While meal planning can be considered a chore to add to your “to-do list”, this is one chore that should be at the top of that list!
Here are 6 reasons why you should start planning your meals a week in advance and how Thermomix’s Recipe Platform Cookidoo can help you do just that:
1. Improve your nutrition
By planning in advance, you can aim to have nutritionally well-balanced meals throughout the week.
For example, you can make sure each of your dinners have the requisite vegetables, protein, and grains. Planning your meals ultimately allows you to take control of your own personal nutrition needs.
Whether you have to stick to a lower sodium diet or want only to eat whole grains and vegetables, you can plan for it!
Thermomix (TM) tip: Each Thermomix recipe includes Nutritional information per portion to include energy (kj/kcal), protein (g), carbohydrate (g) and fat (g) content.
2. Make healthier choices
If you have to come up with something to eat last minute, you’ll find yourself probably going out for dinner instead. As a result, you are most likely to end up exceeding your daily calorie and sodium intake!
Even just stopping at the supermarket to pick up a last minute dinner may lead to poor choices. When you shop hungry, you are more likely to throw junk food into your cart.
Thermomix (TM) tip: By using Cookidoo’s weekly planning tool, you don’t have to have last minute hunger pangs or supermarket visit. The weekly planner creates a shopping list according to your menu and this can either be emailed for a quick shop around the supermarket, or in my opinion the better way, transcribed to an online supermarket shop for a convenient home delivery.
3. Eat high-quality foods
Homemade meals are almost always more nutrient-dense and filled with less calories, salt, and fat than takeout or quick readymade options at your supermarket.
Choosing your own recipes and ingredients for the week allows you to make important food choices, such as buying local meats or organic produce.
Thermomix (TM) tip: The better the quality of ingredients, the better the quality of your meal. Butchers offer better selection & quality. Buying vegetables from a greengrocers that only sells organic ensures you are buying food that is chemical pesticide-free.
4. Save money
Having a meal plan prevents you from throwing out ingredients you forgot you had in the fridge. You can create meal plans that specifically allow you to use up whatever you have in your cupboards.
You can also start fresh by creating grocery lists based off your meal plans. This way you’ll go to the grocery store with purpose rather than on the whim and you won’t come out with a dozen of random unhealthy food items, most of which you won’t eat.
In addition, your meal plan will save you money by preventing you from ordering costly last minute takeouts.
Thermomix (TM) tip: Menu planning with Cookidoo creates a shopping list which I have already discussed but what I enjoy more is the menu planning to use leftovers from the day before to create a new meal.
• If I have had a chicken or lamb roast for Sunday lunch, I plan to use the ‘waste’ bones to make a bone broth and the next day a soup.
• My husband is a little fussy with leftover meat so I will then plan a pie or a curry to use the leftovers the next day.
• Vegetable peelings are saved in a plastic bag in a freezer and when the bag is full, I combine them to make homemade stock.
• The list can go on.
5. Save time
Your shopping list will prevent you from wandering around the supermarket aimlessly and your meal plans will save you from having to think about what to eat every day.
If you find yourself quite busy during the work week, planning meals that made from start to finish in under 30-minutes is achievable. Taking time out to plan your meals that can help save time.
Take some time out of the weekend ensure you have the right ingredients and plan quick meals for breakfast or take-to-work lunches. Oats and frozen berries with yogurt in mason jars serve as great breakfasts for on-the-go. Prepared quinoa or pasta salads with mixed veggies and beans can serve as a work lunch for multiple days.
Thermomix (TM) tip: With good planning, Thermomix should save you time. For evening meals, I tend to find that 90% of the meals are cooked in under 30 minutes, 15-20 of which I don’t have to be physically in the kitchen. I can use this time to sit down with my kids and do their homework, catch up with some work emails or simply sit down and read a book.
6. Decrease Stress
The daily “what’s for dinner” thought that plague our minds throughout the day is a constant stress to have, but it’s easily prevented by having a plan. You can always reuse meal plans and shopping lists to help cut down on planning and prep time.
Thermomix (TM) tip: The beauty of my Cookidoo menu planner is that I know I have all the ingredients in the house to make any item on my weekly plan, therefore whether I cook or someone else in my household from my husband, nanny or 10-year daughter, everything is in stock and we’re creative enough with variety, seasonal ingredients and nutritionally balanced, that’s its a win, win situation all around.
If you have any questions on meal planning with Thermomix, Cookidoo Recipe Platform or would like to see a Cooking Experience, please contact me:
Ankita Stopa, One Girl and her Thermie
Mobile: 07977 563537