Last week, I raved about meal plans. How it makes my life easier, more organised……
So, what does a typical meal plan look like in the J household these days (just prior to Ramadan of course) ?
|Saturday||Dosa + Sambhar||Left-over chicken biriyani||Chappatis + Potato gravy|
|Sunday||Idlis + Chutney||Vegetable sandwich||Pasta with tomato sauce (+chicken/mutton)|
|Monday||French toast + Fruit salad||Leftover pasta||Appam + Potato curry|
|Tuesday||Appam (lace hoppers) + Vegetable Stew||Brown Rice + Thiyal (sort of veggie gravy with roasted coconut/spice mixture) + 1 veggetable side dish||Puttu (steamed rice + coconut funnel cake)+ Thiyal|
|Wednesday||Upma (cooked pre-roasted semolina)||Rice + dal (yellow lentils)+ vegetable side dish||Chappati (flat bread)+ Dal+ Spicy Egg omelette|
|Thursday||Puttu+ Sugar+ Banana||Basmati rice+ Mutton curry||Wheat dosa (sort of pancake) + Mutton curry|
|Friday||Muesli + juice (Mr H)/ Oats in full fat milk (J)||Chicken biriyani||Kanzhi (Rice+ green lentil+coconut porridge)|
- This is just an example. I make this up each week. Chop and change some meals. Add new ones from the “master list” (to save us from diet boredom) and then go grocery hunting for the week.
- Neither Mr H nor I are on any sort of diet. We just eat everything in moderation. We also try and take in a portion or two of fruit everyday. We try!
- We have meat only about twice a week. Same goes with eggs. But these are not strict rules.
- We have kanzhi (porridge) whenever we want to take a break from all the heavy eating (read biriyani).
- Mr H has tea twice or three times a day. I have either tea/coffee/milk – morning and evening. I, on an average glug down about 4 litres (or more) of milk every week!
- We eat out once a week- FRIDAY afternoon. Rarely twice.
- We have a small portion of something naughty (dessert) almost everyday- Ice cream/ chocolates…. Favourite being baked goodies- cupcakes, muffins…..
- The batter for the dosa and appam is prepared at the end of the previous week and ready in the fridge. The vegetables are also washed and chopped/ prepped in advance. Then frozen if they are to be prepared after more than three days. The meat is also washed, portioned and frozen.
- Whenever I make a gravy/ curry, I make enough to last for two meals. Cook. Divide into two batches. Use one. Save one for another meal.
- Mr. H has lunch at home only on Thursdays and Fridays , the remaining days I mostly make do with left overs (too bored to cook anything fancy).
Honestly, for a couple that works and has kids; it can be hard to eat healthy and eat at home. That too Indian food. But some planning can help. Also, shortcuts and compromises are inevitable. I learnt it the hard way. I cannot do everything the way my Mum does, I just don’t have the time. I realise that now. And I’m cool with that.
Eating out is not only expensive, it also adds a lot of “empty calories”. We still eat out. To take a break- mainly from washing the dishes!
Cooking more has also improved and refined my cooking skills. I am now brave enough to try all those fancy/complicated “Thalassery” (part of Kerala) dishes that my Mum and other elder female relatives are famous for. Some are delightfully delicious, but rich. While most others are surprisingly healthy recipes. Either way, I am happy that all those wonderful recipes don’t wither away with the previous generation. My kids and hopefully their kids can now continue to enjoy them!
Do share your food stories/ meal plans/ shortcuts as well…..
Till next time.