Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Meal Planning Evening

For me this began in January when I was talking to a friend and said, "I want a brainless meal plan." I know there are meal plans that you can buy but I am cheap and find that they don't work with our options here. My friend said, "Why don't you create a meal plan for the month." That was all the challenge that I needed I printed a calendar page and sat down and prepared a menu for a month. I was in love. I loved having a plan. I loved knowing what was scheduled. I loved feeling like I could balance my meals both nutrition and cost.

A few weeks ago my small group was together to fix some meals for one of the new mums. I think we did more coffee drinking and talking than fixing meals. In the conversation meal planning came up and the challenges so I decided to host a meal planning evening.

The theme for this event was quick and easy. Everyone was asked to bring 8 copies of a quick and easy meal. My goal for the evening was every to have a menu for a week.

The question I asked as we began was, "Why do you want to plan meals?" Is it to reduce your stress, reduce your grocery budget, improve nutrition, to easily be able to answer the question, "what is for dinner" or maybe you just came to get out of the house on a Monday evening. Knowing why you want to do something helps.

Then for fun we played match the person to the meal. Everyone wrote the last meal they prepared and we matched the meal to the person. We scored 100% on that.

When I began my monthly meal plan, I made a worksheet of as many meals as I could think about in different categories. So I gave everyone 3 - 4 minutes to do that based on whatever categories they wanted. The winner got 17 meals listed and won a prize from the prize table.

I had printed a collection of free menu planning pages that I had printed off the internet. Everyone picked a page and got to work planning their meals.

Things are better with friends. So people were sharing other meal ideas, asking for a recipe for fish, giving ideas for where to buy things, and just chatting. I think everyone walked away with a menu for a week. We all have some new recipes to try -- Chicken and Tarragon bake, Mum's Secret Chicken curry, Coconut Thai curry, Oven-baked risotto, Japanese Curry and a sausage recipe.

Yes, curry is a favourite dish here.

We also shared our "go to" cookbook. I have a few books to add to my list, Bill's Everyday Asian, Nigella Express. Delia's Complete Cookery was the "go to" book for two people. That is one that I have purchased since moving here and I do use it quite a bit.

I am already beginning to think of my next event.

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  1. This sounds like a fun, and productive evening. I love some of your creative ideas. I may use this as a spring board over here on my side of the pond. ;)

  2. Sounds like fun! Wish I could've joined you!



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