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How To Plan A Meal

Posted in : In The Kitchen on by : Michel Maling

Here are some interesting ideas on how to plan a meal. When you are planning a meal you need to keep in mind the flavors you are serving and the different courses. If you plan to serve a spicy main course like Thai chicken or beef curry, for instance, choose a refreshing dessert. If your meal has a light main course like salmon, a richer dessert such as caramel peppermint tart would be a good choice.

how to plan a meal

Meal planning (especially if entertaining) includes choosing meals and finding recipes; shopping for ingredients; as well as prepping and cooking the food. A meal plan needs to take into account the following factors:

  • How many people you’re feeding: You’ll need a headcount to plan portion sizes.
  • Dietary restrictions: Consider everyone’s food intolerances, allergies, and preferences.
  • Your schedule: “The biggest factor for success is to be realistic about how much time you can devote to planning and prep, as well as cooking the meal. Try and plan something that you can prepare mostly in advance so that you can relax with your guests when they get there instead of being stuck in the kitchen the entire evening.
  • Your cooking skills: Even if you hate cooking, learning how to plan a meal can work for you. “Convenience items [like precooked chicken] can be part of a plan. Your menu might also include some catered food.

Now you need to make a shopping list before you go shopping so you don’t forget anything.

Here are some quick and easy ideas on how to plan a meal and what to choose.

How To Plan A Meal

Simple Starters

  • Serve prepared dips with crisps or pieces of cucumber and carrot. Raw broccoli and cauliflower also work well with a tasty dip.
  • Serve read-made taramasalata or hummus with hot toast or pitta bread and bowls of olives.
  • Select four or five different salamis and hams and arrange them on a platter. Serve with cherry tomatoes and gherkins.
  • Bake a selection of breaded seafood pieces like sole goujons and scampi and serve with tartare sauce and lemon wedges.
  • Serve wedges of juicy ripe melon drizzled with a little liqueur or served with wafer-thin slices of prosciutto.

Serve crackers with Philidelphia cheese and sweet chili sauce.

Additions To Meals

Depending what your main course is there are always plenty of choices you can choose from to go in as your side, from cooking up some fresh vegetables to add to your meal or even a salad, depending on what your main course is.

Other easy sides include:

  • Coleslaw. Try adding pineapple for a tasty variation to this dish.
  • MIni corn muffins.
  • Cucumbers with dill.
  • Mashed potatoes with chives. Adding some cream cheese to your mash also tastes wonderful.
  • Roasted veggies are always popular.
  • Layered salad.
  • Broccoli salad.
  • Sweet baby carrots.
  • Savoury rice.
  • Bean salad.

Easy Endings

Here are some great ways to end your meal, especially if you are entertaining.

  • Pour sparkling white wine over red summer berries just before serving.
  • Marinate fresh fruit in a little of your favorite liqueur and serve with scoops of ice cream.
  • Throw some Danish pastries or muffins in the oven and serve with lashings of cream.
  • Slice your favorite fruit and place in a heatproof dish. Dot with spoonfuls of mascarpone cheese and sprinkle some brown sugar over. Grill under a hot grill until the sugar melts, the cheese is bubbling and the fruit warmed through.
  • Mix together strong coffee, a little sugar, and coffee liqueur to taste and freeze in a container overnight. Mash with a fork to break up into crystals and freeze again until required. Serve with whipped cream.
  • Offer a cheese board at the end of the meal. For the best flavor, serve the cheese at room temperature taking it out of the fridge at least two hours before serving. Serve a selection of different cheeses along with some biscuits, grapes, apple quarters, or celery sticks.
  • Irish coffee or Kaluha coffee always goes down well at the end of a meal with good friends.
  • Cremora Fridge Tart.

Please feel free to comment below if you have any other ideas when it comes to how to plan a meal, especially if you are having friends over for dinner.

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