How to Eat Healthy Meals Every Night Without Meal Planning- Large Family

hi everyone its Lisa from the blog farmhouse on the moon and today I want to share with you my five tips for healthy meals every night without meal planning so in today's world of Pinterest and social media I think we have a very warped view of what is expected of us as far as food and meals and everything like that goes I want to preface this video by saying that I am NOT against meal planning I think it is a great strategy for a lot of very organized type-a people who have schedules and lists and that's how they thrive and that is wonderful but this is for those people who feel overwhelmed by the concept of meal planning and schedules and home making binders and lists so I am one of those people I am NOT a planner and I tried to fit myself in the box of meal planning mom for a few years after I was married and I found that it just stressed me out overwhelmed me and that it was an extra step once I got into my groove of cooking for my family without meal planning I found that for me it just added to the stress rather than taking it away I did not feel more prepared I felt more stressed and so for those of you who are like me and to also have that same kind of personality who may be planning isn't what works best for you back in the day when my grandma was a young mom she wasn't planning a coconut curry cream cheese pasta bake she was just making meat and potatoes and vegetables and maybe threw in some corn bread or some herbs if they were in season and so I thought of the five tips that have helped me these past few years to feel very on top of things and like we have a plan every night for food without having a plan at all most days I have no clue whatsoever what I'm gonna make for lunch or dinner and my husband she comes home every day at noon for lunch and so we have a full-on meal at noon and at night and I used to lay in bed at night thinking about what I was gonna make and it stressed me out so much well now I just adhere to these five principles I don't meal plan and we do eat a home-cooked meal at all those without me ever having to draw up a plan or get out a special chalkboard or notebook hey I know I've met some resistance on this post because I've had this post on my blog for a long time and people who are planners think that this is absolutely crazy and reckless and let me tell you they are just different types of people in the world it's totally okay and so if you are one of those people and you think I'm crazy and reckless and that there's no possible way you could ever have a schedule of good healthy meals without planning just go ahead and turn off the video and stick with your usual plan because that is wonderful and I'm so glad it's work number one is always have a 9 by 13 glass dish in your fridge with meat thought obviously unless you're a vegetarian the basis for a good healthy meal is usually some kind of protein that is meat into my family the biggest obstacle you will run into whenever you are trying to make a meal from scratch and if you haven't planned is not having meat thought out so you open the fridge all you have is a frozen chicken frozen ground beef always have a pan of meat thawing in the refrigerator so I will have a whole chicken two pounds of ground beef and a roast all sitting in the pan in the fridge and I know that within that week or five days all of that will get cooked and put to good use in a meal and my meat is covered for the week so I don't know what I'm gonna do with it but I do know that it's thought-out and ready to go is throwing in a whole chicken and five sweet potatoes any harder than throwing in a frozen pizza it's really not you'll find that if you have the meat already thought out and you have those staples in the fridge but just being able to throw in a thought out chicken and some sweet potatoes maybe even put a little broccoli on the stove and that meal became no harder than throwing in a frozen pizza tip number two is doing a little prep work whenever you have extra time so if I go to the store and it is the middle of summer and I'm at the farmers market or I'm at the local produce stand and they have bell peppers for a big bag for three dollars or something I will always grab those peppers and then if I have extra time I will slice them all up and put them in a bag put them in the freezer and then any time that I'm just trying to whip up something really really quick like let's say I have some steak thawing in the fridge I can slice it up throw it in with the peppers throw it in with some sliced onions and we have a Mexican meal so by doing things whenever you have an extra minute you will set yourself up for being able to throw together a meal in no time whether you plan to have it or not I like to ferment foods and so if I have extra time to prep a bunch of cabbage into sauerkraut I will do four gallons at a time and then every single time for the next year that I want sauerkraut we have it there in the refrigerator ready to go so that way you always have kind of things that are ready very quickly sauerkraut is an instant side dish that I have to think nothing about I just have to get out of the refrigerator another example of doing extra whenever you have the time would be if the oven is on and you're making say meatloaf for example throw in two bags of sweet potatoes now this of course is coming from person with for almost five kids and so I will throw in fifteen sweet potatoes when they come out of the oven I will just set them out to the side until they're cool maybe a few hours later and I will put them all in a glass bowl with some butter and salt put them in the refrigerator and then for days we have a sign of sweet potatoes all ready to go and so I don't really have to think about that at all but I know that if I get home in a pinch we have two sides ready we have sauerkraut sweet potatoes and then we almost always have avocados in the fridge so then that's three sides also if you have an extra minute throw a dozen eggs into some boiling water and hard boil them and then you'll have those in the fridge so if you come home from a busy day and you have literally no time to make anything you can always peel those eggs toss it with some mayonnaise or something like that and make an egg salad or you can have what we call in our house a continental dinner which we just came up with that because it's like hotels have continental breakfast but that basically means that we get out hard-boiled eggs cheese chips sauerkraut and call it a meal there's always options if you have done a little bit of prep work and have the meat thought so the third tip is to keep quick cooking staples on hand so my example for this would be keeping couple cans of salmon in your pantry so if we come home and let's say heaven forbid I forgot to thaw out the meat in the pan and we have no time and I didn't