Saturday, 24 March 2012

Meal planning ad nauseum

In an effort to eat local, organic, GAPS, frugally, that it?  think so.  Anyway in an effort to do all that I've started this year to do a quarterly meal plan.  What I do, is plan out a month's worth of recipes, no repeats, for the particular season, using mainly veggies that are in season for that time of year.  I repeat that monthly plan three times, and then make another one for the next season.  This is why I'm temporarily fed up with meal planning.  So I will use this post to remind myself why I do it.

In general:
  • Theoretically, this lets me shop farmers markets and order organic meat in advance so I don't have to forage for it every week.
  • Realistically, it's a guideline, so that when I'm short of ideas I can just sub in a few recipes if I feel like it, grab my standard grocery list for that week and go. 
  • Ensures that you vary your flavors over the course of the month.  It's easy to get into a rut of roasted meat and buttered veggies on GAPS.  This makes sure I'm mixing up the flavours by eating thai, korean, middle eastern etc.  Laced with broth if possible. :)

When you're cooking for one:
  • The usual trade off here would be the convenience of planning ahead versus the battle over foods that family members like or dislike.  I just have to come up with 30 recipes that look good to me.  
  • I only have to come up with 30 recipes.  Lunch is always last night's leftovers. I don't have to plan for four people's lunch bag the next day.
  • A typical package or bunch or unit size for produce is often too much for one person, e.g. bunch of spinach, pack of mushrooms.  If I'm using something like that, I can plan two meals (which is actually four meals) for that week containing that ingredient.
  • It lets me plan to eat according to my menstrual cycle.  I generally eat lightly at some points and more heavily at others.

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