General Goodness

Tips, benefits, best practices, and other practical musings from the Planful Cook on meal planning, adapting recipes, and healthful eating.

Easy Meal Planning with 4 Theme Weeks

If you’re getting into a rut with your go-to recipes for weekly meal plans, here are 4 ways to spice things up. Each is a unique challenge to push your creativity and resourcefulness, save money, or engage your family in nightly meal prep. PANTRY SWEEP Take a look through your […]


Meal Plan / Week 12 June 2019

Roasted veggies, fresh fish, and a birthday brunch for our now nine-year-old were the highlights of this week. We hope you enjoy! Saturday- Our younger son tossed in the chocolate chips for his birthday morning Peanut Butter Oven Pancake. With this recipe, you can turn any batch of pancakes into […]


Meal Plan / Week 11 June 2019

We brought home the most beautiful array of local seasonal vegetables in our farm basket this week, and it inspired a mostly vegan menu – we did throw a few eggs into the mix. We enjoyed dairy-free versions of dairy-heavy traditional standards, like grits, biscuits, rice pudding, and lime tarts. […]


Meal Plan / Week 9 May 2019

This week marked the end of the school year, and we attended a few extra end-of-year evening activities. This lead to us preparing five meals this week instead of our typical six; plus breakfast cookies that last all week, and a wheat-free baked fruit dessert that’s light and sweet. We […]


S’mores Pizza

Last weekend, my husband asked our boys to take some time and write down 50 things they each wanted to do this summer. Mixed in with the obvious responses such as play a lot of Minecraft, sketch, and play Legos were some crazy ideas like skydive, make a sharknado, and […]


My Philosophy on Food Blogs

For years I’ve collected recipes from various sources – cookbooks, magazines, food apps (e.g. Food Network, Tasty, The New York Times Cooking), Pinterest, and a smattering of food blogs – to be used in weekly meal planning. My husband and I habitually spend an hour on Friday evenings creating our […]


A Tidy Kitchen is a Productive Kitchen

Is it cliché to admit that I learned the value of a tidy kitchen from Marie Kondo? The Netflix series “Tidying Up With Marie Kondo” has certainly generated a lot of buzz since it launched in January 2019. I was introduced to the KonMari Method in 2014, when during a […]


Adapting Recipes for Dietary Restrictions

If you’re like us, you don’t want food allergies or digestive issues to limit your meal planning or culinary adventures. I have a dairy allergy; I follow a low FODMAP diet in which I avoid kitchen staples such as wheat, onion, garlic, and cauliflower; and we also try to limit […]


7 Steps to a Tidy Kitchen Pantry

Our kitchen storage used to make us crazy. Our pantry shelves were always full but we could never find anything. We’d regularly come home from the grocery store having purchased items we already had on-hand. Or worse, we’d realize in the middle of cooking dinner that we didn’t have a […]


3 Reasons to Tidy Up Your Kitchen Pantry

You’re sold on the benefits of meal planning and eager to get started. Great! Before you begin searching for recipes and building a grocery list, we recommend an important first step – cleaning out your kitchen pantry. Whether you live in a small home without a lot of extra storage […]