have any hard-boiled eggs all those things fall through then I still have Kansas salmon I can make up some crispy salmon burgers which are really delicious I'll link the recipe below I have it on my blog and we'll have a side of sauerkraut avocado and maybe they'll be sweet potatoes in the fridge maybe not but either way in about 15-20 minutes I can have a full meal on the table with little to no forethought also another example of this is eggs so if I forgot to thaw the meat I have no eggs hard-boiled I don't have the salmon in the in the pantry but if I have a dozen eggs then we have the basis for a meal right there so we can have scrambled eggs with saito sauerkraut and avocado and call that a meal so I talked about this a little already but the fourth tip is to keep quick sides on-hand and sauerkraut was one of my examples and avocado is another SIF avocados are on sale for 39 cents which occasionally happens I will buy 30 of them and put them in the refrigerator they have to be the ones that aren't that ripe already you need to be pretty green I'll put 30 avocados in the refrigerator I'll get out two at a time and put them on the counter so we always have a few that are right and that is the fastest sight it requires no cooking it just requires chopping it up adding a little bit of salt and it's a side dish for litter everything other super simple sides that are always ready really really quickly when you need them is mashed cauliflower so as long as you always have a couple of CalFire in your fridge steamed carrots so every time I go to the store I make sure to grab several bags of carrots they're always in the fridge so if I come home and we have no time I need a very quick side I can chop them up put them in some boiling water and add some butter and salt and then we're good to go crispy potatoes which if you always keep potatoes on hand you can just chop them up real small and heat up the coconut oil and get them right up in probably 15 20 minutes so that tip is just to keep the fridge stocked with the simple sides never let your fridge run out of carrots onions potatoes cauliflower and you always have a site on hand another example would be frozen veggies so if you have a Breezer full of frozen broccoli you are never more than 10 minutes away from a quick side fifth tip is to stock your staples so always keep the things I mentioned before on hand so let them be on your regular grocery shopping list frozen fruit is always on my list so no matter what when I go to the store I'm always buying frozen fruit great for smoothies and then I also make sure I always have popcorn we just buy it in bulk in the bags nuts States raisins quinoa that kind of thing those are always up in the pantry with those five tips keeping your meat thawed in the fridge prepping extra when you have the time keeping the quick cooking staples on-hand keeping the fridge stocked with easy sides and stocking your staples you are never more than thirty minutes away from a meal whether you prepped or not get creative with everything add the herbs add a lot of salt and pepper stock up on whatever is in season so if rosemary is in season buy a lot of rosemary and add rosemary to everything if butternut squash is in season make sure to have 20 of those on hand took one up every time your ovens on and then you always have that for a size I a bunch of limited lines if you see them on sale and squirt them on everything you don't need a recipe to do that get creative experiment with it cook meat and vegetables and add flavoring and call it a day to me I don't need anything more than that I don't have a lot of extra time to spend in the kitchen I don't feel that I have to to have good healthy meals on hand I don't mess with recipes they're fine sometimes and I like doing them on a weekend or something like that but for the most part you'll find me just cooking up meat veggies potatoes Colin today I know it's healthy I don't have to worry about it as long as I have those things on hand we are never more than 30 minutes away from a good healthy meal at all times so some examples because people have asked me so what do you actually make for dinner I'll just share a list of some of the things that I make on a regular basis roasted chicken with steamed carrots life´s avocados and sauerkraut fed beef steak sliced thinly and sauteed in butter served with sauteed onions peppers sauerkraut and avocado salmon burgers with smash cauliflower steamed carrots and avocado or leftover chicken in homemade bone broth with carrots and celery so the soup that way meatloaf with mashed butternut squash sauerkraut and sauteed mushrooms for breakfast six days out of seven its eggs and smoothies I might throw in some vegetables if it's summer I'm probably throwing in kale and spinach from the farmers market if it's winter maybe onions maybe nothing at all and then just a milk kefir smoothie with frozen strawberries and frozen banana might get fancy and make the kids sourdough pancakes on a special occasion might throw in some toasted coconut and blueberries but you know adding in these fresh ingredients doesn't take a recipe and you can just experiment with it you don't have to have a recipe to make garlic herb butter chicken you know you can just take some butter and throw in some herbs and some lemon juice if you would pick that up I will link all of these tutorials that I just mentioned in the description box below so how to make toasted coconut how to make sauerkraut how to make milk kefir and how to work with a homemade sourdough starter all of these things just become second nature once you get them incorporate into your daily routine and they're always ready for a simple meal idea the key is just to buy a lot of fresh ingredients make variety of the same concept which is always meat vegetables potatoes or not even potatoes just more vegetables too there's so many options there and there doesn't need to be a plan to bring that together so I encourage you to please stop on my blog and read the post five tips for healthy meals every night without meal planning because I give a lot more tips and it's a more thought-out article so I have a lot more tips and tricks and strategies that we use here in our kitchen I will link that post in the description below so you can go and check it out let me know in the comments below what you do what is your strategy are you a planner I'm guessing if you made it this far in the video you're probably a little bit more like me and you kind of wing it at all times but find that we and actually works for you and that that is okay I love hearing more tips for how you're able to stay on top of healthy meals without having to plan it out completely and also if you are new to my channel please consider subscribing I do lots of videos on food from scratch natural living and our handmade home here in the farmhouse thank you so much for stopping by


