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How To Get Dinner Back on Track

guides meal planning meal prep Jan 12, 2022
bowls of food and ingredients on a table

We're just about two weeks into the new year. Are you back on track with dinner yet? If not, you're going to love this post!


If planning one homemade meal a night that the whole family can eat is on your list of 2022 goals, I can help. Whether you're juggling food allergies, taste preferences or eating styles, I know how frustrating it can be to ride the dinnertime rollercoaster and desperately want a way off. 


It's how Batch Cooking Club and my 5-step signature planning system was born. Ready to get back on track with dinner? Here's how:


Define Your Purpose

Habits and routines can lose their luster after a few weeks (or days!). Stay on track by defining the reason dinner is important to you. For me, it's about spending quality time with my family together at the dinner table. As the only vegan in the house, I don't want this sacred time to be stressful or divisive. I want to eliminate the meal prep challenges so I can bring the joy back to dinner. 


Answer this question: Why does this matter to you and your family? 


Make a Plan

Take the thinking out of cooking by making a plan today to lessen your load for next week. Choose recipes that can be adapted for your whole family no matter everyone's individual needs. Food bars, snack boards and sheet pan meals are just a few of the meal ideas I use to feed my family. When selecting recipes for your meal plan, be thoughtful about the time and energy you have to dinner prep each day so you set yourself up to win.


When making your weekly plan, ask yourself: How do I make this work for my family? 


Purchase What You Need

The best time to make your grocery list is when you're making your meal plan. Survey your fridge, pantry and freezer each week before you outline your menu and ask yourself:


What do I need to have on hand to make my meals this week?


Prep Ahead

Be successful this week for next week by not only planning ahead, but by strategically preparing recipe components that streamline and speed up dinner prep later in the week.


Ask yourself: How can I make my week really easy by strategically prepping? 



The 5 Step Plan 

Take the thinking out of getting dinner on the table so that you can get your love for food back. Download the Batch Cooking Club Weekly Planner and follow these 5 steps to dinner success each week.


1. Plan to eat

Pick dates for your meal planning and prep tasks and put them in your calendar. By prioritizing these tasks and blocking time out for them each week, you'll always stay on track!


2. Sync your schedule

Look at your upcoming week and figure out how much time you have on each day for dinner prep. This step will guide you to select recipes that work for your schedule and energy level.


3. Plug in your recipes

Align the recipes to your actual schedule to make sure you have adequate time each night to remove stress.


4. Pick what you prep

Choose 4-6 things you can prep ahead to save time later during the week. By preparing salad dressings, grains, beans, sauces, soups, etc. this week, you'll have less to do next week when it's time to cook dinner.


5. Organize your recipes

Know what you need to do in what order on your prep day so that you’re always efficient in the kitchen, cutting down your batch cooking time. Prep foods that need to marinate, bake or roast first. While those foods are in the oven, complete any stovetop cooking. While those foods roast and cook, blend and mix sauces and dressings.



Download our free planner to get worksheets and more in depth guidance on how to put the above steps into action. Want even more help to stay on track? Try our weekly membership that takes the thinking out of cooking.




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If you want to stress less and connect more over dinner, it's for you.