I do not like to spend time in the kitchen. Maybe twice a year, inspiration will strike and I’ll actually WANT to go make something, but that is not typically the case.
(Picture credit: Sugar Spun Run.)
I have struggled with my meal planning this last year and I’ve been waaaaaay overspending, so this this year, I am working to overhaul how I approach planning meals.
I came up with this plan that I’m SOOO excited about! The only way I can think to describe it is like a capsule wardrobe, but for food instead–Capsule Meal Planning!
I don’t want to have to think about the food we are going to eat for a really really long time. I just want it to be there in my day planner, and all I have to do is look at it and make it.
I’ve been trying out this method for several weeks now, and am LOVING it. It’s been saving me brain space because I did all of the work in December, saving me time in my kitchen (hallelujah), and has even been saving me money because I’m not needing to go to the store twice a week.
All of our favorite dinner meals are split up seasonally. Each season will have 12-14 main dishes and 12-14 side dishes. And those will go on a rotation for the season.
14 meals lasts us about 4-5 weeks. I am very strict about the motto “cook once, eat twice.” So I usually make 3 meals a week, and one night (usually a church night) is reserved for a quickie...something that I don’t have think about or plan for and always have the ingredients on hand.
Once I figured out the 14 meals, I added them to my calendar, and BOOM...meal planning done for the season.
Just like choosing pieces for a capsule wardrobe (only keep what you love), I overhauled my recipes and am only using our very favorite (and easy) recipes.
Here are the meals we have on our Winter Meal Rotation (linked when available):
Mississippi Pot Roast, Salad and Homemade Bread
Chicken Pot Pie with Almond Flour Crust and Salad (I cheat on this and skip the crust on half of the pan. On the other half I top with unrolled crescent rolls.)
White Chicken Chili, Blue Chips and Salsa
Creamy Parmesan Chicken and Rice and Roasted Zucchini
Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole and Green Beans
Chicken Chowder, Salad and Dinner Rolls
Honey Mustard Chicken, Cauliflower Rice and Salad (I don't have a link for this one, but message me if you'd like me to send you a picture of it.)