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Topic: Anyone plan their meals?

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Subject: Anyone plan their meals?
Date Posted: 9/13/2007 3:51 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
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I posted on the weight watchers board and got some great responses/ideas. I cook for just myself but have never really planned meals for the week. Since I work shift work and am tired of spending the money for frozen meals and eating out. I've done better at watching the calories with the prepared  meals but I'd like to cook some and stop wasting so much.

believe it or not, I've heard about people planning meals but have never tried it myself! I'm thinking I'll sit down and go through some recipe books/recipes and find stuff that looks do-able/good and try a few meals during the week when Iknow I'll have time..maybe a crockpot recipe for when I'm working night shift so it can cook when I'm home sleeping. And try some new recipes then maybe a soup to use up the leftover stuff...just not sure how to go about planning so the planning  makes sense and saves me some money!

Date Posted: 9/14/2007 2:31 PM ET
Member Since: 3/19/2007
Posts: 8
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Last Edited on: 5/6/12 8:43 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/14/2007 7:52 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
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thanks Melanie! I'm doing weight watchers and trying to eat healthier. I've gotten fairly good at modifyng so if you have some really good winners sure I'd like them and probably a lot of others here too LOL! I went through the 30 min or less thread last night and found several I'd like to try. I work s hift work(12 hours) so I think I might do ok trying for the week with some frozen and canned meals like soup and lean cuisines to fill in in emergencies then try to do like you said..make a vegetarian or pasta one time, chicken a few times, maybe add in fish,a nd beef and the crockpot for when I'm off or on night shift...that way I can try out all these recipes I've been buying/saving/collecting and start finding some keepers in them!

Date Posted: 9/15/2007 12:28 PM ET
Member Since: 7/23/2007
Posts: 267
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I don't plan my meals per week per say.   I usually shop for meat only when it is on sale.  I have a huge freezer, so when chicken leg quarters goes on sale for .39 per pound, I will buy 3 ten pound bags, divide and freeze.  Same with hamburger, or I love the Winn Dixie sales of buy one get one free, that is when I load up on roast, etc.  With a freezer full of meats, it makes it alot easier to decide in the morning, what I am in the "mood" for.  Then thaw and make.  I cook for 6, myself, hubby, and 4 teen age daughters, so the girls always give me their opionions on how to make a dish.  For example, if I take out chicken, they will let me know if they want it baked, fried, mediterannian chicken, chicken alfredo, bbq chicken, chicken and dumplings, chicken soup, or what.  They never get bored with home cooked meals because I have so many ways that i make things. Their only complaint is that they say it is impossible to diet here because everything is so yummy.    However, I need to take off a few pounds, so been thinking of investing in a weight watchers cookbook and trying "new" dinner ideas.   I have found it hard in the past to eat  a lean cuisine dinner, when I have cooked everyone else a beef roast, mashed potatoes, green beans, etc.

My biggest downfall?? I LOVE to bake.  My father owned a bakery for 20 years when I was young, so I am used to fresh baked goods around.  When our Girl Scout troop has a bake sale, I will bake for 4 days 8 hours a day.  Last year, none of the other moms contributed more than a dozen cookies or cupcakes.  Our troop made $580 in 3 hours mainly off my stuff!!  We live in a small town so we always have our bake sale outside  alittle mom and pop grocery store.  People come looking specifically for bars that I make and will pay .75 for a 2" square bar.  And buy not only 1 but 5 or 6.  Which reminds me, does weight watchers have a dessert recipe book? ha ha

Date Posted: 9/15/2007 2:20 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
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yep, they do! just came out with a desserts book..picked it up at the meeting last week! the only problem is the servings are small LOL! basically with weight watchers, if you do the 'flex' plan, you eat lower fat, higher fiber, and smaller portions...so I eat regular food even though I do weight watchers adn I'm losing weight..I have several oftheir cookbooks but often when I attempt a recipe I just skim through and make sure it's not too fattening..last one I tried was in prevention magazine and was pretty good. any particular kind of dessert you want me to search through for? I think their website has free recipes too and the forums if you can access those(Ihav e their etools) and check out the food review forum for recipes.

Date Posted: 9/15/2007 5:34 PM ET
Member Since: 7/23/2007
Posts: 267
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Susanna,

no nothing in partiuclar.  I just made a lemon cake that was to DIE for.  Problem is, it has 8 oz of cream cheese in it, but it is so YUMMY.  But all the desserts I make are very fattening.  (the secret to good baking is to do so with real butter) at least in MOST recipes, and that right there will put some weight on ya.

 

do the weight watcher meals, taste funny or is it just adjusting regular ingrediants in normal cooking that all around are healthier?

