I love cookbooks. Especially since becoming vegetarian a few years ago, since I had to expand my standard repertoire of meals. In fact, my vegetarian journey started with a cookbook (which Naren had bought for me not knowing what it would lead to!)
Sometimes I just like to grab a cookbook from my shelf, sit in a comfy chair, and read recipes, taking note of those that I’d like to try someday. The only downside to this is that most recipes don’t get tried as I forget about them until I happen to pick up that cookbook again! Or I see a recipe I want to try but I don’t have the ingredients for it, so I forget about it.
I’ve heard about meal planning, but I never planned out our meals. I bought things and then used them to make whatever I could. We did fine, but sometimes it’s stressful when I am asked “what’s for dinner tonight?” and I don’t know what’s in the fridge, Svara needs attention, and I don’t have time to look up recipes for sure!
So a few weeks ago I decided to give it a try. I’ve been going through my cookbooks and making weekly meal plans (5 meals a week). I write down the recipe, the page number and book it’s from, and the special ingredients I need t hat I know I’d have to buy. Then before we go grocery shopping for the week I make up the grocery list based on those ingredients.
Surprisingly it has made cooking a lot easier! I know waht I have in the fridge and I know what recipes I can make from them and what book/page to get the recipe. I do the thinking ahead of time so I don’t need to think on a busy afternoon what to make for dinner! We are eating a lot more vegetables this way, which is a good thing! And I’m using more various legumes instead of depending a lot on tofu. Tofu is great, but it’s better to have a more varied diet! Svara has even been trying some new things.
To make this even more exciting for me, I’ve recently expanded my repertoire of cookbooks with these beauties:
Even though I’m vegetarian I only buy vegan cookbooks, as we eat very little dairy (usually only when we eat out) and not many eggs either. Vegan cooking and baking is so much better! I’ve already tried a few great recipes, and can’t wait to try more!