  1. Love this! Makes me feel so much better about my non-planning self. LOL! I’m with you on the planning adding to the stress. Love your channel!

  2. I can’t meal plan too!!!! Thanks for video so much!!!!
    I am using just the same tips with meat and extra chopped veggies!

  3. I tried to be a planner. I never wanted to eat what was on the plan. I have a long list of menu ideas. If I'm out of ideas, I pick something from the list if we have the ingredients. Great tips. I love that you eat healthy.

  4. This was so helpful thank you!

  5. Thank you, I get very stressed over dinner! This is great !

  6. I love this because you are so right. Getting a meal ready at night is freaking me out. Please do more of these helpful ideas.

  7. I make a large pot of brown rice on Sunday then put it in the fridge. Take some out and heat it up for my meals. Like you, Everyday I have thawed meat of some sort in the fridge. Make a quick simple green salad each night. We like to use our slow cooker and make a large pot of soup overnight.

  8. Can I just say that people who meal plan are not necessarily type A, hugely organised people. In fact, they may be the reverse. It depends of course what you mean by meal planning. People on short money need to have a rough idea of what they are going to buy to cook for the week, or they just don’t make their money stretch. I certainly don’t think you are totally reckless, I can do it my way without calling you reckless, and without being super organised and alpha. Please, I like your content but you really sounded passive aggressive in this one.

  9. I'm not a planner either and it's worked for me here on our farm!! 🙂 And I also do the peppers and onions like you! Helps with throwing something together and not preparing vegetables!

  10. i use a lot of these ideas… need to try to make saurcraut now, too!! i do the eggs, salmon/tuna/sardines for salads and different things. we also have avocado, as well.

