Since being in our flat cooking is something, I’ve discovered I’m reasonably comfortable with. I will admit on the cooking front I am a novice, previously I’ve lived a rather cushty life living at home with my Nan who can whip up anything from a full English to a lasagne without breaking into a sweat. After an initial cupboard shop of all the necessities such as Nutella and tiger bread OBVSSS I soon discovered the fridge was still bare and dinner was needed.
We’re now over 6 weeks in and I’m confident when I stare at my blank meal planner and I can wiz around our local Lidl's without having a complete meltdown.
I feel like it is necessary to say here as the title suggests Ryan and I cook our own meals, mainly because he is on a strict food plan and I have a love for all the naughty stuff. We find it works for us and we’re still able to eat together in the evenings so it’s no biggie.
One of the biggest helps in knowing what I’m eating, when I’m eating it, and what I’ll need to cook it has been a meal planner. The one I use is from The Anna Edit and it’s been a game changer to planning my weeks and having more structure to my food planning.
I start off by marking out the days which I know I don't need lunch due to a meeting or dinner because the fam is coming over and hallelujah for takeaways!
Next up is to pop down what I fancy, and I have found the best cookbooks and recipes have been those from Joe Wicks. I have all 3 of his books and what makes them so great is the servings are generally for 1 or 2 meaning I’m not dividing up the ingredients for a lasagne that’s meant to serve a family of 6!
Then all that’s left to do is buy the ingredients. As I jot down my meals, I make a note of the page numbers and book colour (top tip!) and then flick back and make my shopping list which has been getting shorter and shorter as the weeks go on as there are spices and oils which have just become cupboard staples. If you’re feeling a little bit extra, I also divvy up the shopping list into fruit & veg, meat, tinned bits and fridge stuff… ALLLLLL the technical terms.
I generall plan for Monday - Fridays and leave the weekends to be a bit more free as we’ll eat out, be with family or just hoovering up the leftovers!