For 23 years I have been attempting to get quick, tasty yet nutritionally balanced meals on the table each night. I’ll keep you updated as to when I achieve that goal because I have not reached it yet. However I have a goal and a plan of how to achieve it. Here’s the plan along with my areas of focus:

Nutritional Variety

I could eat grilled chicken and hokkien noodles every night. But I shouldn’t. Of course I have the perfect weekly meal plan and whilst it doesn’t always stay on schedule, just looking at it helps me to look further afield than grilled chicken.

Some people I know like to think of their weekly menu plan in themes, which can also makes for a great learning activity.

  • Monday ~ Mexican night (Chilli Con Carne,bean burritos, tacos)
  • Tuesday ~ Greek night (Greek salad, hummus sandwiches)
  • Wednesday ~ pizza night (homemade and nutritious version)
  • Thursday ~ “burger” night (veggie burgers, salmon burgers, turkey burgers, tuna burgers)
  • Friday ~ Take-away or Kids’ choice
  • Saturday ~ Italian night (lasagna or pasta with kangaroo sauce)
  • Sunday ~ Soup and Salad night

This is a good plan and obviously works well for some…I prefer to focus on protein as my main ingredient and then I cook from that depending upon what I have on hand. As an example:

Susan’s Weekly Ideal Menu Planner

  • Monday :: Chicken
  • Tuesday :: Fish (most likely tuna or salmon mornay)
  • Wednesday :: Pasta or Rice
  • Thursday :: Beef or Kangaroo
  • Friday :: Eggs (omelet or frittata) or Plant Based Meal only
  • Saturday :: Legumes/ Rice/Nuts/Grain (complementary proteins)
  • Sunday :: Kangaroo, Beef, Soup or Lasagne or CatchWhatYaCan (everyone gets their own)

I always cook a little extra so that John can take it for his lunch the following day. When I cook rice, pasta or beans I try to cook a little more so that the remainder can be used for lunches. I have organised my cookbook (printouts placed in plastic sheets in a 4 ring binder) according to the above types: chicken, fish, pasta/rice, beef/roo, eggs, legumes, salads, casseroles, soups, etc.

I’m able to tweak this plan depending upon the needs of the family. Tuesday and Wednesday meals are quick and easy night because we are out, taking boys to cadets and eating at all odd times of the night.

We try to have lots of fresh salad and/or veggies with each meal.

Wow, I sounds organised, don’t I? Believe me, the reality is much different. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Balance

There used to be a day when housewives would cook a meat and three veg dish. I grew up on that. It’s just not the way that my brain thinks although I don’t know why. I like to ensure that we are getting a balance of lean protein, low starch veg, healthy fat and a starchy veggie, in that order.

Seasonal produce

Along with my weekly menu plan I try to buy seasonal. I also try to buy fresh produce at the organic produce shop but it is a few kilometre’s away and I don’t always get there (I have been car-less for several months) so I shop at the local green grocer’s where possible. Buying seasonal is often cheaper and there might be slightly less nasties (pesticides and other gunky sprays) on the produce. Not only that, but I believe God created foods to be grown and harvested in their own season. I’m no nutritionist nor a scientist but I think He might have been on to something with that whole design/creation thing. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Links:

Do you have a weekly menu plan based around nutrition or do you just make it up as you go along? I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas.