Meal planning has given me immense freedom, pleasure, and fulfillment in my eating habits. Scheduling my grocery shopping, weekday meals and cooking time has helped me eat balanced meals by including a variety of nutritional foods every day.
I have become health conscious in the last two years because of my body ailments. This has forced me to customize a diet with the help of meal planning. The first and last week of the month I don’t do grocery shopping, instead, I come up with a simple meal plan with the existing pantry. I shop on the 2nd and 4th Monday of every month. It includes vegetables, fruits, meat, dairy, snacks, and staples.
My typical Indian meal plan works around this format with simple changes based on product availability. I eat meat once or twice a month but include eggs regularly. I have shared my default template with you just to make you understand that I follow what I preach. This is a simple meal planning method for beginners looking for ideas to implement in their day to day lifestyle.
I work late at night, so I need an elaborate, nutritious, and filling breakfast. This has made me swap the traditional breakfast and lunch items. You can schedule it as per your liking. I hope this will help in planning meals based on your dietary preferences.
11.30 Breakfast: Rice, Curry and vegetable fry
2.30 Lunch: Bread/ Poha/Oats/Noodles/Pasta/Dosa
3.30 Juice: Lemon/orange/grape
5.00 Snack: Coffee/Biscuit/Nuts/Pudding/Shake
9.00 Dinner: Chapati/curry/salad
11.30 Milk: Turmeric/almond
Produce at Home:
Weekly Meal Plan:
|Wednesday||Lemon Rice, Beans Fry, Chickpeas Curry||Bread Chickpeas Curry||Lemon Mojito||Coffee with Biscuits||Dosa Chutney||Almond Milk and Banana|
|Thursday||Fenugreek leaves Pulao Cucumber Raita||Cauliflower Paratha Pickle||Lassi||Lemon Tea|
|Spaghetti with Garlic bread||Turmeric Milk|
|Friday||Carrot Sambar, Rice, Lady’s finger fry||Puffed rice Upma||Papaya||Tortilla Chips Salsa||Chapati Paneer Curry||Almond Milk Grapes|
|Saturday||Stuffed Brinjal, Rice, Papad||Aloo paratha Curd||Orange||Pani Puri||String Hoppers|
|Sunday||Egg Masala, Rice, Papad||Dosa with Egg Masala||Buttermilk||French Fries||Broken Wheat Upma||Papaya|
|Monday||Cabbage dal, Rice, potato fry||Poha Roasted Foxnuts||Grape||Peas Sundal||VermicelliPulao|
Meal Prep Day (Tuesday- 3 hours)
- Boil potatoes, soaked chickpeas, and peas. Strain, cool, and store in separate glass containers in the fridge.
- Wash, peel and cut carrots, cabbage, radish, brinjal, lady’s finger, cauliflower, and fenugreek leaves. Pat dry and store in separate zip-lock bags in the crisper drawer.
- Make wheat flour dough and store it in an air-tight container on the top shelf of the fridge.
- Boil Eggs and store it without peeling in a container.
- Boil milk with turmeric. Cooldown and store in a glass bottle.
- Fry papad for a week. Cool and store in an air-tight box on the kitchen counter.
- Make onion, tomato, garlic, and tomato masala for the entire week.
- Chop papaya, banana, orange, grapes, and store them in zip-lock bags in the freezer.
Things I do on the Weekdays:
- Cook rice every day.
- Season and fry cut vegetables.
- Use onion tomato masala to make dal, sambar, Stuffed brinjal, chickpeas curry, paneer, egg curry, puffed rice, salsa, and spaghetti.
- Make Aloo and Gobi stuffing. Whip up panipuri water and eat it with store-bought puri.
- Use the dough for parathas and chapati and batter for Dosa.
- Make smoothies or juices with frozen fruits.
- Reheat turmeric milk every night and add brown sugar as needed.
45 mins in the morning: Make breakfast, lunch, and juice. Refrigerate juice for later use.
5 mins in the evening: snacks
10 mins: Dinner and milk. Keep the milk warm in a flask.
What Do I Gain by Meal Planning?
- No chopping vegetables.
- Don’t spend 4-6 hours in the kitchen every day.
- No food wastes.
- Eat balanced meals.
- Spend less by not ordering in the midweek.
This is my traditional Indian meal planning method for a week. I alternate between two meal planning methods. This one includes the method of meal planning with the vegetables, fruits, and groceries I have in my pantry. The other is checking the fruits and vegetables in season and planning my weekly meals around a group of products I purchase for the week. I will post this meal planning method in the upcoming weeks.