Plate Planning: Fresh First

This post is technically part III in a series on planning ahead; grocery budgeting and actually having the goods to create homemade meals at least 4-5 nights per week. Part I, Part II.

We’re making moves here! Or, a lot of homemade dinners – however you’d chose to phrase it. For the third week in a row, there was a dinner menu created & our grocery purchases were planned accordingly. Somehow our weekly spending is hovering right around the same number ($75-80, for two people), even though we purchase different things. Success!

I’ll take that as a sign that my mind and grocery-grabbing hands are well-trained, they know exactly what’s needed – nothing more, nothing less.

One skill mastered, one skill in-waiting: I’ve picked out 4-5 recipes to create, and have a few too many fresh ingredients on hand that may not live to have their shining moment. We picked up fresh (and seasoned) Tilapia from Trader Joe’s; we have sweet potatoes & corn tortillas, fresh pizza dough & fresh produce (of course).

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There may be one too many items on that list with a short lifespan: pizza dough, avocado, tomatoes, spinach, kale & corn tortillas (yes, they do mold after about a week…we may or may not have found that out recently).

This week’s lesson: Fresh first. I’m learning to plan the menu and look at what the items on the ingredient list will need some extra TLC to make it to their big day. The pizza dough was first-up, as I’ve learned from previous experience not to let it sit in the fridge for days on end…you will have one large, tough ball of dough.

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Next up, we have Tilapia with a side of steamed Kale and quinoa. I’m weary of what kind of havoc the freezer will wreak on those fragile filets, and I’d rather not learn another lesson.

Later in the week will be the menu items that can wait a bit longer – black bean & sweet potato tacos (a la Inspired RD), a pumpkin experiment and the much-anticipated Spaghetti Squash “pasta” dish!

We’ve been ready for spaghetti squash; I am beyond excited to string out those “noodles”!

So now I know – pick out the meals/recipes, grab the ingredients and think about what needs to go first! No food wasted, no taste compromised & no tough pizza crusts (oh, the tragedy!). We’re one step closer to perfecting this plate-planning thing!


What’s your strategy for plate-planning, and/or meal “order”?
Tips welcome, as clearly these skills could use some honing.



Filed under dinners, food, groceries, making plans, Nutrition, what to eat

8 responses to “Plate Planning: Fresh First

  1. I end up going to the grocery store every other day for fresh things, I don’t know if that is a good or a bad thing. I would kill for trader joe’s right now. I like your strategy.

  2. I love spaghetti squash. There’s something very satisfying about scraping it all out and needing nothing more than a little salt for a tasty dish. (I know that’s not the question you asked, but we’re still working on the plate-planning.)

  3. I’m super impressed your planning skills!!! Mine aren’t that good. I’m also perfectly content to eat basically the same thing over and over and over again. So I typically don’t HAVE to plan quite as much 😉

  4. Love this post 🙂 I always change things frequently 🙂 Pick a random veg from the market and make something I have never created before 😀

  5. Pingback: Pumpkin Rosemary & Mushroom Quinoa | Dietitian on the Run

  6. Pingback: Pumpkin Rosemary & Mushroom Quinoa | Dietitian on the Run

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