I got the idea for a ‘crowd sourced’ theme week from a good friend of the family and read about different types of theme weeks in an excellent article, Meal Planning 101: Create a formula for the week’s meal plan, on Good Cheap Eats blog.
Being relatively new to blogging and also wanting to get into the community spirit of the blogging community, I thought it would be fun to do a couple of theme weeks toward the end of June.
It seems like a great opportunity for everyone. As stated in the aforementioned article “Meal planning is a proven means to help you improve your nutrition, increase quality family time, and save money. If you’ve got a meal on the table in a timely manner you eat well, have something to enjoy with friends and family, and avoid costly restaurant meals or excessive trips to the store.” After all “Planning is Key to Success.” Not only is that a true statement but is the title of a nice post in which the author, Jeanne, said “Having a game plan for my week goes a long way toward helping me make the best food choices! By prepping ahead I am setting my self up to succeed!”
So lets get to planning together!
How would the Theme Week work?
The idea would be that as recipes are submitted they will be posted on our site as well selected pictures of the dish and a link back to the author’s site. We would set up a gallery on the sidebar of our blog for each theme week so that the recipes could be easily found for anyone else interested in using the recipes in their own theme week menu plan.
Once we build our menu plan from the submitted recipes we will remove the gallery of submitted recipes and a new one built using the recipes chosen for the meal plan. This gallery will be hosted for no less than 2 weeks. We will also post the recipes in our weekly menu plan along with a site/author bio (if supplied) for each recipe author.
So hopefully it could be a win-win for everyone involved. Everyone gets great ideas for a menu plan, for those who don’t already do meal planning, an opportunity to start and experience the benefits of doing so, for anyone who hosts their own site with recipes, an avenue for additional traffic and we get some help with our menu plan and some content too.
When I originally started thinking about this I was only thinking about doing an Ethnic Cuisine week for each of the weeks. Ah, but then the electric company through me a curve ball. During the month of June they have warned us that they are going to start what they call their seasonal Smart Hours. During peak load hours, dinner time, they charge a higher rate for electricity and much lower rates at other times. Over all we save money when we cooperate. However that means we have to alter our habits including when and how we cook. (We do have a gas range and oven, but even they heat up the house. So we still have to alter our habits.)
I noticed in the Meal Planning 101 article the mention of a “style of preparation” theme and it sparked an idea. Why not combine a “Summer Electric Plan”, consisting of cooking methods that won’t heat up the house, with the “Ethnic Cuisine themes”.
The resulting guidelines would be as follows:
Grilling/Crock Pot/Quick Stove top/Microwave
Summer Electric Plan
Sunday - Eat out
Monday - Grill out (batch cook protein for Wednesday)
Tuesday - Quick cooking on stove top/cook top/hob
Wednesday - No cook (Use grilled protein from Monday)
Thursday - Crock Pot/Slow Cooker
Friday - Grill out
Saturday - Microwave
(this is just a ‘straw horse’ plan and is flexible)
The Ethnic themes and weeks would be:
Latin theme week (week starting 6/19/2016)
Recipes from Latin America (excluding the Caribbean)
(Mexico, Central and South America)
Eastern Asian theme week (week starting 6/26/2016)
Eastern Asian cuisine
(East Asian cuisines include Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Mongolian, and Taiwanese food).
Really their aren’t many.
We have one diabetic family member so we try to limit ‘white things’ (refined starches). If a recipe calls for white rice or the like we tend to try and use the whole grain version.
Only one of the four of us will readily eat fish. So we tend to avoid that.
A recipe won’t be rejected if it doesn’t includes the fish or a lot of starch. It just may not be chosen for the meal plan we post.
The one absolute is that the recipe can contain NO BLOOD. So no Black Pudding, Morcillas Sausage, Blood Sausage, etc.
If you think this is a fun idea please vote yes by rating this post with 5 stars. If not then rate it with just 1 star.
If there is sufficient interest I will post a link to a submission form June 5th.