It’s meal planning week here at Purple House Cafe! I’m sharing tips on how to plan your meals in advance to help you eat healthier, avoid pre-packaged processed foods and save money!
Earlier this week I shared with you an example of a weekly meal plan in our household, along with a few handy tips.
I’ve got a few more tips for you as you make the transformation to planning your meals in advance, and I am going to share one of my favourite weeknight recipes for quinoa cakes with poached eggs (see “Monday” above).
So, in my last post I talked about checking out what food you have available to you, cross-referencing the family calendar, and finding new and interesting recipes to try. Let me tell you a little bit more about my meal plan this week.
- Tips #4 & 5: You need to eat breakfast, lunch, and snacks too! and Make whatever you can in advance I usually eat the same thing every morning for breakfast: my ginger raisin muesli with some almond milk and maple syrup. I make this on the weekend, and my recipe usually makes enough to last ten days or so! Same with lunches: I trend towards salad topped with some kind of protein or leftovers from the night before. Throughout the week I might plan to make extra food to ensure I have enough for lunch the next day. I also usually make one homemade snack food per week. It might be whole grain muffins, crackers, powerballs, or some such thing. I also make sure we’ve got lots of fresh veg and hummus, fruit and stuff to make juice and smoothies. All this to say, even though I don’t plan in detail my breakfasts, lunches and snacks, I do make note of some ideas on my meal plan so that I know what to shop for at the grocery store, I know what I need to make in advance, and so I’m not tempted to go buy a nasty old muffin to stave off the hungries at work.
- Tip #6: Be flexible, and incorporate fresh and local! You’ll see that I have “1 veg” or “2 veg” written in a few places on my meal plan. I often leave that flexible depending on what’s fresh at the farmer’s market when we visit on Saturdays. Lately it’s been all about asparagus in our house!
- Tip #7: Shop! Now that you’ve carefully laid out your plan, thinking about what you want to eat for dinner and maybe coming up with some breakfast, lunch and snack ideas, it’s time to shop! Run through everything on your meal plan and write down the ingredients you’ll need that you don’t already have. If you’re trying out some new recipes, check those ingredient lists as well to make sure you’re not missing anything. Head to your local grocery store or farmer’s market and buy only what you need! If you’ve planned well, you shouldn’t need anything that’s not on your list. Don’t be tempted! This will help you save money and prevent food waste.
All right. That’s enough of that! More tips to come on Friday! But for now, let’s make some quinoa cakes with poached eggs!
- 2 cups cooked quinoa, at room temperature
- 2 large eggs
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1/3 cup fresh chives, chopped finely
- 2 large shallots, finely chopped
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped finely
- ½ cup cornmeal or bread crumbs
- Olive oil, for frying
- 6 poached eggs
- Combine all the ingredients (except the olive oil and poached eggs, silly!) in a bowl. Stir together until they form a cohesive mixture.
- Add olive oil to a large frying pan and place over medium-high heat. When the olive oil is hot, form the quinoa into patties and place them in the frying pan. (note: I find sometimes my quinoa doesn't stick together too well, so I just spoon it into the frying pan in lumps. Once the cheese in the frying pan begins to melt, the patties stick together).
- When the patties have browned on one side, flip them and brown on the other side. (note: your eggs can be poaching while all this happens!).
- Serve the quinoa cakes topped with a poached egg. Delish!