You ask, I’ll answer – easy menu planning

Nta asks…

I would love to menu plan but haven’t had much success with my current method.

Can you suggest a structure that’s easy so that I can maintain it long term?


Self-portrait while on holiday in Ballito

I believe in very loose menu planning.

What that means is that I plan to have meals for about 5 days but I move the days around as things take my fancy or according to the weather.

I do aim to cook 1 – 2 new recipes (from my Pinterest boards) every month but for the most part, my family has about 15 – 20 meals we all LOVE and we rotate these every month or so.

I might have these 5 meals planned:

  • M – chicken stir fry
  • T – pasta bolognaise
  • W – tuna rice bake
  • T – sausage and tomato casserole
  • F – lentil and vegetable soup with garlic rolls

If Tuesday is particularly cold, I may do the soup then instead of on Friday.  If I’ve had to work late on Monday, instead of all the chopping that stir-frying involves, I may do the pasta instead.

The point is to have the freedom within a bit of structure.

This might or might not work for you.

I also like the following idea in theory. I say in theory because I get bored with food very quickly so I need lots of flexibility.

However, you could have a system like this where every week you have a dish from a category:

  • M – chicken (plan any of your repertoire of chicken dishes)
  • T – fish
  • W – vegetarian, maybe with kidney beans/ lentils, etc
  • T – pasta
  • F – pizza

Readers, do you have any tips or tricks to help Nta?

Have you made your menu plan for this week yet? It’s not too late!

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