« Back To School with the Green Moms Carnival | Main | The Agave Controversy »

September 02, 2010


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Chef Heidi

I loved this post! In answer to your question, I do both - I wing it last-minute (mostly because I'm sick of cooking dinner every night for the family) OR I get excited about a recipe and plan it advance.

J Sweet

I'm the same way with the last minute meal planning. What I usually do is just change the recipe to fit what I have in the house and it usually works out fine. I never make a recipe exactly the way they tell me to.


I could not stop laughing when I read this post! I'm still laughing now. I'm just happy that in the past year, we've actually started cooking at home for dinner about 90% of the time! :) This was all due to the produce bag fundraiser that I started at my kids' school. (yay!) Now that I get this bag every other week, I usually plan around the vegetables, or the recipes that come in the bag! :) I'm usually good for a couple of day so of planning and shopping for supplements. But, like you, I often wing it!!!!!! ha ha ha!!! :D

Also, that you start cooking dinner at 5:30, fab! Can you believe that a good night for us is dinner on the table at 8:30...and yes, I have 3 kids ranging in age from 8 - 14--my poor children! The worst was when my middle one said, "Wow, this is the latest we've eaten--10:00pm!" Yeah--start throwing rocks at me now! Ouch!

So yeah, I plan around the produce bags and those recipes, and plan about 2 dinners at a time to shop for supplements, but I don't start cooking until late! ha ha ha!!! Like J Sweet, I often change recipes to suit what I have in the house and to make vegetarian versions of the recipe.


It sounds like a lot of us wing it - and frankly, that's the way it usually is when you have kids. One of the reasons I want to plan for recipes is because I want to actually ENJOY cooking - instead of it simply being one more chore. Know what I mean? Picking a fun, new recipe every week will be something to look forward to!! And Shannon...glad I was able to provide you with a good laugh!! BTW - I don't always start cooking at 5:30 but that's what I aim for. It's often later...


I do as you do, normally. Try to have a fridge and larder full of good nutritious food. But we end up eating the same old things. But on vacation I decided to do it differently. I took a cookbook, chose the recipes I was going to make, bought those ingredients and not too much else. Result: we ate delicious meals that were new to us, and we didn't end up throwing food away. It took a bit more time but that's because I chose to try complicated recipes because I had time. I can choose easier recipes for when I'm back at work. And regarding meal time? I'm still at work at 5.30 and have a serious commute. 8pm is standard for us - and yes, I would prefer it were earlier.


We have a menu on the Fridge. Everyone in our house has to contribute to the meal planning. Usually we sit, plan it at the end of dinner time. I only have to shop 2 times a week, which really cuts down on waste. Plus, I am a vegetarian and the rest of my Family is not, so it makes it easier for me, to accommodate all of our nutritional needs. Plus, we can always look back on what we've eaten so things don't get too repetitious. I also try to the keep meals simple and quick on the days I am working, and get more adventurous on my days off. :)


Chriss - Your idea to get everyone in the house to contribute to meal planning is a great one! I'll going to try it!


About 7 years ago, I had 3 children under the age of 2 - oldest almost 2yo and twin infants. Dinner was... whatever we got into us around 6pm. I continued this winging it for a while, then noticed that I dreded 4pm when I would have to think about what to cook. I agonized until about 5pm then just grabbed whatever was handy - we had lots of spagetti and raw carrots that year. When the twins turned about 8months I felt I could breathe again and decided to start planning a menu and shopping list each week. For the first few weeks it took a while (I am not a planner by nature), but soon I LOVED it! It didn't take long and saved me SOOO much time at the grocery store and each night before dinner. If I felt like it I would search through my cookbooks or online and find something new - this is also when I started experimenting with my crockpot. My crockpot is now my best friend. Not just beef stew and chili. I also love that I can plan for busy days with a crockpot or easy meal, and cook something more elaborate on other days. I don't waste as much food. I have also recently started experimenting with left overs -making then into some really tasty meals. One of our favorites is homemade pizza. BBQ chicken pizza with left over chicken, greek pizza with feta, veggies, whatever you have left in the frig turns out really well. I still wing it on occassion when I'm sick of cooking, but I find it's not so hard anymore because I have a lot more recipes rolling around in my head to choose from.


You could have written this about me too! Joining a CSA saved our meal routine. Forced to try new veg. but still lacking in the planning dept. I LOVE www.food.com (formerly recipezaar.com) You search by available ingredients and it gives ranked recipes, pictures, and the nutritional breakdown. I filter by ingredient, then picture, then ranking, then quickly scan for family preference and needs (vegetarian, high BP, etc.) There has only been 1 recipe that I did not like and interestingly enough... the kids and DH loved it!). I have tried the crock pot and lists, and still cannot manage to break the last minute planning... I think I need the "heat" to get the meal cooked... and we are always eating at 7:30 too! ;-)


I used to be a lot more spontaneous but now that I have children, I've gone to meal planning and it's saved my sanity. In fact, I'm now helping other families plan their meals too!

Planning our meals helps me ensure that we're getting a balanced diet, getting all the nutrients we need, have leftovers of favorites for lunches, saving on our grocery bill (nothing gets tossed or unused), and avoiding the stress of having to think about what to make. My kids also like knowing what's coming later in the week.

It's made a huge difference in our life, but I know it's not for everyone. We do what works, right?

I'm looking forward to seeing the new recipes you try.


I keep a few pantry meals available and stocked at all times... And by that, I mean meals that can be thrown together only with things found in the freezer or pantry. My favorites? Salmon patties and frozen organic veggies (from Costco), curried lentil soup (epicurious.com), pizza casserole (uses leftover veggies and whatever is about to go bad in the fridge)...

But, often, I don't feel like cooking. I am wanting/needing to re-organize my recipes and put them in plastic sleeves in a binder so that I have all of my go to recipes in one spot. Maybe it will help with the brain freeze issue? I also want to start menu planning and trying new recipes more often. This rut of mine is huge!


I vote for meal planning too, even at it's very basic can help with last minute dinner choices... and here is an easy quick recipe perfect for fall- Squash Curry.
Cooked squash- just about any type, puree, add fish sauce and curry base to taste (I always have the ones I like on stock) mix. Serve over rice with spinach on top.

catering Fort Lauderdale

Simply delicious! I can't wait to try this recipe when I have my co-workers at home for dinner. This is easy to follow and the ingredients can be found in the grocery so I will not have a hard time purchasing them. Simple yet very inviting! Contrary to what others say, enjoying a hearty meal does not necessarily have to be costly.


Im a professional chef with 6 year old twins, and I do the exact same thing...so bored of churning out my standards, I too, am on mission to cook more creatively at home by means of menu planning. I can walk into a fridge at work and plan a million dishes, but the kid/time factor generally kills whatever creative surge I might have had. I found a page on allrecipes.ca (canadian sight) that you can drag recipes into a menu plan and it automatically does your grocery list for you....I never actually follow the recipes but its a great starting point when youre trying to plan a weeks worth of dinners


Hi Shelley - Thanks for the link to the recipe site. I don't usually follow recipes exactly either - but it really helps to get inspiration from other people's ideas! Thanks for stopping by Mindful Momma!

larder cupboard

Nice, Your idea to get everyone in the house to contribute to meal planning is a great one! I'll going to try it!

The comments to this entry are closed.

Grab My Button

Mindful Momma

  • Mindful Momma - Find me on Bloggers.com
  • Google Analytics Alternative
  • BlogWithIntegrity.com
  • Add to Technorati Favorites
  • Parenting Blogs - Blog Top Sites
Related Posts with Thumbnails