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[dropcap style=”font-size: 60px; color: #9b9b9b;”] H[/dropcap]ave you ever wanted to get more organized with your meal planning? Have you taken the time to sit down, decide what you’re going to eat, then written your detailed list? Then gone shopping with the list and got everything you need?
How did that work out for you?
I’m guessing if you’re anything like most people, you’ve experienced the pitfalls of traditional meal planning…
The time it takes. The frustration when you can’t find everything on your list. The temptation to buy things which aren’t on the list because they look delicious or are on special. Having to eat the meal you ‘planned’ even though you don’t really feel like it. The guilt at throwing away all those veg that are ‘passed it’. The stress of adapting your meal plan to the inevitable changes in your schedule and life.
Let’s face it, the traditional meal planning can be tedious. And pretty ineffective.
What if there was another approach to meal planning?
Here’s the thing… There is!
You just need to learn how to ‘reverse’ the process.
It may sound scary, but it’s a liberating approach to meal planning. That’s also quicker and easier.
Since last year, I’ve been teaching people like you how to ‘reverse’ their meal planning with my 2-Minute Meal Plan System.
When I asked my students if they have achieved the results they were hoping for with this new meal plan system, the overwhelming majority answered ‘Yes!’.
How does the 2-Minute Meal Plan work?
I’m glad you asked. Basically there are 2 main parts…
2 Keys to the 2-Minute Meal Plan System:
1. A simple ‘formula’ to help you figure out how much food to buy.
The formula is quick and easy to work out. If you can count, you’ll be able to do this in your head.
It tells you how many types of protein (or main events) and vegetables to buy. This gives you the freedom to shop for what looks best, rather than having a rigid list.
The formula helps get the quantity right so you don’t end up with more than you need, while allowing as much flexibility as you need. If you’d prefer to have a few specific recipes in mind before you shop, the formula will help with that as well.
2. The collection of ‘template’ recipes.
These help you learn to cook based on the ingredients you have on hand, freeing you from the constraints of traditional recipes.
It includes general templates for how to make different classic dishes. For example a great stir fry, a quick soup or a fragrant curry. Each template comes with suggestions for variations so you’ll be able to adapt them to the ingredients on hand. It’s a way to learn to cook more creatively, while still having a basic recipe to follow.
Ready to reverse YOUR meal planning process?
For more details on how you can reverse your meal planning process go to:
Rice & Greens
This is one of those super comforting dishes. The perfect antidote to a weekend of over-indulging.
I also love it because it uses items you could have stocked in your pantry so it’s a great ‘last minute’ or change of plans meal.
If you can get spinach frozen into little ‘bricks’ rather than one big block, it’s much better because it defrosts much more quickly. If you’re stuck with a big frozen chunk of spinach, it may need a little spin in the microwave to speed up the defrosting process.
Enough for 2
2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
1 can coconut milk (400mL / 1.5 cups)
1 packet frozen spinach (250g /9oz), defrosted
1 packet par-cooked brown rice (250g /9oz)
1. Heat a little oil in a medium saucepan. Cook garlic on a medium heat for about 30 seconds or until starting to brown.
2. Add coconut milk, spinach and rice. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 2 minutes or until everything is hot.
3. Taste. Season.
paleo / grain-free – replace the rice with grated raw cauliflower (I use the food processor for ease). Simmer until cauliflower is tender and the liquid has reduced.
no coconut milk? – replace with almond or soy milk – they’ll be a little more watery so be prepared to simmer longer to thicken up.
can’t find par-cooked brown rice? – most supermarkets now have ‘pouches’ of cooked rice but feel free to cook your own brown rice, just boil in water until just tender. Drain and use as per the recipe.
rice alternatives – risoni (rice shaped pasta), cooked short pasta, canned beans, canned chickpeas + see below.
lower GI / slow carb – replace rice with cooked lentils, canned chickpeas, cooked split peas or quinoa.
higher protein – add in a drained can of black beans. Or serve with a poached egg on top.
carnivore – stir fry some sliced chicken breast or thigh fillets in the pan before adding the other ingredients and proceeding from step 1.
fresh greens – replace frozen spinach with fresh spinach, baby spinach, sliced kale, cavolo nero, collard greens, chard (silverbeet) or a mixture. Add with the garlic and cook until wilted before adding the other ingredients.
Video version of the recipe
I like making a meal plan, but I also know that I can change everything on a whim. Planned for broccoli soup and don’t feel like it now? No problem, we’ll have white pizza instead! ^^
You have completely changed the way I cook! Thanks so much. I’ve even simplified it further and have a certain day for each type of meat.
333 Days of Handlettering
This recipe looks god after a day (or two) of over indulging. Will have to give it a go. Going to find out more about your meal planning too.
This is my go-to meal when I’ve had a long day and the brain does not want to work. I love that I can adapt it to what I have in the house. I’ve tried it with Kale and it was fantastic. Some days I even sauté some onion and add that as well! :)
Wow! The rice and greens is SO yummy!!!! I made it for the first time last night with the fresh, locally grown, organic collard greens I had in my fridge and it’s GOOD. But I’m looking forward to trying it with frozen spinach. I can only imagine it will be even more comforting without the crunch of fresh greens. Either way, it’s a winner! Thanks so much.
I wanna thank you for sharing this delicious recipe, I’ve been experimenting a little bit with veggies and herbs such as celery, broccoli, dill, thyme, playing a little bit with flavors since I really enjoy cooking, I’m vegetarian so I hope you keep sharing more of these delicious recipes to include them in my diet :)