Making the decision to start meal planning again was definitely a great idea. I've meal planned in the past and it worked really well but I took a long hiatus. I'm hoping to continue meal planning when my husband returns(he's currently deployed**). It will definitely help our busy schedules be a lot less hectic.
As expected, I spent less time trying to decide what to make and spent less money grocery shopping. Here's how my meal planning routine went:
Dinner Meals for Week 2
Sunday: Beef and Potato Stew
Monday: Pepper Soaked Tilapia and Penne(Recipe is already posted)
Tuesday: Spanish Rice with Salsa Chicken
Wednesday: Whole Roasted Branzino with Healthy Pasta Saute
Thursday: Nihari and Rice
Friday: Pepper Crusted Filet Mignon with Rice and Pepper Medley
Saturday: Butterflied Roasted Lamb with Braised Chard and Onions
The full recipes for these meals will be posted at the end of the week, inshaAllah.
Week 2 Prep
One of the best parts of meal planning is that you're also able to prep ahead of time. I usually do most of my prep work on Sunday after I return from grocery shopping. I like to keep my meats as fresh as possible so all of the meats that I purchased for this week's meals will remain in the fridge. Here's how I prepped for this week's meals.
Sunday: I seasoned and thawed out the meat the night before. Generally, I would've cut up the potatoes and vegetables for the stew the night before as well but I was pretty busy.
Monday: Lightly seasoned tilapia fillets on Sunday
Tuesday: Seasoned chicken
Wednesday: No prep work needed. To save time, you can dice the vegetables needed for the Healthy Pasta Saute.
Thursday: No prep work needed
Friday: I plan on seasoning the Mignon on Thursday and letting it marinate.
Saturday: The best way to prepare lamb is to have it marinate for at least a day so I'll be seasoning and marinating my lamb on Friday morning.
Dinner Meals for Week 3
Sunday: Khoreish Bamyieh with Saudi-style Basmati Rice
Monday: Sauteed Lemon Tilapia with Mushroom Risotto
Tuesday: Mongolian Beef with Lo Mein
Wednesday: Braised Balsamic Chicken with Potatoes and Broccoli
Friday: Cilantro and Lime Chicken with Rice and Tortillas
Saturday: Pan Roasted Blackened Salmon with a Warm Salad
I'll inshaAllah, post an update next week of my prep for Week 3's meals.
**This is why the amount of each ingredient I use is so small. I am only cooking for myself so I generally only make enough for one big serving, sometimes two so I can have it for lunch the next day.
How is meal planning going for you? What do you do as part of your meal planning routine?
This recipe is from the series "Going Hard with Meal Planning". It's a quick and easy dish that can be made under 30 minutes(including pasta cooking time).
*I served this delicious sauce with organic whole wheat spaghetti and added a bit of grated parmesan on top. If you couldn't tell by now from the other recipes, I love my food to be spicy so I add about 2 tablespoons of ground chili pepper and 1 tablespoon or red chili pepper flakes.
This recipe is from the series "Going Hard with Meal Planning". The key to this dish is a great marinade. Anyone who's familiar with skirt steak knows that it takes really well to marinades.
4. Place the ziploc bag in the fridge for 3-5 hours.Once the steak is done marinating, sprinkle some olive oil in your pan or on the grill.
5. Once the oil is fairly hot, place the steak in the pan.
6. Cook the steak for 3 minutes each on both sides for a medium rare steak. For a well done steak, cook it for 5 minutes on each side.
***Serve with Cilantro-Lime Rice and Tortillas.
So this meal planning thing, it's actually going quite well for me. Below is the menu for this week. Recipes will be posted throughout the week.
Monday: Soy and Ginger Skirt Steak with Cilantro-Lime Rice and Tortillas
Tuesday: Shrimp in a Lemon Pepper Cream Sauce served with Organic Whole Wheat Spaghetti
Wednesday: Spicy Butter Chicken with Rice(Recipe is already posted)
Thursday: Basil Salmon with Angel Hair Pasta
Friday: ***Chill Day*** Hamburger and Fries
Saturday: Rice and Okra Stew
What do you think of this menu? Would you try any of these dishes?
In the last few months, my schedule has gotten crazy. Juggling married life, work and all of my numerous projects have made meal times for me very far and in-between. Being healthy is very important to me so I decided to start doing something that worked great for me in the past- Meal Planning.
For me, meal planning consists of making a menu(generally Breakfast and Dinner since I usually have leftovers for lunch) for two weeks at a time. With my two week menu in hand, I create a grocery list on and go shopping on Saturday to ensure that I have everything for my meals. On Sundays, I go through the menu for that week(Monday-Sunday) and try to prep as much as possible. I cut up all the necessary veggies and herbs(onions, tomatoes, cilantro, etc) and also season all meats that I’ll be using from Monday-Wednesday(I season Thursday-Sundays meats on Wednesday). These meal planning steps are great for me because:
I know some people don’t like the idea of meal planning because they prefer to cook whatever they’re in the mood for at that moment. Well, you can still do that. There are days where I don’t want to eat what’s on the menu for that day, so what do I do? I just swap that meal for another day’s meal. For instance, let's say it’s Tuesday and I have Chicken Fricassee with Rice on the menu but I really want a juicy Hamburger and fries(which is on the menu(for Thursday) for dinner, all I would do is switch Thursday’s meal for Tuesday’s. There. Completely Satisfied!
So, why am I telling you about my meal planning? Well, because it’s part of “Lifestyles-Halal Recipes”. I will be starting a new series titled “Going Hard With Meal Planning” in which I will post my two week menu and recipes for each meal. I’d love for you to join me by using my menus and recipes and sharing your thoughts/pictures in the comments section.
The first menu will be posted shortly. Pictures and recipes will be added at the end of each week.
What are your thoughts on Meal Planning? Have you done it? If so, what did you like about it? What didn't you like about it?
Asalaam Aleikum! Welcome to the "Lifestyle-Halal Recipes" section where I, Lady_Meansie, will inshaAllah be providing you with halal meal recipes, meal and menu planning ideas and other things pertaining to delicious, homemade, halal food.