The last few years, I’ve been slowly growing a collection of pretty cookbooks. One of my all-time favourite weekend rituals is sitting down with a fresh cup of a coffee, my stack of cookbooks and a notebook. I spend time browsing the pages for meal inspiration for the upcoming week and jotting down any recipes that stand out.
My Approach To Meal Planning
I’ve found that rather than meal planning feeling like a chore, this approach makes it feel like an act of creativity and self-care. Decision fatigue is a real thing and even more so during the busy work days, so the less I have to really think and plan on those days, the better I feel. This approach of carving out time to do this each week also lets me tune into what types of food I’m craving. This is often season and weather dependent. On the weeks that it’s calling for rain, I’ll find myself gravitating more to the soups and baked meals. Whereas, on those hot summer nights, I know I’m going to be in the mood for grilled foods and cold salads. I also always consider what leftover produce and proteins we have and keep an eye out for recipes that include those ingredients.
I aim to jot down the title and page numbers of 5-7 recipes while I’m browsing and then I go back and narrow it down for the week ahead. Usually, I’ll plan 4 or 5 meals for a week. We always have leftovers (which we eat for lunches or other week-night dinners) and oftentimes wind up going out to eat or ordering takeout for one meal. From those 4-5 meals that caught my eye, I’ll craft the grocery list using those recipes and then we do our big grocery shop for the week.
How I Choose Which Meals To Make
As I plan to make the meals each day, I consider three things:
- Which ingredients have the shortest shelf life and typically let that be a loose guide for which meals to make earlier in the week.
- The time we have that night. Some recipes take longer than others and if we have evening plans, I save those for a day with more time.
- The meal I’m in the mood for that day.
The cookbooks you’ll see below are the ones I find myself gravitating to again and again (plus two extras that I’ve had my eye on for a while!). I find that cookbook recipes are quite a bit more refined and perfected than the ones that you find on blogs/Pinterest. I think it’s just because there is more of a process to get them published – from recipe testing, to them being made a number of times by the author and then again by the editorial team. In my experience, they’re often just better. So I know I’m likely to be happier with the meals that I make when I’m following them.
Okay, here’s my roundup of my favourite pretty cookbooks!