Every Friday afternoon I sit down and plan our meals for the following 7 days. I start our week on a Saturday, purely because, as a general rule, that is the day we go food shopping!
I try and have a balance between wholesome, scratch made meals and meals that don’t take ages to put together. I am trying to make at least one new meal that I’ve never made before per week, maybe from a new cook book or from a blog or website I follow. It is more important to me to do that at the moment as I became vegan this year after 23 years as a vegetarian.
My experience of vegetarianism is that recipes or restaurants rely heavily on dairy and eggs. In the last 6 months of 2015 I cut my dairy and egg intake down massively, initially because of health reasons and wanting to get fitter, lose weight etc…. I didn’t have the self control to eat a small piece of cheese, I’d eat it all! It helps that the Mr doesn’t like cheese (except mozzarella on pizza!) or eggs so we didn’t buy them. I then became more concerned about the dairy and egg industry, which I am not going to discuss here but I urge anyone to google it and arm themselves with the truth about why we have milk and what happens to chicks in the factories etc…
I have been cooking scratch made wholesome vegetarian food for a long time and in general there isn’t much difference with vegan meals I make now. It is really only the replacement of eggs that you have to think about a bit more as a vegan, especially in sweet treats. There are loads of ingenious options though from flax seeds, chia seeds, bananas and aquafaba (liquid from a can of beans such as chickpeas).
Before I plan the meals for the week I look through the cupboards and freezer to check what we have, this can influence the meals I plan. Once the menu is planned I write out a shopping list. I’ve found this really helpful to prevent food waste as we only buy what we need, which also keep saying he cost down. As a gentle rule I try and make extra portions at dinner time to be leftovers the following lunchtime. That way I know we have come thing good eat for lunch as I have been prone to grabbling something quick, which is invariably not very healthy
After being so ill and putting on a lot of weight, I am currently eating to lose weight, in a healthy way. I suppose I am kind of following the slimming world principles of free food (veg, pasta etc…) and being mindful of the other food such as treats, oil etc… I do have treats but 80% of the time I am being very good. It makes my meal plans so much more important as I know exactly what I am cooking each day. I have lost 10lbs in 3 weeks so I am very pleased with that.
This year is all about gaining more fitness, losing weight and building up my muscle and body strength, especially in my back and legs which have suffered when I was unable to walk before my hip replacements. I am actually suffering this week with my back but I know it may be a bit of a long journey but I’ve certainly come a very long way!
Starting next week I am going to write about my actual weekly meal plans showing photos and some recipes but here is a sample of what I have been cooking recently.
Bean Chilli with Polenta, Vegetable Biryani, Vegetable Dhansak, Frying pan Flatbread Pizza, Squash Laksa Bake, Falafel, Almond Rhubarb Cake, Raw Flapjacks, Pea & Mint Soup & Pea, Walnut, Rocket Pesto Pasta: