Combatting Food Planning Woes

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My name is Kristin and I’m terrible with meal planning.  Let’s just get that out there.

The only time I excel at putting complete, healthy meals on the table is when I have an unexpected burst of productivity or the planning involves two steps, namely take out of freezer and put into oven.  

Perhaps I’m exaggerating, but let’s be honest: if I am, it’s not by much.  Recently I’ve found some things that have helped me curb this meal planning aversion.

Use what comes naturally to your advantage

Since I do so well with the freezer to oven meals I try to take advantage of those unexpected bursts of productivity.  When I do feel up to cooking I make two and freeze one.  Who doesn’t love a free pass the following week?

Keep ideas within easy reach

One of my biggest issues is just running out of ideas.  Recently I sat down and took an evening to go through our “good meals” and write out one recipe per index card with a goal of about 30 cards.  Then any given month I have a pretty descent selection of tested and approved meals to choose from.

Yes, I was struggling by the end so three of my cards say “Brinner, Brinner Option 2, and Brinner Option 3” but who doesn’t love some pancakes in the evening?

Use technology to your advantage

I’m not sure if one can consider a crock pot to fall within the modern day definition of technology, but for this post it’s going to do the trick.

I love my crock pot.  I love that when I can see a busy day coming along I can grab a card with a crock pot recipe on it and have supper cooking before we’ve even eaten lunch. It gives me a boost of energy to survive the rest of the day.

But this is a Tech Talk column and somehow I don’t think the above is quite cutting it.  So with that in mind I’d like to introduce you to my favorite recipe app for when I’m about to lose it and need a meal but also need some fun.

I’ve never used the Allrecipes.com site but I did stumble across their app a while back and I have to say I’m a fan.  It’s free and available for Android and iPhone devices as well as Kindle.

One nice features it the ability to rule out any recipes that will conflict with dietary restrictions.

You can also click the scan button and scan the code for any food item you are hoping to include.

However the main page is by far the most fun.

When you first open the App you are brought to the spinner.  The spinner works just as you’d think allowing you to manually spin the categories and search the recipes that include all of your chosen selections.

Most recipes are highly tested and rated, often times by thousands of users, so you can be assured they are good.

If you don’t want to pick the categories yourself you can select the Spin Categories button and it will randomly select some for you.

Better yet, just shake your phone and watch it work!

There’s just something about shaking my phone that keeps me from getting too zoned out on meal planning.   So get shakin’ and check it out!

From the Tech Talk archives:

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Copyright 2012 Kristin Detloff

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2 Comments

  1. Barb Szyszkiewicz on

    This is a cool app! I like how it can save my favorites or even email the recipes. (This way I can send the good ones to my son in college, who’s cooking his own dinners this year.)

  2. Pingback: Tech Talk Digest for Last Week | CatholicMom.com

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