We love meal planning here at Daisies & Pie, it just makes everything so much easier, and when you’re cooking for a busy family, easy is our favourite thing. Here’s our top tips for planning and cooking during autumn.
Food in season tends to be cheaper and there’s lots of it about. I always think mother nature is pretty smart and if in autumn she provides juicy heirloom tomatoes, ruby red peppers, shiny apples, vibrant earthy beets, big beautiful squashes and pumpkins then that is what she thinks our bodies need to be eating. So I like to plan dishes that use what’s on offer.
Make something everyone likes
Don’t make mealtimes a battleground, try to plan things everyone likes to eat, even if it means compromising a little and adding a touch of spice or extra flavour to a meal once you’ve dished out the kids portions. Cooking this way means less waste and less faff as you’re not having to cook separate meals.
Think of ways to squeeze in extra veggies, serve up dishes a little differently, get the kids trying new flavours. If kids love burgers, then why not try making your own and flavouring them up with added vegetables or spices.
Work to your own schedule
Only you know how busy you are and how much time and effort you want to spend on cooking and planning meals. If you know you’ve got a busy week, plan ahead, try out some slow cooker recipes so dinner is pretty much ready when you get home.
Be kind to yourself
Work out which cooking cheats you need in your life and what makes your life easier. I find cooking for a family much easier if I keep a stock of oven fries, part baked bread and ready rolled pastry sheets. You can grab my Freezer Essentials checklist here.
Know your standby dinner recipes
Even if you plan dinners, sometimes things don’t work out and you run out of time, that’s life. Have a good selection of standby dinners you can serve up for those nights when there’s no time or you just can’t be bothered. Standby dinners can be anything from beans on toast to pasta pesto or something from the freezer.
Agree a few meals
Jot down meals you know your family like and work with that as a base for your weekly meal plans. Once you’ve got your key set of meals it’s easy to swap and change them up to make them seasonal.
Love your leftovers
Learn to be thrifty with leftovers. We’ve got a brilliant guide for using up leftovers that shows you everything from how to make leftovers into new meals to using up the bits and bobs leftover in the fridge at the end of the week.
Need a few ideas?
Head on over to our Meal Planning section we’ve got hundreds of weekly meal plans that are sure to give you a few delicious meal ideas.