  11. we do the same, always have some meats in fridge, then in front of fridge on a magnet whiteboard we put about 5.main meals and a few sides available as options for the week for dinner,,,takes the guesswork out of Whats for Dinner,,,Also we have a 19year old daughter who is now helping make dinner so the options give her some ideas to make dinner with what is in the fridge, or she can also create dinner with her own ideas,,,we tried the daily meal plan, but everyone felt frustrated when the days meal wasnt made and food was going to waste,,,now with our current system, we dont have hardly any food waste,,,,game changer,,,Great video

  12. These are such great ideas, love all of the shortcut tips. I personally do meal plan and that works for our family, but these tips are awesome for when your short on time. 😊

  13. Bravo, my Grandma and mother had always cooked like this so l did too especially when l had my family and they were young. Now they are all grown up. I always wondered what everyone was talking about when they said meal planning it seems so hard and time consuming to do it that way.

  14. Yes, yes, yes. I take out meat at the start of the week on a platter and just work with what I have. Every once in a while I take the time to look through pinterest and find something new. But, most of the time everyone makes the same fourteen or less meals every month. Eating out at fifty dollars a pop is just not something we can do. Saves so much money and time Totally agree. Oh have you ever fermented your cabbage with a green apple shredded in it. Try it, I love it, adds almost a cracker flavor.

  15. Awesome!!! Thanks for sharing🤗

  16. I do it like you. Here's one tip: I like to poach a package of chicken breasts, divide into bags/containers, and freeze. I will later use for soups, casseroles, etc.

  17. I love your practical ideas! I love to bake and cook, but I still agree with you about Pinterest. In fact, I've found that when I try something new, with different ingredients that I typically don't use, it ends up looking way better on the screen than how it tastes.

    Typically, I do similar to what you do. I make sure meat is thawing out (I'm vegan but my family is not), I stock our kitchen with fresh and frozen fruits and veggies, and I have simple things on hand like pasta, eggs, and home made bread. I make home made bread all the time, and put it in the freezer, so I can take out just a small amount for sandwiches and it never goes bad that way. I do the same with baked goods. We'll also make a large batch of home made hamburgers and stick them back in the freezer for easy meals. I also stock up on the healthy breaded chicken strips when they are on sale for more easy meals for my kids.

  18. thank you. I have felt like this has needed to be out there on youtube for a while now. I keep hearing the same advice meal plan meal plan meal plan its the number one tip and some people insist it is the only way. there is an insistance that it is so so much cheaper and both in my experience and my sisters meal planning has actually been more expensive. It feels like the difference between having a capsule wordrobe and laying out your clothes for the next day. I enjoy planning I find it fun fallowing a plan however doesn't workout so well. My freezer cooking is having the meat already cooked and portioned in the freezer. I recently just came up with a weekly menu and I am hoping it works. as a stay it home mom there wasn't much point in having a menu. but my kids have developed habits of telling me what they want when they want it and expecting me to fix multiple things all the time or picking what i am out of. also we had a bit of a chocolate problem I had let it happen at each trip to the store but we were going to the store or different stores very often and it was a problem. I have been doing more grocery delivery and I get a lot less demands for chocolate but I still want to break the kids of thinking I am a vinding machine and they have endless quarters. my children are two and three. I am going to do a picture menu. personally for me I don't need the menu or really want to be tied to it however I need to break my kids of the habit of treating me like a vending machine. I want to save what little patience I do have for something meaningful. I think a handful of go to meals a well stocked pantry and a little prep cooking totally is way more key than a full on menu plan to save money and eat healthy.

  19. I know this is old video but just found you and binge watching! This is so refreshing. As long as I have enough meat/protein, sides etc then I can make something. For me this is sooo much less complicated than meal planning.

    Do you have any videos on how you keep track of all that needs doing as you are not a natural planner? Im also not a natural planner and would love to hear from someone who has a similar approach to things.

