How to meal plan

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My mother-in-law was a very good meal planner. For every night of the week, she’d specified a main dish, vegetable and dessert. I always wondered how much time it took her to plan her meals for the week. I have always tried to plan meals, but the hardest part for me is figuring out what to eat. Where do I search for recipes-recipe sites, Pinterest, Twitter, recipe books, Kindle recipe books? Well, if planning meals seems overwhelming, I have some basic steps to help get you started.

• Pick dishes your family enjoys.

I like to ask my husband and daughter what they want to eat and then put a healthy spin on it. My daughter loves mashed potatoes, so I’ve found a mashed cauliflower recipe that we can have regularly that’ll satisfy her mashed potato craving.

• Save recipes on the internet in one place.

I have many places online that I find recipes, Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, email and recipe sites. I love to save the recipes to Pinterest, so then I have one place where they are stored, and that I can find them easily.

• Go meatless once a week.

Once a week, experimentation with a new meatless recipe. Meatless Mondays will save you money and your family might get a new favorite food. Lentils, black beans, chickpeas and brown rice are favorites in my house. Veggie rice is one of my family’s favorites.

• Use recipes that share components.

If you have a recipe that calls for mushrooms, use mushrooms in another recipe, that way half the container of mushrooms won’t be left to wilt in the fridge.

• Consider how much time you have during the week.

In case you have enough time to prep for the week, then any recipe will work. However, if you’re extremely short on time, choose recipes that are simple to make. My family loves hummus wraps. They are healthy, delicious and can be reached in a couple of minutes.