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    How does she do it? A peek into meal planning at Laura's place

    by Bronni Page

    Local How does she do it? A peek into meal planning at Laura's place

    Do you ever wonder what other people get up to in the kitchen? (In a curious, not creepy way, of course!) We do, so we were thrilled when lovely YFC customer Laura from  Unwind Pilates  agreed to spill the beans on how she manages to feed her young family while doing 'all the things'. You know, like running a thriving business, keeping a busy household humming and carving out a tiny bit of 'me' time...

    Tell us about you - your work and family

    I run a pilates studio from my home in Whitebridge, NSW. When I’m not working with my clients I’m running after my two little boys who are aged two and four. Life is hectic at times and I love it! My husband has a busy working schedule too, but luckily for us he can often join us for lunch at home some days, and he's home for dinner every night.


    Do you have any dietary restrictions/ preference in your family?

    We don't have any specific dietary requirements. As parents of young children, we are really interested in eating well and setting a good example to the kids. They enjoy 'helping' out in the kitchen. Making tacos is a particular favourite at the moment. We do like to take notice of what's in season and learning about the foods that are grown close to us.

    How do you shop with Your Food Collective?

    We've been ordering with YFC for a few years now. I love the freshness, convenience and knowing that we are making a difference by buying local produce. I can't imagine shopping any other way now! 
    I order every week - our goodies get delivered every Wednesday. I always get The Maxi Mix fruit and veg box. That size suits our family really well and we love the 'surprise' element of seeing what's in season. Because the boxes are seasonal, I’ve come to know what is around and when, which makes it a little bit easier to plan based on what I think will be in the boxes. 
    Then I add bread, eggs, meat, juice and whatever else we need for that week. I'll also add a ready-made meal most weeks to save time on those really busy nights.

    What's your process when you get your YFC delivery?

    As I've been ordering this way for quite a while now, I do have a bit of a 'process' which works well for us. Here's what I do when I bring our delivery in:

    Step 1: Unpack the box onto the table so I can see everything that is there

    Step 2: I think about the week ahead and work out any nights we won't need a home cooked meal (eg eating out with extended family etc). Then I work out what meals (if any) I would like to get 2 meals out of. These must be things that are easy to re-heat. (I use a pen and paper meal planner but you can get some cool fridge magnet versions too).

    On the two days that I work - it’s a bit frantic to pick up the kids and then get them fed so I cook on Sunday or Monday and reheat on Tuesday and Wednesday. It takes a little bit more prep initially but then I don’t have to cook for two nights in a row - yess!

    Step 3: Start filling in my meal planner using the recipes I know that use that ingredient. Think about what could be re-heated or eaten as leftovers for lunch the next day (eg, cooked chicken and veggies can be turned into a salad or a sandwich/wrap the next day)

    Here, let me show you! 


    The photo shows what we got this week in our YFC order. We already had some sweet potatoes, broccoli, peas and corn and the salmon and mexican meat was leftover from the last two nights. This is what I’ve got on the menu this week: 





    Carrot porridge

    Cucumber, chicken, tomato snack plate

    Roast chicken with roast veggies


    Leftover porridge

    Leftover chicken and salad

    Steak with steamed carrot and broccoli


    English spinach and eggs

    Leftover chicken and salad

    Potato and cauliflower curry


    Decide on the day

    Leftover pasta

    Mexican beef fajitas with capsicum, tomatoes and lettuce


    Decide on the day

    Salmon, cucumber, tomatoes, capsicum share plate

    Schnitzel with mashed potato, sugar snap peas and capsicum


    Out for breakfast

    Cottage pie (slow cooker) add zucchini 



    English spinach, zucchini and eggs on sourdough

    Chicken drumsticks, salad and garlic bread



    And here's a heads-up as to how we typically use some of the produce:

    Broccoli:Steamed and eaten as is - pretty much the only way it gets eaten by everyone here - can be served with any type of meat or alongside a pie, I also make an amazing broccoli and cauliflower cheese dish from time to time...

    Capsicum:We love it roasted and put onto pizzas or fajitas, or raw - sliced up and tossed into salads or simply eaten as a snack.

    Carrots: steamed with the broccoli, baked with other vegetables, whipped up into a breakfast porridge (check out the recipe here) and of course grated into bolognase sauce.

    Cauliflower: roasted with meats, blitzed into cauliflower rice in the food processor to serve with stir fry or anywhere you'd usually use rice.

    Celery: I use celery with onion and carrot in almost every meal that requires slow cooking. When I get a head of celery, I cut it all up into tiny pieces and then freeze it. Then I just grab a handful out and throw it in with the onion - saves time chopping and results in less waste.

    Corn:We love it baked with husk on (total life saver - cook it for an hour at 180 degrees then take the husk off and store it in the fridge. Re-heat over the next few days as a side), cooked in the BBQ and served with burritos/tacos/fajitas.

    Cucumber:These never make it further than the kids lunch and dinner snack plates! 

    English spinach:Cooked into the chicken pie, added to green smoothies, cooked with mushrooms and served with an egg on sourdough.

    Gravy beef:We ae big fans of using this cut for shepherd's pie, chilli con carne, or shredded beef.  

    Leeks:Favourite uses are chicken and leek pie, spinach and leek fry up with an egg for breakfast. I will also use instead of onion in recipes from time to time.

    Lettuce:San choy bao, green salads, sandwiches, tacos.

    Mushrooms: in the chicken and leek pie, chopped up into the pasta sauce, sliced and cooked in a bit of butter with eggs for breakfast - yum!

    Pumpkin: pumpkin soup, roast root vegetables served with chicken or sausages, pumpkin and chickpea curry.

    Potato: as a side roasted or mashed.

    Snow peas/sugar snap peas: eaten as a snack raw, stir fried with meats.

    Sweet potato: baked sweet potato with bolognese sauce or baked beans, or sour cream and bacon or any sort of stewed meat.

    Zucchini: sliced finely and sauteed in a bit of butter, this tastes awesome with some crunchy bread and an egg for breakfast. Zucchin slice is a winner here and as a bonus it can be frozen for lunch boxes. I also just add in zucchini to anything that gets cooked for an hour or more - it absorbs all the other flavours, the kids don’t know it’s in there and they’re getting some more vegetables in! 

    How do YOU do it?

    So there you have it - a peek into how Laura does it. How do you organise your YFC goodies and meal plan? Do you even meal plan at all? Let us know your hacks and tips in the comments below - we'd love to know.

    Local Bronni Page
    Bronni Page

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