Meal Plan Monday 1: The Impulse Cook

aloo matar sabzi recipe

Well, I’ve finally given up resisting the meal plan and here we are on week 1 of my meal planning journey. I have a sort of love/hate relationship with meal plans, and to fully understand why, I think you need to hear the back story. Cue the flashback music….Once upon a time, there was a guy and girl that made a few poor decisions back to back. They ended up having to cut their monthly grocery bill by more than half each month in order to keep up with their bills, keep a roof over their heads, and buy shoes for their kids that would not stop growing. So the girl had no choice but to meal plan and scrimp and save on every grocery trip for almost a year. 

In case you didn’t figure it out already, I was the heroine of that little story there. About 5 years ago the Mr and I went through a rough financial patch and I started to meal plan because the grocery budget was so tight there was no other option. So I guess in my mind the idea of meal planning got connected to sacrificing and cutting back. During that very lean year we ate  a lot of rice and beans type of meals and I dreaded grocery shopping or cooking. AZ0_5244

Side note – In my marriage I’ve always been the one who takes care of dinner and I’m okay with that because Mr. T does the dishes, goes to the laundry mat, and is an all-round awesome Dad. {Oh, and he’s not a very good cook}

I guess that’s part of the reason I’ve resisted meal planning so much this year even though my friend Salma keeps encouraging me to start. There are so many reasons I should meal plan, the most obvious of which is my busy schedule. I run a full-time (and then some business), write this blog, and am also working on building the South Asian Bloggers Network. This means long days, evening events, early morning Skype calls, and no mental capacity to decide what’s for dinner at 4:50pm every evening. 

The irony is, the other reason I resist meal planning is because I don’t want to lose spontaneity in the kitchen. I love playing with new ingredients, testing out different spice combinations, and really getting my hands dirty in the kitchen – that’s my stress relief. So what’s the middle ground? How can I keep my “impulse cooking” vibe while working off a meal plan? 

I don’t know the exact solution because, well, it’s just week one of my meal plan project! But I’m committed to try and figure it out, and whatever I learn, I’ll be sure to share. Hey, this post even says repeating the same meals over and over can be inspiring in the kitchen. 

Here’s my Week 1 Meal Plan
I don’t cook from recipes very often, mostly I just work from memory or create as a I go. I have tried to link to some recipes here that I think are similar to what I’m making, but I haven’t tested them!

MONDAY – Lobia Masala with Roti

TUESDAY – Homemade pizza with chicken and alfredo sauce + fresh green veggies

WEDNESDAY – Baked pasta with marinara & cheese + garlic and herb rolls

THURSDAY – Gobi Paranthas + Dahi {plain yoghurt}

FRIDAY – Chicken baked with pesto + egg noodles & cream sauce + roasted parsnips


SUNDAY – Butter Chicken + rice

Do you  meal plan? Have any tips for me? I’d love for you to leave your thoughts in the comments below!



1 Comment

  1. September 13, 2015 / 10:53 pm

    The meal plan looks good! And it’s not written in stone. A meal plan can be changed at anytime, especially if a friend has a craving for a masala dosa 😉

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