it?
My husband and I are both descended from Northern European ancestry so we both grew up eating food that has become fairly traditional for a North American diet (meat & potatoes). We've both expanded our tastes – in part because I love cooking and trying new things.
My husband has issue with his cholesterol so we are trying to adapt the way we eat and I've had long issues with my weight and using food for comfort and consolation. These are things we want to get under control and that we do not want to pass on to our son!
I've given it some thought and this is what I've come up with so far that I am going to try and apply to my meal planning:
1. Lower sugar and sodium
2. Primarily scratch ingredients – low processed foods
3. Prep time – weekday meals to be “on the table” in a maximum time of 1.5 hours
4. Ingredients to be seasonal and/or readily available
5. Adds variety
6. Recipes to be flexible and adaptable
I've also thought it would be advantageous for me to apply "themes" to the nights of the week. I'm working on a list of themes - preliminary ideas to start the menu plan with (beef, chicken, crockpot, etc) and then I can refine them down.
This is our week this week (and yes, it's Sunday night, BUT I actually started this menu plan last Monday and have been working on this post all week)!
October 17 to October 23
Monday Soup and Sandwich Crockpot Tomato Soup & Turkey Sandwiches
Tuesday Chicken Honey Dijon Chicken on Egg Noodles
Wednesday Simple Supper (30m or less) Ginger Beef & Mushroom Stirfry
Thursday Hamburger/Ground Beef Applesauce Meatloaf with Oven Roasted Vegetables
Friday Kid's Choice/Boy's Night to Cook! Kraft Dinner & Fish Sticks
Saturday Fun Supper Night Finger Food Picnic
Sunday Traditional Roast beef with vegetables cooked around the roast
Photos courtesy of Blackstone Images
PS The muffins pictured above is an original recipe - I'll post the recipe on Thursday!