5 Meal Planning Tips from Our Classes

5 Tips from our meal planning classes

5 Meal Planning Tips from Our Classes!

EXCITING NEWS!!! We just launched 11 NEW meal planning classes! Our classes are based on popular requested topics from our Facebook Group: Quick-and-Easy Cooking, Using Leftovers, Vegetarian/Plant-Based Meals and Dairy Free Meals! Check out 5 meal planning tips from our classes, then browse through our collection to try one of our classes today! Which will you try first? (Comment below your favorite classes or ones you’d like to see added to the list).

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How can I make my own quick-and-easy marinades or dressings?

Tip from our Quick-and-Easy Part 1: Speeding Up Your Recipes class.

When preparing your own marinade or dressing, it is important to add these three essential components: an acid, a fat, and salt. After adding those three ingredients, you can season it to your liking with chiles, herbs, spices, etc. Use the following formula to prepare your own marinade or dressing…

Formula: 1 part acid + 3 parts oil + salt (to taste) + added flavorings

Sample (Lemon Basil Dressing/Marinade): 1 tablespoon lemon juice + 3 tablespoons olive oil + 1/2 teaspoon salt + fresh basil

When can I use frozen vegetables in place of fresh?

Tip from our Quick-and-Easy Part 1: Speeding Up Your Recipes class.

You can almost always use frozen vegetables in place of fresh for COOKED vegetable preparations. When using frozen vegetables in place of fresh, be sure to thaw them BEFORE mixing with other ingredients. This is because the vegetables will release quite a bit of water – and if you do not thaw before you use, your dish may become quite “liquidy”. To thaw, either place your frozen vegetables in a bowl and leave in the fridge overnight OR thaw in the microwave OR boil for a few minutes and strain before using. DO NOT use frozen vegetables in place of fresh. Frozen vegetables will not have the same crisp texture as fresh vegetables, and they do not lend themselves well to be used in cold meal preparations (ie: salads).

Which recipes are freezer friendly?

Tip from our Quick and Easy Part 2: Using Leftovers and Cooking for One class.

Generally speaking, there are three types of recipes that lend themselves particularly well to freezing: soups/sauces, cooked plain meats, and prepared baked goods. Although casseroles and stews can also be frozen, some ingredients may not re-heat so well. Some examples include: tofu, watery vegetables (or vegetables that you’d like to taste “crisp”), and oil-based cold marinades/dressings. Choose some of the following recipes to store in your freezer…

  1. Plain cooked protein: fish, salmon, shrimp, tempeh, chicken, meatballs, meatloaf, burgers, etc.
  2. Sauces that are served warm (and soups) – freeze in silicone ice cube trays. Once frozen, transfer to a zipper-locked bag and store in the freezer for future use.
  3. Prepared baked goods such as waffles, socca products, falafel, muffins, cookies, etc.

How can I make tofu tasty?

Tip from our Vegetarian Basics class.

Making tofu tasty is all about the marinade! Think of tofu a bit like a sponge… Tofu is saturated with water – and we need to remove the excess water to be able to infuse new flavor. Whenever I use tofu, I’ll always start by removing the excess water. To do this, I place my block of tofu between 2 sheets of paper towel. Then, I’ll place something heavy overtop (a few cookbooks, a fry pan, etc.). I’ll let it sit for about 10-15 minutes, until the paper towel is soaked. Next up – it’s time to add flavor! Now that the excess water is removed, there is room for the tofu to soak up a new liquid. I’ll start by poking a few small holes in the tofu with a fork or a wooden skewer. Then, I’ll prepare a marinade (see question below for how to do this!) and place BOTH the marinade and the tofu in a zipper-locked bag. I’ll let the tofu sit for at least an hour (but usually overnight), then I’ll use it in my favorite recipes!

How can I make my own nut-based milks?

Tip from our Dairy-Free Basics class.

Nut based milks are simple to prepare – and you can get more bang-for-your buck when you make them from scratch! Try using this formula to make your own…

Step 1: Gather 1 cup of raw, unsalted nuts.

Step 2: Place the nuts in a high-power blender with 2 cups of water.

Step 3: Blend until (almost) smooth (NOTE: There will still be a few tiny pieces of cashews floating around).

Step 4: Strain the “milk” through a fine cheesecloth. Place a container or jar under the cheesecloth to catch the strained milk. Store in an airtight container in your fridge for about 1 week.

TIP: Reserve the nut “meal” (in the cheesecloth) for parfait toppings, energy bites, cookies, Coconut Cashew Clusters (AH pg. 284), Mint Power Balls (AD pg. 279), or other desserts/snacks

Interested in Our Classes?

Check out our downloadable meal planning classes. Each class comes with an eBook including a Specialized One-Week Meal Plan and Prep Sheet, or Specialized Recipes, as well as Additional Resources prepared by Chef Dawn Ludwig and Chef Kenzie Osborne. Each class also has the option to add-on downloadable presentation slides for more recipes and extra resources.

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