Meal Planning

January 14, 2010 at 8:25 am 1 comment

Blueberry Masala Muffin (recipe below!)

For the month of January, I thought I would focus on meal-planning.  Last week I talked about the basic guidelines for family meals that our family follows.  This week I will share a few things I have learned about meal planning.  Next week I’ll fill you in on my Martha Stewart experiment!

Meal Planning is helpful if you are a busy parent and are on a budget.  Figuring what you want to eat for the week then putting together a master shopping list was probably a normal practice for our mothers and grandmothers (Home Ec 101 perhaps?).  Today with all of the convenience foods and take-out some people don’t even think about it anymore.  Not to mention that many of us are working outside of the home or are busy driving kids from here to there.   Since I don’t like ‘convenience’ foods – with all of the packaging, processing and preservatives I don’t find these foods particularly ‘convenient’, and since I don’t have a microwave (! gasp!), and since I want my family to eat whole fresh foods, meal planning is my saving grace. *note: i’m definitely not the guru of meal planning, what i share below has worked for us… most of the time ;)*

We use a white board for our meal planning

Writing It Down On Saturday, my husband and I discuss what we want to eat for the week.  We peruse recipes for something new or plan on some family favourites.  I then write down the ingredients we need, after checking my pantry, and create our master shopping list.  We write our meals on the white board because it helps us both know what to cook/prepare each night.

What meal?  What day? When planning the meals we consider who will be home when and if we have any commitments.  Generally Wednesday is Crock Pot night, but if I am going out on Tuesday night, that’s probably a better night for Crock Potting!

New Blog Fave: A Year of Slow Cooking… This mom cooked everyday for a year and shared her recipes.  Check it out!

F.F.S A Fend for Self meal is usually once a week, often on the weekends.  We can always whip something up for our son, but usually there is a night when my husband & I don’t want the same thing, or to even cook, so we fend for ourselves from the leftovers in the fridge & cupboard.

Grocery Listing On the fridge I keep a list of disappearing staples, when I start to run out of pumpkin seeds, I write it down for next time.   This includes toilet paper, flour, anything.  When I put together our Master Shopping List I incorporate the missing staples.  I also determine (from the master list) if there is some fresh food that will need to be picked up mid-week.  I usually put that list on the white board with a magnet so I remember what fresh fruit & veg I need to pick up on Wednesday.

Bulk Baking We all like baked goods, so I like to bake up a double batch of muffins once a week.  I found one dozen just didn’t cut it around our house; if my husband and I each take one muffin to work everyday, that’s 10 right there, and my son LOVES my homemade muffins, so a double batch it is!  I freeze the muffins  and take some out every-other day.  Check out my recipe below for Blueberry Masala Muffins. This is a double batch & bakes one regular sized dozen and a dozen mini-muffins for the little guy.

If you have any tips for meal planning, I would love to hear what they are!  Good luck with the meals this week!

Blueberry Masala Muffins

This recipe is doubled to make a 12 regular sized muffins and 12 mini muffins.  You can easily half the ingredients for a single dozen.  This recipe is good for a child over 1-year who has been exposed to eggs.

  • 1/2 C sunflower oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 C quick cook oats
  • 1 C plain yogurt
  • 1 C milk (cow, almond, rice or soy)
  • 1/3 C brown sugar
  • 3 T honey
  • 1 +1/2 C light spelt flour
  • 1+1/2 C whole spelt flour
  • 2 T baking powder
  • 2 t baking soda
  • 2 t garam masala (for description and/or subsitution go to the ingredients page)
  • 2 t cinnamon
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1+ 1/2 C blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  • Sunflower seeds (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 deg. F.

In a medium sized bowl combine, oil, eggs, quick oats, yogurt, milk, sugar and honey.  Set aside to allow the quick oats to absorb some of the liquid.

In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, garam masala, cinnamon and salt.  Use a whisk to combine well.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until all of hte liquid is absorbed, but do not over mix.  Add the blueberries at the end, to prevent the dough from turning purple.  Scoop into well-oiled muffin sheets.  Sprinkle with sunflower seeds.

Place in oven & bake until muffins are lightly browned and a knife inserted into the centre comes out clean.  Mini-muffins approx. 10 minutes, regular muffins approx. 20 minutes.



Entry filed under: 1 Year, Finger Food, Healthy Sweets & Treats, Herbs & Spices, Meal Planning, Muffins, Uncategorized. Tags: , , , , .

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