In previous posts on Meal Planning I’ve shared my system for making meal planning an easy, weekly ritual that I do without fail.
My system has evolved over the years and I try to keep it adaptable to the changing seasons, my changing schedule, and the changing foods available at the Market.
Overall though I have 5 Goals when it comes to my Weekly Meal Plan:
- It needs to take me 10 minutes or less to throw together
- It needs to include the foods & recipes that I know my family loves
- It needs to include all of my nutritional goals for the week (for example: rainbow of colors every day, rotating proteins throughout the week, a couple nights of plant-based meals, 1-2 fish meals, spices every day, etc)
- It needs to allow for leftovers on my busier days
- And, it needs to have room for me to be flexible when I need to and to try new recipes
A really helpful strategy I use to keep things simple, is a repeatable seasonal menu.
Once you’ve accumulated enough recipes and meal ideas to get you through the month then guess what?? You can repeat that month over the season. Ideally this means you have a month’s worth of meal ideas for Fall, Winter, Spring, & Summer.
Now this doesn’t mean you won’t have some overlap or that your favorite meals won’t make a frequent appearance. As you’re building your repertoire of workable anti-inflammatory meals, start with a month’s worth of meal ideas for the colder months (Fall & Winter) and then another one for the warmer months (Spring & Summer).
In the Northern Hemisphere we’re just now heading into our colder months. So how does this translate to the Seasonal Meal Plan? You’ll see more cooked foods, more soups and stews, more warming spices, and definitely the fruits & veggies that are in season during the Fall and Winter.
To help get you started, I’m sharing my personal Meal Plan for Fall & Winter, along with links to the recipes. This is the exact meal plan I use with my family during the colder months. I might mix it up with veggie sides here and there and add a couple of “open” nights where I can test out a new recipe. But all-in-all, this is the plan I turn to.
- Eggs (scrambled, poached, or over easy) with whole grain toast
- Yogurt with fruit (almond butter, cinnamon, granola)
- Oatmeal (or another whole grain) with fruit, cinnamon, & almond butter
- Sweet Potato Puree with coconut milk, grass-fed butter, & cinnamon
- Banana coins with almond butter & cinnamon
- Smoothie (with warming spices like cinnamon & ginger)
- Coffee Elevated
- One of the Breakfast Ideas
- Egg Sandwich (runny yolk layered on top of whole grain bread with butter, avocado, & spinach) served with a side of mache salad
- Nourish Bowl (with alternating proteins — tuna, salmon, egg, nuts, or leftover protein)
- Gnocchi with pesto & a side salad
- Spaghetti with tomato & meat sauce & a side salad
- Sandwich with soup or raw veggie slices
- Mon: Leftovers (harira – from Sun of week 5)
- Tue: Chicken Potpie and Salad
- Wed: Baked Salmon with rice, sauteed greens, and roasted butternut squash
- Thur: Leftovers (chicken potpie)
- Fri: Sausages with roasted Brussels sprouts, and salad
- Sat: Black Bean Stuffed Sweet Potatoes and Salad
- Sun: Turkey Chili with Cornbread & Salad (or sauteed greens)
- Mon: Leftovers (chili)
- Tue: Quiche and Salad
- Wed: Curried Scallops with rice, sauteed greens, and roasted carrots
- Thur: Leftovers (quiche)
- Fri: Grass-Fed Hamburgers with roasted sweet potato “fries” and sauteed broccoli
- Sat: Moroccan Chickpea & Veggie Soup
- Sun: Roast Chicken with Herb Potatoes and Kale Salad
- Mon: Leftovers (roast chicken)
- Tue: Frittata and Salad
- Wed: Easy Stove Top Fish with rice, sauteed greens, and roasted beets
- Thur: Leftovers (frittata)
- Fri: Chicken Fajitas and Salad
- Sat: Squash Soup (roasted butternut squash & apple or spiced squash)
- Sun: Moroccan Chicken with Golden Cauliflower and sauteed greens
- Mon: Leftovers (moroccan chicken)
- Tue: Vegetable Curry (with or without added chicken) with rice and sauteed greens
- Wed: Steamed Mussels over noodles with salad
- Thur: Leftovers (curry)
- Fri: Turkey or Mushroom Burgers with grilled corn and salad
- Sat: Kitchari with sauteed greens
- Sun: Fesenjan with roasted cauliflower and salad
- Mon: Leftovers (fesenjan)
- Tue: Veggie Lasagna with salad
- Wed: Garlic Shrimp with rice, sauteed greens, and roasted broccoli
- Thur: Leftovers (lasagna)
- Fri: Tacos with all the fixings and salad
- Sat: Fondue or Raclette with salad (since moving to France, this has definitely become a winter-time rotation)
- Sun: Harira with salad or sauteed greens
Now it’s your turn! Give it a go, cut and paste some of my ideas with your favorites, and let me know how it goes.
Before long, you’ll have a workable seasonal meal plan of your own!