Well things are very different now, and as the saying goes, you do better when you know better.
Anyway, enough with the repressed Catholic guilt. Point is, because I avoided all things kitchen, I am only now up to speed on organizing recipes and planning menus. So this may be Kitchen Basics 101, but for me, it pretty new! haha!
When I started preparing raw foods, I worked in a state of near panic. "OK NOW I NEED AN AVOCADO...OK AVOCADO...WHERE'S THE FREAKIN' AVOCADO...OK I THINK I KNOW A TRICK TO GETTING THAT PIT OUT...OW! I NEED A BANDAID..." "OK, NEXT, WHERE WAS I? LEMON. I DON'T HAVE LEMON!"
You get the idea. A willing, but complete, MESS. But that's how ya learn, right? (I just heard a flashback of myself saying, "Yeah yeah yeah, you do it...")
Fast-forward a couple years and I actually would say I've got my kitchen act together. I'm still learning, but I prep food with calm confidence and organized ingredients.
Still, though, up until a couple weeks ago, my recipes were all scattered on loose printer paper, in all different drawers and cupboards throughout the house. And in no particular order. That's because I will find a recipe and think, "OMG I have to try that!" and I print it out on the spot, and it starts out on my desk, then travels to the kitchen, then gets put on a shelf but then it falls down the back of the shelf, so it ends up back on my desk or in a drawer, etc.
And each recipe page was always gummed up with food from sticky fingers, so they were stuck together, too... I'm painting a pretty honest picture of my chaos here. Still love me? ;)
SO. A couple weeks ago, I got fed up with this, so I marched myself down to the dollar store and bought some display books with 10 protector sheets in them.
DIPS, SPREADS, AND SALADS
CRACKERS, CHIPS, AND BREADS
SIDES AND ENTREES
I took the piece of white paper that came in the spine and put it to use as well, listing what recipes are in the book, and re-inserting it in the spine. On the part visible when you shelve the book, I re-wrote the category.
Inside, there are 10 protector sheets, so I can fit 20 recipes, back to back.
This goes a long way to feeling clean and organized, and the added bonus is that with all my favorite recipes in books, I can easily see what I'd like to make for dinner.
I have a lot of raw 'cook' books, but they are not all my favorites. But the loose pages were.
Today, I got so organized, I thought, "Who are you, and what have you done with Rawkin'?!"
I had a budget to go grocery shopping and couldn't figure out how to prioritize, since we need non-food items as well as having immediate dinner needs. And I didn't know what I wanted for dinner! Wah!
I knew I wanted a salad with every meal, and that I need greens for my smoothies, that was a no-brainer. Probably like the rest of this!! haha bare with me.
I flipped through my books and wrote down entrees that alternated between light and more gourmet, as I'm trying to keep nut-heavy meals down. Next, I looked through my salads book and found a different salad style for each meal.
I came up with:
Tonight (Tues) Better than Beef Burgers with garden salad and kale chips
Thurs - Angel Hair Pasta with Marinara & Greek Salad
Fri - Enchiladas with Mixed Baby Greens Salad
Sat - Beanless Falafels with Tomato/Cucumber/Spinach salad
Sun - Carrot-Pecan Burgers with Chick Pea Salad
I went shopping and bought everything I need for tonight and tomorrow's dinner. And mid-week, I'll do the same for the rest of the week.
It was SO EASY because it was SO ORGANIZED.
Did everybody know this stuff already?
WHY didn't anyone TELL me?