Coming up with ideas for meals everyday can challenge your creativity and lead to lots of trips to the grocery store for ingredients. When planning meals for the week, try to lead with what ingredients you can buy that will work for multiple dishes. For instance, if you buy bell peppers, you can create a variety of meals to utilize the peppers including, fajitas, fresh spaghetti sauce, stuffed peppers, sausage and peppers or serve up a chilled cucumber, tomato and pepper salad.
Here are a few tips to help prepare and plan ahead for meals:
- Check what you have at home. Look in the refrigerator, freezer and pantry. Check expiration dates and toss what is out of date.
- Do some internet searching. What is your favorite vegetable or what’s in season? Research recipes by ingredients and see what appeals to you.
- Make a shopping list. Stay focused to plan for a mix of fresh, frozen and shelf-stable foods. Use the fresh ingredients first.
Whether you try new recipes or stick to familiar foods, planning ahead will avoid the “what’s for dinner dilemma”.