Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Recipe Inspiration!

This image coupled with a recent blog I read about recipe ideas really got me thinking. It's hard enough as it is to get to the grocery store once a week and plan your meals in advance, but I find myself needing to go back again to the store and running out of ideas for good, healthy, and tasty meals by Wednesday. This is especially difficult because I try to eat most, if not all, of my meals at home (you never know if you're getting a stick of butter melted into your pasta to get that "mmmmm" flavor).

Here are some of my tips for getting the most out of your shopping experience:

1. Plan in advance. Seriously, who has the time to cook elaborate meals all the time? Certainly not I! So I try to think of a couple of main dishes to make, and plan for some leftovers for lunch. If there is a recipe I'd like to try, I'll pick those out and add them to my grocery list.

2. Think of your staples. Chicken, beef (cubed or ground) and more recently fish, are proteins I know I will eat during the week. I get a bit of each, and think of meals I'd like to use them for. E.g., Chicken will be grilled or baked (breaded) and used for sandwiches, in salads, or just alone with some other side dish. Fish I'll usually bake and put in a salad.

3. Always keep fresh veggies and fruits in your fridge. Always. And when you see that close to the end of the week you haven't used all of them, get creative and start figuring out ways to incorporate your greens into your dishes. E.g., sometimes when I don't want to cook I'll make udon noodles with an egg and my mixed greens--instant veggie udon!

4. This goes along with point 1. I'll usually make a bigger dish that can be stored so that when I can just microwave it when I'm in a hurry. E.g., Lasagna--there is a way to make it super healthy and it can last you for a couple of meals. It's great if you are cooking for more than one. (I sometimes bake the Boyfriend a pan of Lasagna to prevent him from ordering pizza! Usually lasts him about 2 days.)

5. Lastly, I love food blogs and they'll give you some ideas to plan your week. Here are a couple to get you started.
Food Network's Healthy Eating is always a good one.
My personal favorite (I heart you Est!)Ambitious Deliciousness
Cheap Healthy Good
Healthy Eats
Smitten Kitchen

What are your favorite food tips?

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