Date Posted: 9/15/2007 5:36 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
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nope, don't see real butter in ww recipes LOL! at least not much. but if you eat less of the rich stuff and cut back in other areas it should balance out better overall...my problem is there's no friggin' way I can make anything sweet and have it last..sigh...my dogs help me as much as possible but I don't like giving them chocolate

cute doggy! :-)

Date Posted: 9/16/2007 12:57 PM ET
Member Since: 6/6/2006
Posts: 1,609
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I usually plan 4 old favorites and try a new recipe each week.  If the new recipe is good, it goes in the 'old favorite' category.  I also plan meals according to what's on sale.  Kroger's grocery has their weekly ad online, and I check it every Sunday morning:)

Date Posted: 9/17/2007 8:19 PM ET
Member Since: 7/18/2007
Posts: 381
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I plan meals for the week so the DH and I only have to go shopping once during the weekend, instead of running to the store every night.  We've been doing this for about 5 years now, and it's worked out pretty well and saves a bunch of money.

We do have cookbooks, but the majority of our recipes come from a Cooking Light magazine subscription. They follow the USDA dietary restriction of no more than 30% of a dish's calories being from fat, and they also have a "Supper Tonight" section, which contains recipes for weeknight-friendly 20- to 30-minute meals.  All recipes contain nutritional information so you can plug in the values for the WW "points" formula.

The only problem is that they sometimes "cheat" for the richer dishes (usually desserts, though) and make the portion sizes miniscule to get under the 30% limit.  But we hardly ever get to desserts so that isn't a problem.

The best part is that none of the foods taste low-fat.  We've been cooking out of these magazines for years and have yet to make anything bad.  (Well, okay, we did, but that was because of my calculation error and not their fault!  *laughs*) 

I can send you some sample recipes, if you're interested, Susanna. :)

Date Posted: 9/17/2007 11:24 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
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thanks judy! I have a subscription to that mag but haven't tried any of the recipes yet..what are some of your faves and I can probalby look  them up! I tend to collect recipes more than try them but lately I've been pulling one or two out to try. last week I modified one from a back issue of prevention that was pretty good. I'll likely make it again. I've had a couple that were good but not worth the trouble to make when I can buy the WW frozen ones for whenever I crave that recipe! only one was so bad the doggies wouldn't even touch it ...sigh..and I had high hopes for that dish LOL! my german shepherd is 'famous' for swiping food off the counter..she sniffed at it and backed away..guess she hated the lemon in it.

but it'd be great if you can list some of the winners you've tried! I tend to stay away from the desserts myself and the salmon stuff..I like dishes with protein or the protein and carbs balanced somewhat.

Date Posted: 9/18/2007 3:13 PM ET
Member Since: 7/18/2007
Posts: 381
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Great! If you have the September issue (I think that's the 20th anniversary edition?), the Beef Daube Provençal over egg noodles is divine. We just tried the Lombo di Maiale Coi Porri (Pan-Roasted Pork Loin with Leeks) this weekend, and it was good -- very tender, and the leeks were cooked so long that they took on a buttery texture too.

From the August issue, the Korean Barbecue Burgers were yummy.  We also tried the Pepper and Garlic-Crusted Tenderloin Steaks with Port Sauce and combined it with this marinating tip to get the most out of a cheap cut of steak.  It looked weird during the salting process, but it turned out really well!

From the June issue, the Fiery Flank Steak with Tomato Jam was really good, but the tomatoes took a really long time to cook because I didn't have anything to grate them with.  The Vietnamese Caramelized Pork and Rice Noodle Salad was also good and brought lots of fresh vegetables into the mix. 

I don't remember which issue it was from, but there was a Barbeque Beer Can Chicken recipe that was really delectable!  And there's a vegetarian fried rice recipe, but we add shrimp and fat-free turkey cubes for extra protein.

Date Posted: 9/18/2007 3:24 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
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thanks Judy!

Date Posted: 9/29/2007 11:51 AM ET
Member Since: 9/29/2007
Posts: 1
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Hi,

I'm new here at the swap, so hope I don't violate any posting rules.

I do plan meals and menus, although I don't always stick to the plan.  Right now I'm trying to motivate myself to get back on WWs. 

One of the tools I use and love, is a program that's similar to mastercook, although I like it much better (incredible customer service, which you won't find with any of the other similar programs I've tried), and a website that contains something like 160,000 recipes you can copy (even without buying the program).  The site is at :

www.bigoven.com

There's a thirty day free trial if you want to check it out.

Now, to get back to why I'm suggesting Big Oven.........    there's a calendar feature you can use to plan your menus on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis, and you can also import your recipes right into the program, which will then allow you to add them to the calendar and/or shopping lists with just the click of a mouse. 

There's also a message board where you can post (questions, recipes, comments, etc).

Okay... this is starting to sound spammy even to me, and I don't work for the company.  I'm just that happy with the program and the website, and it's helping me with that issue of needing to hear the "click" again.  I'm not quite there yet, but getting there.

Good luck to you.

:) Anne

Some of us are now using a "weight watchers" or "points" tag in our posted recipes, and are trying to list the points for others, which is also a huge help.   And another big help is the reviews, posted by the members.  I've found some real stinkers that I would never cook again, but I've also found some real winners, that I fix over and over again.