It’s taken 34 years but I’ve finally decided to try planning dinners on a regular basis. I’ve always wandered the grocery store with a list of basics and then I grab whatever looks fresh and inspiring. Later in the week I find myself with 2 red peppers that don’t really go with anything. And this method leads to a lot of unnecessary impulse buying as well as a ridiculous grocery budget. It also hinders my ability to be creative with meals, which sounds counter-intuitive. But once I’m at home and deciding what to make it would help if I had all the ingredients for a recipe. The creativity comes in the planning.
I’ve been using ZipList (thanks to Lisa for the recommendation!), which makes adding recipes to my grocery list a breeze. If you’re not familiar with it, you can see an example of the ZipList recipe plugin on my site (check out the recipe below). You’ll notice above the recipe an option to save as well as print. If you create a ZipList account and save the recipe, you can go back at any time and automatically add the ingredients to your shopping list in the exact quantities you need. It also has a nice meal planning function and phone app. I wish I could convince all of my favorite food blogs to use this plugin! I’m now much more likely to make a recipe if I can save it to ZipList. I’ve recently found myself making quite a few dinners from Cookin’ Canuck, Skinnytaste and Simply Recipes. I highly recommend their recipes!
Do you meal plan? If so, do you find that it saves you money on groceries? Any tips for a beginner? I’m only planning 3 meals a week right now since I cook for two and many recipes make great leftovers. And to be honest, some nights all I want is cereal or a frozen pizza.
And now for the recipe, which was definitely not planned. I had a ton of fresh seeds leftover from a recent pumpkin canning extravaganza. And a ton of nervous energy during the storm. Behold, the final snack of Hurricane Sandy: Sriracha maple pumpkin seeds.
Yields 2 cups
- 2 cups fresh pumpkin seeds
- 2 teaspoons Sriracha
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
- Toss the pumpkin seeds with the Sriracha and maple syrup and then spread evenly on a baking sheet.
- Sprinkle with salt.
- Roast for 20 minutes.