It happens to the best of us. Maybe you’ve been successfully meal planning for months, or even years, and suddenly you find yourself mid-week with nothing on the menu. Here are a few strategies I like to employ when I’m feeling unsure about what to whip up [Although I’m not in a meal planning rut I’m in a meal plan sharing rut. There are three months of meal plan images just waiting around to be shared. Meh…]
Get back to your roots. I’m a quarter Lebanese and a 100% Southern so when nothing sounds good I just think back to my mom’s old standbys. Chicken Pot Pie was always a big hit. Or I might try a Middle Eastern dish I’ve never had.
I have a broccoli soup [we top ours with feta and chopped almonds] that’s quick and easy that I throw on the menu when I need to fill a day up. I also like a simple quinoa and roasted veggie dish when I’m not feeling the food love.
Get inspired. Go on Pinterest or do a simple web search. Subscribe to a magazine or flip through one next time you’re checking out. Go to the library and check out a book that visually inspires you [Jerusalem, anyone?]
Get thematic. Tuesday Taco Night. Friday Night Pizza. Roasted Veggie Wednesday. Good Grains, It’s Monday. Sabbath Sunday. You get it.
Get a quick fix. Have something in your freezer that you can throw in a skillet and call it a day. Maybe the reason for your rut is really that you’re burnt out. Give yourself a breather and schedule a week of easy meals. We really like these frozen skillet packs from Aldi, just make your own sauce instead of the one that’s included [try soy sauce, a little sugar, and rice vinegar]. Throw in some brown rice and you’ve got a balanced meal!
Get suggestions. Set your status to ask your friends for their favorite dishes. Email your friend about that one recipe she made for you a long time ago that you remember being really good. Call your mom. Hehe.
I heard about these cauliflower poppers on another blog [though I can’t remember which]. Since we’re dairy free we top the cauliflower with nutritional yeast, chipotle chili powder, salt, and pepper and roast it in a 425F oven for 30 minutes or so until it’s a little crispy. It is divine and there are never leftovers.
Get shopping. Ultimately, for me, the inspiration needs to be forced sometimes. I’d rather meal plan than let a fridge full of groceries go bad. It’s like setting an ultimatum for yourself, but in this case I think it’s okay.