Saturday, July 15, 2017

Meal planning

For a long time, I have been someone who aspired to create a weekly meal plan, but who never did so. It has taken our current circumstances to push me from aspiration to realisation. You see, while I am back at work 4 days per week, Mr Bite is now home with Mini Bite. This takes advantage of the UK system allowing parents to take up to a year of parental leave between them. I was home for 11 months; Mr Bite is taking the last month to soak up time with Mini Bite and to ease the transition for her before she starts nursery in August.

To make life easier for all of us, I have taken to planning Mini Bite's meals and snacks for the week. We try and eat similarly to Mini Bite where possible during the day, so there are run-on plans for us too, and I am planning our evening meals separately.

To anyone else who has contemplated meal planning but not quite managed it - do it! It makes such a difference. Some of it will roll from one week into the next, so it is the first week that requires most thought. I don't plan Thursdays or Saturdays in detail, as Mr Bite has a take-away on Thursday (I make something easy at home as local vegan take away's aren't that inspiring, unless we've been out somewhere in the day where I can pick up a vegan meal). We then have burgers on Saturday.

I don't expect to share our plans every week, but I thought I would give you a peek into a week of menus. It reflects the day-to-day of plant-based eating as well as the more impressive meals and recipes that are more likely to make it online. At present we are relying a little more than usual on processed foods (like veggie sausages), but the plan below is a pretty accurate snapshot of how we regularly eat.

Chickpea flour pancakes with a tomato-bean filling


Our evening meals

Week of 9th July
Sunday
Chickpea flour pancakes with a tomato-bean filling (a bit like this recipe)

Monday
Wraps with Fry's vegan rice protein and chia stir fry strips + salad

Tuesday
Homemade pizza (any variation on our standard base)

Wednesday
Jacket potatoes with beans (me) / fish (Mr Bite) + salad

Thursday
Take-away / easy meal

Friday
Mr Bite's weekly rice casserole

Homemade pizza

Mini Bite's meals and snacks

Sunday
Breakfast - Weetabix + fruit

Morning / lunch - Birthday party

Tea - Roast tofu + vegetables; carrot, banana, peach and yoghurt ice lolly

Monday
Breakfast - Overnight oats + fruit

Snack - Oat cheerios (she likes to snack on them dry)

Lunch - Chickpea flour pancake with a tomato-bean filling (made the night before)

Tea - Toast with half almond butter and half Marmite + corn kernels; nectarine

Tuesday
Breakfast - Weetabix + fruit

Snack - Apple slices

Lunch out (my day off)

Tea - Fry's vegan rice protein and chia stir fry strips + roast vegetables; coconut yoghurt

Wednesday
Breakfast - Overnight oats + fruit

Snack - Carrot cake pikelets + 1/4 apple, sliced

Lunch - Homemade pizza (made the night before) + avocado; mandarin

Tea - Toast with half tahini and half Marmite + corn kernels; coconut yoghurt

Thursday
Breakfast - Weetabix + fruit

Snack - Carrot cake pikelets + 1/4 apple, sliced

Lunch - Baked beans + potato; cherries (cut up)

Tea - Homemade pizza (from Tuesday night) + avocado; carrot, banana, peach and yoghurt ice lolly


Friday
Breakfast - Overnight oats + fruit

Snack - Alphabites cereal

Lunch - Toast with half peanut butter and half Marmite + sweet potato rounds; cherries (cut up)

Tea - Green pea pasta spirals with tomato paste and tahini + corn kernels; coconut yoghurt

Saturday
Breakfast - Weetabix + fruit

Snack - Commercial baby wafer snacks

Lunch - Green pea pasta spirals with beetroot hummus + cherry tomatoes; pear

Tea - Veggie sausage + roast vegetables; coconut yoghurt

An adult-sized mix of veggie sausages + roast vegetables

Are you a meal planner? Any regular meals that you have on high rotation?

7 comments:

  1. Looks like a nice healthy week of meals. I tried meal planning when I started back at work after Sylvia was born and it didn't work for me. I am trying to build up a suite of meals that Sylvia can eat with us - am having more success lately - made the pilaf off your blog last week which went down well - thanks!

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    1. Oh good - that's great to hear!

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  2. I love a bit of meal planning - it's a good way to make sure that you don't waste any food, and equally that you're not buying anything extra you don't need. Looks like a great week of meals.

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    1. Thanks Joey, and yes, the waste aspect is a big benefit too.

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  3. That is a good idea. I only cook once a week, so meal planning is easy.

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    1. Really?! I'm so surprised to her that, given how much baking you get through :-)

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  4. Love your meal plan! Everything looks so good and inspiring! And how cute is Mini Bite's plan? love it.
    I have been trying to meal plan more - it makes life so much easier. I'm a bit hurt right now so I couldn't do much in the kitchen this weekend but as soon as I can, I'll be back at it!

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