Food & Drink 10 Mistakes Everyone Makes When Meal Planning

10:27  17 april  2018
10:27  17 april  2018 Source:   Taste of Home

The One-Pot Meal Lifted By an Unexpected (& Underestimated!) Green

  The One-Pot Meal Lifted By an Unexpected (& Underestimated!) Green In the week following Thanksgiving, when I didn’t much feel like cooking, I asked my blog readers what they cooked, if anything, when they didn’t feel like cooking. Shortly thereafter, I found myself rereading Tamar Adler’s An Everlasting Meal, specifically Chapter 10, “How to Make Peace,” in which lies one reader’s go-to recipe when she's feeling uninspired: lettuce and rice soup. Lettuce and rice soup? Really? The reader who led me to the recipe included in her comment some much-needed encouraging words: “It sounds so plain,” she said, but “the few ingredients together taste really amazing.” See what just a few ingredients can do in this soup. Photo by Alexandra Stafford This, I soon learned, is how you make lettuce and rice soup: Sauté onions in a couple tablespoons of butter, add Arborio rice, parsley, and stock, simmer for 45 minutes, stir in lettuce—yes, chopped Romaine lettuce—serve with a drizzle of olive oil and fresh cracked pepper. Pre-lettuce, the soup is looking pretty fly. Photo by Alexandra Stafford It sounded so lean, too thrifty to be good. But I gave it a go, because one: Tamar Adler; two: If this is what someone cooks when she doesn’t feel like cooking, there has to be something to it. And three: Genius stir-fried lettuce, which opened my eyes to lettuce’s versatility, its ability to be served warm, slicked in sauce. Lettuce deserves a little warmth from time to time.

Home Kitchen Meal Planning 10 Mistakes Everyone Makes When Meal Planning . 1. Thinking there is only one right way to meal plan . Just like people have different methods of cooking in general, there are a lot of ways to plan out meals , too.

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Confession: I always thought meal planning was an easy (maybe even mindless) task that overambitious people did at the start of every week. Two overcooked dinners and one headache later, I quickly learned the hard way just how tough it can actually be. Luckily, I've already made all the rookie mistakes—and figured out how to dodge them—so you don't have to.

1. Thinking there is only one right way to meal plan

Just like people have different methods of cooking in general, there are a lot of ways to plan out meals, too. It's just about finding the system that works best for you.

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Learn more: The Meal Planning Pantry: 10 Essentials to Have in Your Pantry for Better Meal Planning . Not writing down your recipes for the week (even if there are just a couple) or when you plan to make them makes it easy to fall off track.

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2. Not preparing the correct amount of food

A family of six won't need the same amount of food as a household of two. Always be aware of how much a recipe yields, and adjust accordingly so that you don't make too large of a portion—or worse, not enough for everyone.

3. Repeating foods too often

Sure, kids might find a way to complain about anything you make—but if the main issue is that every dinner that week consisted of chicken, they might be onto something. Always incorporate a variety of meats and produce while planning out meals.

4. Exclusively using packaged condiments

It might require a little more effort, but if you've got the time, try and substitute a prepackaged salad dressing or sauce with something homemade instead, especially if you're trying to plan out more health-conscious meals.

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Everyone makes these mistakes when cooking steak. However, since the process works best when you freeze the steak in a specific way, you may still prefer to plan ahead and cook them But if you only have access to a so-so cut, a sneaky rub might make all the difference to your meal .

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5. Setting unrealistic expectations

Keep other important tasks, life events and your overall schedule in mind before sitting down and drafting up that week's meals. If you're extra busy during a certain week, stick to simple, easy recipes you can whip up quickly.

shutterstock_695936155: Meal prep. Stack of home cooked roast chicken dinners in containers ready to be frozen for later use as quick and easy ready meals © Photo: Shutterstock/Linda Bestwick Meal prep. Stack of home cooked roast chicken dinners in containers ready to be frozen for later use as quick and easy ready meals 6. Using too many ingredients

Sometimes, less is more. While you should avoid making identical meals back-to-back, it's smart to stick to a key list of ingredients for each week that's being planned—it'll end up being a lot less work for you, and a lot easier to plan out. Produce like onions, lemons, lettuce and carrots are versatile enough to suit a variety of cuisines, without making your grocery list too cumbersome.

7. Cooking more meals than you can actually store

Chances are, you'll be freezing a lot of the meals you're cooking ahead of time. So if you don't have the freezer space, don't waste the time cooking extra food that can't be stored properly.

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Almost everyone makes mistakes ! Meal planning will not only save you a bunch of headache and frustration, it’s a great way to save money as well. When you meal plan , you know exactly what you’re going to put into your body on any given day.

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8. Choosing multiple, challenging recipes

As a cook, it can be a truly rewarding experience to prepare food outside of your comfort zone. However, to avoid becoming overwhelmed, it's OK to prepare just one new or difficult recipe in a given week (or none at all!).

9. Not giving yourself enough time

If younger children or a demanding work schedule make prepping or cooking multiple meals in one go a total struggle, be sure to set aside a decent chunk of time (after hours, or early in the morning if you need to!) to get the cooking done.

10. Forgetting to keep track of the recipe

Whether you have a Pinterest board specifically dedicated to your weekly meal prep or keep track of it with pen and paper, make it a point to always record the recipes you make so that you can easily access them again in the future.

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