  20. I LOVE YOUR BLOG! I’ve been here for only a week or so and I’m still binge watching! This is an amazing concept to bring it back to the roots of homesteading and teaching people pretty much everything you would need with your blog! Now, anytime I have a question of this type and grandma is busy, I can look it up here! God bless you and yours, and thank you for sharing!!! 🌻👍🏻

  21. Oh great.
    Now I’m hungry.

  22. So nice to see a young homemaker sharing information on healthy eating. I’m an old lady now but as a young mother of 8 beautiful children I can share, I also never planned meals. I made 99% of everything from scratch. Keeping staples on hand is necessary. Almost part of our daily eats were muffins, ,they’re easy to make, quick to bake and can either be part of the main meal, sweet for a dessert or a healthy snack. The combinations for muffins are endless and they’re inexpensive to make. Another combination meal I frequently made were pies, main dish and dessert.They’re very filling, easy to make and can really stretch a few ingredients. Baked in 9×13 “ pans both went in the oven at the same time and no one ever left the table hungry. They do require more time, however ,then your subject you shared in this video. Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

  23. Wreckless to not meal plan?? Oh please. I love what you are saying in this video. Old school.

  24. I Love you! 😅
    I’m not even past two sentences of your first Tip, but you already gave me such a different point of view!!!
    I was trying so hard to find a way to do it all, I work and have 2 young children, but I didn’t want to lose my cooking creativity… Yet I tried to do it kind of and it just didn’t work! You just boosted my Start of the new year!
    I am so grateful to you!! 😘

  25. Girl same! I thought something was wrong with me but I feel so worried and overwhelmed with the meal planning.1

  26. Great tips…and meal planning is just as much about decision fatigue after a long day as it is about executing a healthy meal. Deciding what to make and then making it when you are a working mom can be overwhelming. If I have my menu and I have booked the necessary prep time on my calendar, my life goes way more smoothly.

  27. Very helpful!

    Does your family not eat rice? Just curious since you mainly mention potatoes as your carb.

  28. What a happy accident, stumbling on your channel. Just having watched 2 hours of meal planning videos I was all pumped up to start planning! Thank you for saving me! My husband has been asking me for 14 years ( he's very un-naggingly persistent) to make a meal plan. My brain does not operate like that…thank you for the Gramma reference, I got my cooking nature from her. I just put simple ingredients together and it comes out great. Feeling so guilt free right now!!! ♥Thumbs up! Subscribed!

  29. This is great I cook like this. I feel like meal prep peeps use recipes and cooking like you do works because you know all the basics and can work on the hop.

  30. Love love love this. Very intuitive and the way I like to cook. Great tips.

  31. God I love this video. Makes me feel better about failing at meal planning this year, lol. Great tips!!

  32. Oh this is so great! This explains me so much and I feel so free hahah! Thanks

  33. My hybrid to this is: I make a 2 week menu but choose what sounds good for that day instead of going by "Monday is this…"
    The menu is my way of knowing I have all the ingredients on hand to make any of those meals at any time. Several of our meals are the meat and veggie/sides.

  34. You just changed my life😂

  35. Raised 6 babies … NEVER planned a meal! Love you and your channel!!

  36. Thank you Lisa! I’ve watched this a few times now and it really helps me every time! I somewhere in the middle with planning. Some things I plan and list, other things I don’t. Meal planning stresses me out no end. I’ve tried so many ways, but it just doesn’t work for me.

  37. I'm a very organized, plan ahead type of person, but you're right, it's very stressful. I think I'm going to try things your way for a while. Pre-planning is so overrated!! I feel more relaxed already just thinking about not having to think about what's for dinner every night…thank you! 🙂

  38. This actually does sound like meal planning to me… you are still prepping pieces of your meal even if you aren't assembling them. I think the point is to keep meals simple and not attempting a Pinterest dish every time, something I need to work on…

  39. Love this……This is how I think too

  40. A Flavorwave lets you cook frozen meat as easy as thawed.

    Frozen potatoes, like hash browns, mean just microwaving, and I really like microwaved frozen veggies.

    Keep in mind that Brassica vegetables, like cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, and Brussels sprouts, block iodine absorption (less so when cooked), so serving sauerkraut with every single meal, as you said on your blog, can lead to a hypothyroid. I know, since my attempt at similarly "healthy" eating has led to my lifetime condition of constant health problems.

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