I started writing meal plans when I got my first apartment, but I wasn’t consistent with it and I often chose recipes that took too many steps or had too many exotic ingredients.

When I was first married, meal planning went to the next level because now I was cooking a Thanksgiving style spread every week for Shabbat AND I had to make sure there was a hot meal on the table each night.

Now that I have children, all of the perfectly tweaked, multi-step recipes are useless to me. I need to feed my family, and I need to feed them fast. Meal prep looks very different now. Here are my secrets.

1.     Raid the pantry and freezer – See what you already have. Lentils, some frozen chicken breast or some taco shells can be your inspiration.

2.     Check the fliers if you have time – Choose fruits and veggies that are in season and on sale. This is good for your budget too!

3.     Gather recipes – You don’t need a formal recipe for each night of the week, just if you’re trying something new for the first time and need precise measurements.

4.     Choose one or two nights for leftovers – In our house it’s Thursday (aka “fend for yourself night” because I have to cook for Shabbat that night). Sometimes we also do leftover Sunday if I know that one or two of the dishes are big batches.

5.     Double or triple up! – many recipes can be doubled or tripled and either frozen before cooking or after. Then in the future when you’re strapped for time, you can thaw, heat and eat (more on freezer meals and what works another time). This week it’s Corn Chowder that I cooked a couple weeks ago!

6.     Embrace your slow cooker – It’s the obligatory wedding registry item, and many of my clients tell me that they don’t really use it when I ask “where’s your crock pot” at our first post-partum shift together. You need to put that bad boy to work at least twice a week.

So there you have it. That’s how I meal plan for the week. Follow us on Instagram the rest of the week @njdoulas to see how it all comes together in the kitchen

Today’s post is submitted by the fabulous WBC Doula Tzipi Sutin. Tzipi can be reached at tzipi@wisebirthchoices.com



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