Those that know me well, know that I am a planner. I like to make daily and weekly to-do-lists, plan out weekend activities, and fun trips. And when it comes to what I’m eating, I also like to have a plan. Planning out our meals for the week ensures that we eat healthy throughout the week. (I firmly believe that making your own food is the key to eating well.) Plus it saves us money, minimizes trips to the store, and reduces stress. We don’t have to wonder what’s for dinner.
I know that many people struggle with meal planning, so I thought I would share a few meal planning tips. Whether you are a planner or not, I think you will find these useful.
1.) Plan your meals around what’s in season, particularly in your area. Vegetables and fruits that are in season typically cost less and the fresher they are, the better they will taste. We plan our meals around what we receive in our CSA and supplement with other seasonal vegetables and fruits when needed.
2.) Have several go-to recipe sources. Keep a list or a collection of favorite recipes, buy a couple of cookbooks that focus on the type of food you like to eat, and perhaps follow a few food blogs. I frequently make meals (or get inspiration) from my cookbooks, my favorite food bloggers or Pinterest.
3.) Keep your meals simple and your shopping list short. We rarely make meals with a ton of ingredients because we don’t have time to make complex meals and we don’t want to buy a bunch of ingredients that won’t get used. We try to plan meals for the week that use similar ingredients, to avoid waste. Or try to come up with meals that use ingredients we already have on hand.
4.) Do your meal prep on the weekend; this will save you time during the week. We often prep food for our lunches over the weekend. And at this time of year we will often make a large pot of soup that we can eat a few times throughout the week.
5.) Incorporate nights off from cooking into your weekly plan. We almost always go out to eat on Friday nights, because we are tired at the end of the week. And if we know we are going to have a busy day during the week, we will plan on getting takeout or eating leftovers.
Now, add the recipe below to your weekly meal plan. Today’s recipe is a spin on our favorite Indian appetizer – samosa chat. It is a simple and yummy recipe that’s perfect for a weeknight dinner! Enjoy.
- 5-6 small to medium potatoes
- 1 onion
- 1 hot pepper (optional)
- 1 can chickpeas
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp curry powder
- Salt, to taste
- ¾ bunch of cilantro
- ¼ bunch of mint
- 1 small piece of ginger
- 1 jalapeno
- Juice from 1 lemon
- 6 oz. Greek, regular or non-dairy yogurt
- Cut the potatoes into cubes and chop up the onion and hot pepper.
- Toss the potatoes, onion, hot pepper, and chickpeas together in a large baking dish with the olive oil, curry powder, and salt to taste.
- Bake at 450°F for 45 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the green chutney: Put the cilantro, mint, ginger, jalapeno, juice from 1 lemon and a few pinches of salt in food processor and process until smooth. If you need to thin it out, add a little water. Set aside.
- In a small bowl mix together the yogurt with coriander and cardamom. Dust the surface of the yogurt with the spices and then mix.
- To serve, divide the yogurt between two serving bowls, top with the potato chickpea mixture, and then with several dollops of green chutney.