menu planning now that we’re mostly vegetarian

Since I’m home alone on a rainy day luxuriously planning meals and making my grocery list while my husband has the kids at the science museum, I thought I’d follow up my post about our recent diet change with a post about how this has affected our meal planning and eating.

Spoiler alert: it actually hasn’t affected it all that much. You may remember from my “meal planning for the easily bored” post that I rely heavily on hyper-organized Pinterest boards to plan our meals. When we decided to commit to being mostly vegetarian (really, we’re pescatarian), I went through my pinboards and micro-organized them further. Instead of just a pasta board, I now have a vegetarian pasta board, and it’s up top. I did the same with soups and stews, Tex/Mex/Tacos, and veg+grain meals. Now all the boards that are compliant with how we’re eating are right up top and easy to find.

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Today, I checked out what we already have on hand and what’s on sale at our local store and then opened up Pinterest. I picked out one vegetarian pasta, one vegetarian soup, one vegetarian tacos, one veggie+grain, and one seafood recipe. I mostly eat leftovers for lunch, and the kids eat sandwiches/soups/cheese and crackers/fruit, so I really only plan dinner recipes and keep basics on hand for breakfasts and lunches: bread, yogurt, eggs, fruit, cheese, peanut butter, jelly, etc. Planning dinners is really the bulk of my menu-planning.

If you’re curious about what we’re having for dinner this week, here’s what’s on deck:

In other family food news, Jon and I went on a marriage retreat over the weekend, and one thing we discussed was having him cook more. I happily do most of the cooking because, if you haven’t guessed, I love cooking and see it as a creative outlet. He usually takes the kids to the park in the afternoons, so I really enjoy my me-time in the kitchen, listening to podcasts and making good food. However. we’ve realized that our girls may not realize that I cook because I love it, and might get the idea that cooking is a woman’s job. Since he has a flexible schedule that often has him home in the evenings, he could totally cook– I just haven’t offered him the opportunity. We want the girls to see that their dad is also competent in the kitchen, and that it is reasonable for them to expect a partner who shares cooking duties. Since I kind of usurped the kitchen years ago, I will likely at first set him up for success by doing some of the prep work, almost like a Blue Apron sort of thing, but I am going to try to stay out of his hair and let him do his thing.

You can often check out our meals on Instagram, where I often use the hashtag #bigdinnerlittledinner to document what we’re eating. I’ll let you know when a meal was prepared by my better half, too!

#bigdinnerlittledinner

How do you plan your meals? Would it be helpful if I start sharing our weekly meal plans on a regular basis?

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6 thoughts on “menu planning now that we’re mostly vegetarian

  1. Your pictured meals look great. I’m always looking to add to our ‘favourites’. I peruse an old Good Housekeeping vegetarian cookbook for new ideas and also Google recipes using key ingredients I find in the cupboard which has helped me to learn what flavours go together.

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  2. I’m getting so bad at meal planning despite keep trying! The hardest is either finding recipes that use what we have (I hate having to throw stuff out that’s gone bad) or having to go and get a load of extras for specific meals even though we generally have a well stocked ‘pantry’ of basics. I love following your boards particularly since we have similar diet :)

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  3. We have a little pad on our fridge that we use to write out what we’re going to make each week, and while we definitely rely on certain favorites we also try to mix things up when we can to keep it interesting. We’ll both do meal prepping on Sundays, whether it’s making something in our pressure/slow cooker combo or making a salsa or sauce ahead of time, and if that’s not doable often after dinner I’ll try to set up the next night’s meal whenever possible.

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  4. What a wonderful idea to have your girls see their father in the kitchen! My dad didn’t know how to cook and was never ever in the kitchen. Love the fact that you are so health conscious too! It’s a double good whammy for you and your family!

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