The most important part of being able to make our meals at home is a good plan. Each week I take stock of what we have in the pantry and the fridge and plan out our meals for the week. After I have my meal plan, I make my grocery list and usually make a couple things on the weekend that can last us throughout the week. Since I am on maternity leave and always have my son with me when I shop, I can’t always get a lot of groceries at a time. I usually head to the store twice a week and this helps me to buy fresher produce. In the summer when our outdoor markets are selling local produce, I plan around the fruits and vegetables that are in season.
I think it is important that our daily and weekly menus are well balanced. I try to have protein at every meal and make sure we are getting our daily servings of vegetables, fruits and healthy grains. Yogurt, fruit and raw veggies are popular snacks in this house.
Its really hard to cook healthy meals from scratch every day. So when I cook, I try to make bigger batches than what we need so we have leftovers throughout the week, or can freeze for next weekend. Making a big salad or a batch of soup on the weekend that you can eat throughout the week is a great way to make sure you always get your vegetable servings.
This week because we are dealing with cold, damp weather and a couple of cold sniffles, I have two soups planned for the week and made them both over the weekend. Friday night I made one of my very favourites, French Onion Soup from Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Saturday I made a hearty potato chowder. These comforting soups are filling on their own, but make a full meal when paired with a simple salad of mixed greens with balsamic and a Greek yogurt for dessert. Soups made from scratch may take some time to prepare but they keep well in the fridge or freezer and the reheated leftovers are so worth it. If you have the time, doubling soup recipes and storing half in the freezer is always a great idea.
Also on this weeks plan is a sweet potato salad and an orzo salad, both have feta cheese, can be made ahead of time, and are delicious served warm or cold. For breakfast we keep it simple during the week with muffins (I have a stash in my freezer) and made at home instant oatmeal packs. Lunch is almost always leftovers from the night before.
I hope a glimpse at my plan helps to give you ideas on how to make your favourite salads and soups last for meals throughout the week. Bon appétit!