What’s For Dinner? Cooking For Real People Part 1: Meal Planning

I will be starting a new series called What’s for Dinner? Cooking for Real People where I will post tips on how to organize and plan for your weekly meals.

I am going to start you off with my go to list of dishes.  This is a summary of foods and dishes I ate over a six month period and it helps me decide what to make during for the week when I am stuck.

Task 1: For the next month, jot down the types of meals that you gravitate to.  Also jot down the main ingredients (starch, meat, and veggie).

When I first plan my meals I always start with choosing my starch. I hate having the same thing twice and this helps me narrow down what I will be cooking.

Step 1: Choose a starch.

Step 1:
Choose 1
  •  pasta
  •  noodles (chowmein, soba etc)
  •  rice
  •  potato
  •  winter squash
  •   yams/sweet potato
  •   bread


After choosing a starch browse the list of your favorite dishes.

Step 2: Choose your dish

Pasta Noodles Rice

  •  pesto
  •  tomato sauce
  •   cream sauce


  •  lasagne
  •  ravioli
  • penne/rotini
  •  spaghetti
  •   elbow
  •  chowmein
  •  udon
  •  ramen
  •  lo mein
  •  shanghai
  •  rice noodles
  •   soup/dry
  •  steamed rice
  •  spanish rice
  •  jambalaya
  •  dirty rice
  •  fried rice
  • curry and rice
  •  tomato beef rice
Potato Bread Winter Squash Yams/Sweet Potato

  • wedges
  •  fries
  •  baked
  •  steamed
  •  boiled
  •  mashed
  •  shepherd’s pie


  • sandwich
  •  pizza
  •  wraps
  •  dumplings
  •  taco
  •  burrito
  •  baked
  •  steamed
  •  fries
  •  baked
  • steamed

Step 3: Choose the appropriate meat and veggies for the dish.

Choose 1 or more Choose main choice (additional veggies can be added)
Meat Vegetables
  •  chicken/turkey
  •  beef
  •   pork
  •  fish
  •  lamb
  •  tofu

  • broccoli
  • salad (leafy, coleslaw, greek etc)
  •  stirfry
  • steamed veggies (boy choy etc)
  •  green beans



  • Step 1: Noodles
  • Step 2: Udon (dry) –> stir fry udon noodles
  • Step 3: chicken, tofu, broccoli

Meal: Chicken, tofu and broccoli udon stirfry.

I hope this helps you the next time you plan your meal.  Come back next month to check out part 2.

If you liked this, check out our other posts: https://eatitnoworeatitlater.com/recipes-list/

5 Comments Add yours

  1. Thank you for sharing! I have trouble planning dinner for just 2 people hahah this is great simple advice I can use 🙂

    1. HappyEnki says:

      I am glad you found this helpful!

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