|The beginnings of pumpkin soup|
I love the idea of menu planning a week or more in advance, but just can’t seem to put it into practice. So I focus on the next 24 hours of meals. This gives me a chance to get meat out of the freezer for tomorrow night (or buy some), make sure I have the fruit and vegetables and any extra ingredients I need, and fit in times for food preparation.
More times than I care to count I have arrived at noon with a fridge full of salad vegetables (whole, unwashed and in bags) and a rumbling belly and not wanting to wait the time it takes to wash and chop. If I can get organised enough to tear, soak and spin the lettuce ahead of time that’s a big help, but when I make little containers of salad in my beloved Tupperware or Gladware containers that’s even better.
It is a thing of beauty to open the fridge door and take out your own home-prepared ‘fast food’, tip it into a bowl, adorn with a yummy dressing and enjoy an ‘instant’ lunch. Plus, everything is extra crispy having been washed and then chilled. More so than when you chop and eat straight away.
I have even gone one step further than I used to and added the grated cheese/diced cooked chicken etc. A sprinkle of grated cheese is such a divine treat on my salad. I got the idea from Subway, but my salads are much nicer than theirs and much, much less expensive. The final steps are avocado which can only be done just before, and tomato which is nicer out of the fridge.
I even eat salad in the winter, but I start with a bowl of soup first. I made pumpkin soup this week and it’s so nice to start off with a hot bowl and then move onto a refreshing salad.
Breakfast and dinner are faster to prepare. It doesn’t take much time to chop a bowl of fruit, or prepare the broccoli/carrots/pumpkin/beans that are to go with the main part of our meal.
Thinking 24 hours ahead also allows me to stop at the supermarket when I am out somewhere already, rather than make a special trip which uses petrol and my precious free time.
I feel like I’m really making the most of the money and time that I have available to me when I dream up and prepare my healthy and delicious daily meals in a stress-free way, and that makes me very happy.