Back in January, I posted about how to make a meal planning board. Since then I’ve been meaning to blog more about how we plan meals in our house and share all the tips and tricks I can. I think meal planning is a must-have skill if you want to incorporate real, nourishing food recipes in your life. That skill however, takes practice and some time to cultivate. Eating well on the fly, with no plan, and no purposefully purchased groceries in your home usually doesn’t end well.
The question I get most often is where I find my recipes. We have a bookshelf FULL of cookbooks. Do I use them? Not really. Only sometimes. There are a few recipes that we go back to in that shelf, but Nic and I have this weird thing about not really ever making the same recipe twice. I get bored. So…for that reason, Pinterest is my main go-to for meal planning. There is always something new and awesome to run into on Pinterest.
Here are six tips on how to use Pinterest for planning your real food meals.
- Pin recipes throughout the week. I spend a few minutes each day scrolling through Pinterest on my phone on my lunch break or just before I hit the hay for the night. This way I slowly collect recipes throughout the week, and have about five recipes in the hopper that I can incorporate into our menu for the following week.
- Carefully read through each recipe before you get pin happy. I’ve learned on Pinterest, that in a non-real food world, it’s easy to accidentally pin a recipe that includes something like boxed yellow cake mix, condensed cream of whatever soup, and food dye galore. No likey. My censoring my pins I prevent my Food & Drink board from being cluttered with recipes that I’ll never go back to and that my body will hate me for.
- Pinning recipes that your friends pinned is great. I find that many of my friends have the same taste in food that I do, although some don’t share the same obsession passion for real food. Be careful what makes it to your boards. That being said, use your real food saviness (I just made that word up) to substitute fake ingredients for wholesome options. Does the recipe call for white sugar? Use honey instead. Are they recommending canned gravy? Use homemade bone broth. Cool Whip or canned whipped cream? Make your own with organic heavy whipping cream. If a recipe looks like bad news at first glance, take another look and see how you can improve upon it.
- Use key word searches to find real food recipes out there in the Pinterest realm. Even typing in the words “real food” into the search bar brings up some great stuff, if you aren’t looking for a specific kind of recipe. Search “real food mac and cheese” and you’ve hit the mother load.
- Read through every recipe to assess how much time it will take to make. For weekday meals, I only save recipes that take 30 minutes or less from start to finish. Consider creating a separate board on Pinterest for quick recipes. This will be your go-to for planning weekly meals. I love spending time in the kitchen, but not on busy weeknights. Long prep recipes are great for the weekend, but seem daunting when you get home from work at 5pm or later and have to make dinner, get kids bathed and in bed, work out, and accomplish the million other things you have going on.
Sometimes I feel like technology can suck up a lot of my time, but certain websites and apps can really be lifesavers in keeping your kitchen running on all cylinders.
Since we are on the topic of meal planning, our friend Emily at Holistic Squid has an amazing offer that I have got to share. For those of you who just cannot get into meal planning, don’t have the time, or don’t like making decisions, Emily’s Real Food for the Busy Home subscription is seriously awesome. This meal planning subscription provides you with the shopping list, menu/quick prep schedule, and recipes to get you through every week. Click here to check it out.
Do you use Pinterest to find real food recipes? If you do, can you share a recent favorite?
This post was shared on Fat Tuesday.
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