Dinnertime used to feel like a burden in our house. Court and I never knew what to cook, and neither of us liked the idea of planning meals ahead of time. Silly, I know, but eventually I took matters into my own hands and began meal planning. I started setting aside half an hour on Sundays to browse through blogs and healthy living websites for ideas. I should’ve started doing this ages ago- making a list of weeknight meal options and doing one shopping trip has made life (and dinner!) so much more enjoyable.
Plus, it’s less less of a financial burden, especially when meals are built around seasonal produce.
This time of year, squash, kale, root vegetables, apples and pears make daily appearances into mine and Courts snacks and meals. I also try to select recipes with ingredients that can be used in multiple meals. We’ve cut back drastically on our meat consumption (Court especially, I’ve never been much of a meat eater) and our bank accounts are appreciative. Meat is so expensive! I didn’t realize how much money we were saving until I stopped regularly purchasing it.
A few dinner highlights from the weekend:
I’m especially excited to share a recipe from Monday’s dinner – asian inspired lettuce wraps that definitely hit the spot at the end of a long work day.
Cashew Crunch Lettuce Wraps
1/2 cup cold vermicelli noodles, cooked (left-overs from the previous nights Pho soup)
8 leaves Romaine lettuce (I bought pre-packaged extra crisp Romaine wraps from Superstore)
2 cans of high quality tuna, drained
2 tbsp chopped cashews, set aside
1 carrot, sliced into matchsticks, set aside
2 tbsp green onion, chopped
3 tbsp coconut cream (skimmed off the top of a can of coconut milk)
salt & pepper to taste
dijon mustard, set aside
Mix tuna with coconut cream, green onion, salt & pepper. Spoon rice noodles into lettuce leaves, then add tuna, carrot sticks and sprinkle with cashews. Add a dollop of dijon mustard to each wrap.
Optional: dipping sauce – mix 2 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tbsp ponzu sauce, 2 tsp orange marmalade or juice.
We savoured bowls of Pacific Foods Cashew Ginger Carrot soup on the side – a perfect compliment to the wraps!
Do you plan your meals ahead of time to avoid dinner time ‘stress’? If so, do you have any additional tips to share? Or recipes?