If you love minimalism as much as I do, you will appreciate anything that saves you time in the long run and gives you more quality time to spend with your family. One of those time-saving things is meal planning! It might take a little bit of your time initially, but once you’re in the rhythm and do it regularly, you will be reaping the rewards of meal planning in no time! Since I’m no expert in vegetarian meal planning, today on the blog, I invited Magda from The Togetherish, to share why and how she plans her weekly meals for her vegetarian family!
Vegetarian Meal Planning
I have been vegetarian for about 10 years now, and my husband is a lifelong vego (he has never eaten a bit of meat) so vegetarianism comes quite naturally to us these days. It is well and truly our norm. I tend to meal plan as a way to keep on budget and get organised for the week ahead. With two toddlers in the household, things can get pretty chaotic, so I like to keep meal times pretty simple. My general rule of thumb is that it needs to be prepared in 30ish minutes, only have a handful of ingredients and can be prepared one handed with a baby on the hip.
I often get asked by those who are unfamiliar with the vegetarian diet, about where we get our protein and iron. It is not something that I plan consciously but we have never had a problem with deficiency, aside from me in the first few months after giving birth. We tend to eat lots of legumes, beans, nuts and green leafy veggies. We also eat quinoa with dinner as a weekly staple and most days we sneak nuts into our breakfasts and smoothies.
I try to keep meal planning quite simple. We like good quality foods and quick meals to prepare. Usually, I plan out the dinners for the week ahead and then create a loose guide for breakfast and lunch. I look at the week ahead to see what we have on, what time we will be home, and what we should eat. Then, I break things down based on the main ingredient or style of the meal I have in mind, for example: lentils, eggs, soup, mexican, pasta, roast vege, pizzas, etc, and I do my shopping accordingly. I then tend to decide on the actual meal on the day, depending on what I feel like. So if it is an ‘eggs day’, we might have quiche, or egg burgers or omelettes.
Sometimes I find that I have to plan a separate meal for the kids. I only do this if I know we are going to be home late and I will have to rush to get them bathed, fed and into bed. This is often the case on daycare days. Our go-to kids’ dinners are ‘funny faces’, which is just a plate of vegies arranged in a face, or noodles with broccoli. They love both options and they are quick to prepare.
My husband and I both come home from work to eat lunch, so I ensure I make large quantities at dinner time in order to have enough leftovers to cover lunch. The kids are currently enjoying having a snack plate on the go all day, which I like to stock with fruit and vegetables, crackers and baked goods. I try to bake on the weekends if I get the chance so that we have lots of snack options.
Breakfasts seem to consistently be smoothies, weet bix, homemade granola or toast with peanut butter most week days. I like to have granola on hand for either breakfast or a snack, as I find it is a good way to get lots of good nuts and seeds into us all, to make sure everyone gets a good hit of healthy fats and nutrients.I look forward to sharing an example of a weekly meal plan and some recipes soon!
Magda is a