Five quick tips for menu planning at home, from the EAT Club menu planning team!
- Plan ahead of time
Plan out a schedule of recipes a week or two in advance. Knowing what the plan is ahead of time prevents decision paralysis when you’re hungry, and makes planning for the grocery store a breeze. To make it even more interesting, rotate the cleaning and cooking responsibilities and make that part of your schedule!
- Pay attention to what stays fresh longer
Pencil in recipes that use veggies, such as leafy greens, mushrooms and tomatoes, earlier in the week. Leave things like potatoes, squash and cabbage to be the star of the show at the end of the week. Don’t forget that keeping your veggies in a ziplock type container helps them keep longer and you can re-use these bags week over week.
- Regularly try new things
You can’t go wrong with an old favorite standby dish, but mixing it up with new recipes can help keep things feeling fresh. Try a new cuisine or a recipe that seems a bit out of your comfort zone! Have a restaurant favorite that you can't have at the moment? Try your best at re-creating it with an 'inspired by' recipe. Set yourself up for success by choosing something within or just outside of your skillset - nothing can dampen excitement faster than not understanding the ingredients or techniques a recipe is calling for!
- Repurpose your leftovers
Leftovers from dinner can make a great easy breakfast the next morning. Dining on spaghetti and meatballs one night? Use your spaghetti sauce and meatballs for a play on eggs in purgatory the next day. Or reheat dinner vegetables with potatoes for a breakfast hash - add a fried egg on top and voila! Don't waste a thing with these helpful tips.
- Use the same ingredient in several dishes
Choose a star vegetable, grain, or protein for the week and use it in multiple meals throughout the week. Making rice? Use it as a base for a veggie bowl, in broth for soup, and when it gets a little crunchy make fried rice!