This five minute Paleo meal planning hack will make your meal planning, your shopping, even your life SO MUCH EASIER. Big claim, I know, but hear us out…
First an admission. We used to hate meal planning. We were much more a ‘what do you fancy to eat tonight?’ kind of couple. Then the first kid came along and we had to be a bit more organised. But not much. Then we discovered Paleo – and as much as we loved it, we realised we had to change our non-meal planning ways – and fast!
Unfortunately we can’t claim it as our own. I think this meal planning originally came from this (not Paleo – don’t buy it!) book, but we have totally Paleo-ified it. It’s so easy you’ll wonder why you didn’t think of it before…
Basically you theme your week… so pick a meal/theme or ingredient for each day of the week and plan your meals around that. Think Fish on a Friday and you’ve got the idea. The beauty of the idea is you can be as rigid or as flexible as you like. For example you could say Tuesday is always fish tacos. You could be slightly more flexible as just call it taco night or you could be more flexible and have Tuesday as Mexican food night.
This is how our Paleo meal plan looks at the moment…
Sunday: Roast (this can be anything from Jonathan’s famous roast chicken to beef brisket, to lamb – pretty much anything goes. Our only stipulation is there has to be some sort of leftovers (even if it’s just a chicken carcass!) for…
Monday: Leftovers from Sunday (invariably soup, stew, curry or a bubble and squeak type dish with whatever is left from Sunday). In summer this can also be a salad of some sort.
Tuesday: Plant-based Tuesday. The kids love pasta, so we get them a Paleo version (or a pea flour one from the supermarket if we’re stuck) and they have it with roasted veggie sauce or Paleo-ified pesto. We opt for something like a salad. Plant-based for us doesn’t mean it has to be 100% plants. Although it can be. It’s more of a ratio thing – plants are the main bit of the meal. We like this AIP cauliflower cous cous with added nuts/seeds.
Wednesday: Fish. Any kind of fish. So it could be as simple as a roasted salmon tray bake, or as involved as AIP fish tacos or sweet potato and salmon fishcakes. We also love a good fish curry, a quick prawn stir fry, and we’re currently experimenting with a Paleo fish pie recipe – watch this space.
Thursday: Taco Thursday. We’re big fans of Tacos but Taco Tuesday didn’t work for us (swimming lessons til late) so we switched it to Thursday instead. Tacos cover everything – from Taco salad bowls to soft cassava taco wraps and can include everything from AIP crispy fish and guac, to slow-cooked Pork and Pineapple.
Friday: At home ‘take-out’ or as the kids call it “Friday favourites”. This can be anything from home-made Paleo chicken nuggets, Paleo and AIP pizzas, Chicken wings marinated in Jo Romero’s Indian Spice mix from this book (do buy it!), bun-less burgers or a curry.
Saturday – Steak Saturday. This one’s easy, but far from boring. As well as the usual, fillet, Rib eye, we often have skirt, Bavette or minute steak (to make it cheaper), the kids have been known to request gammon steak or pork steak. And we’ve even gone the veggie route and had cauliflower steak.
Benefits of meal planning like this…
It literally takes 5 minutes to theme your week, and you’ll save SO MUCH time each week when it comes to deciding what to have – becasue instead of an infinite number of choices, you have narrowed it down to a few with your theme and/or main ingredient. Game> Changer. Seriously. there are plenty of other benefits too…
Before we did this we’d spend ages asking each other what we fancied to eat this week… (and often argue about it! Go figure)
We’d spend ages looking though cook books or Pinterest but not really come up with any solid plans for hwat to eat
Before we adde fish to our weekly meal plan we were definitely not eating enough of it. Now we eat at at least once a week for dinner (plus quite a few times for lunch too)
It’s easy and quick to change up if you become bored/or with the change of the seasons
The kids love a routine and look forward to their favourite meal night – and so do we!
Do you meal plan? How do you do it? And if you don’t, why don’t you? We’d love to hear your thoughts.