7 days of healthy dinners


The key to eating healthy is planning! 7 Days of dinner introduces you to 7 simple and healthy recipes to get you through the week.

I’ll buy a load of fresh veggies at the beginning of the week with all sorts of plans in my head. But, when dinnertime comes around I forget the plan,  cook something else and then am confused by what’s left to cook with the next day. By mid-week there are all sorts of sorry wilted oddments in the fridge.

When the kids were small organisation was the key to survival. I had a blackboard up on the kitchen wall and I’d religiously plan the weekly menu and shop accordingly. Everything had a purpose and I always knew exactly what I was cooking and when. That all changed when we knocked a door through the wall and there was no place left for the blackboard. Meal planning went out of the window (or door in this case).

Between you and me I’m finding it hard going in the kitchen since my family’s eating habits have become so diverse. It seems that I’m mostly flying by the seat of my pants.

Things are beyond a joke now that there are so many different diets to accommodate and the mental gymnastics are leaving me exhausted. Time for a serious plan. I’m implementing The Standardised Meal System.

The Standardised Meal System makes perfect sense to me, with its “eight major advantages”:
  • No need to accumulate recipe books. (Ok, I’m not joining him on this one.)
  • Standard shopping list – hence very efficient shopping. (I’m in.)
  • Almost zero waste – nothing in the refrigerator or pantry unless required for one of the recipes. (I can work towards this.)
  • Diet planned and nutritionally balanced in advance. (Definite advantage for multiple dietary requirements.)
  • No time wasted wondering what to cook. (My biggest problem.)
  • No mistakes, no unpleasant surprises. (Too familiar.)
  • Excellent food at a much lower price.
  • Minimal cognitive load required. (A definite plus at the end of a busy day.)

So here’s a version of The Standardised Meal System for you to try. The idea is to make two seasonal planners for Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter, which should at least help me to be a bit more organised.

The brief – 7 meals / 7 days = easy!

mondayMonday: Haloumi, Tuna and Bean Salad. (Low Carb, Gluten Free, ‘Vegaquarian’). Full recipe here >>  – Donna Hay Magazine.

TuesdayTuesday: Roast Pumpkin and Feta Quiche. (Gluten Free, Vegetarian).
Full recipe here >>

wednesdayWednesday: Asparagus, Green Bean, Avocado and Broccolini Salad. (Low Carb, Gluten Free, Vegetarian). Full recipe here >>

thursdayThursday: Smoked Trout, Edamame, Avocado Rice Bowl. (Gluten Free, ‘Vegaquarian’). Super quick preparation and on the table in 10 minutes. Full recipe here >>  The Design Files – Tasty Tuesdays.

fridayFriday: Yakitori Salmon Noodles. (‘Vegaquarian’, can be made Gluten Free using rice noodles and gluten free soy sauce and mirin). Recipe – The Tasmanian Salmon Board – Simple as Salmon. Super quick and tasty. Full recipe here >>

SaturdaySaturday: Roast Cauliflower and Rice Salad with Yogurt Saffron Dressing. (Gluten Free, Vegetarian). Recipe – The Hungry Australian.  This is a show-stopper if you’re having people round for dinner. Full recipe here >>



Sunday: Vietnamese Noodle Salad. (Gluten Free, ‘Vegaquarian’). Fabulous and fresh when the weather’s really hot. Great by itself or delicious with barbequed salmon or prawns. Full recipe here >>

Therese Bourne runs the online blog The Urban Nest. www.theurbannest.org
She is passionate about trying to make a smaller eco-footprint, and inspired by creativity and kindness.