One of the remarkable things about my dad is how he invariably asks the question,
“So vat are vee going to eat tomorrow?”
just after having finished supper.
“Huh, what?” unable to sit up straight in my contented stupor, thinking of our fortunate lot, slightly scandalized and stricken with a bad conscience. This banquet before us – potato leek soup and grilled swordfish steak – hasn’t even been digested, and now you want our opinion on what to fill our bellies with tomorrow?!!?
“Vell I need to know vat to cook!” he barks impatiently.
He’s right, as always. Menu planning IS everything and saves time and money, limits food miles, manages stress. It encourages you to eat healthier because let’s face it, unless you’re on a raw diet, eating whole foods often takes a bit more time to prepare.
I thought about this when preparing brown and wild rice tonight. It takes about 30 min. longer to cook than white rice but is substantially healthier. But if you don’t plan it right, dinner could either be delayed, or comprise less healthy (but more expedient) options.
(Thought bubble: gotta get those frozen veggies out from freezer.)
Again, time-management is essential as we try to minimize the use of the microwave. Assuming all the ingredients are at hand, I need to think:
- What needs to be set out tomorrow long before dinner time?
- What will take longer to prepare?
- How many garlic cloves (or bulbs) need to be minced? (Should really be the question #1)
You don’t need to have a full week’s menu laid out, but it sure helps to lower stress and eat healthier by spending a few minutes to think about the Whats, Hows and Whens of tomorrow’s dinner as you shut down the kitchen for the night.