When it comes to food I have ‘shiny things’ syndrome. It’s terribly hard to focus on the basics when there is so much choice, so many recipes, so many ingredients… Cookbooks, magazines, blogs and websites are full of delicious suggestions on what to make/ cook/ bake. It certainly looks like it is only going to increase, making it even harder to choose. So to tackle my ‘shiny things’ syndrome I have decided to come up with a blueprint recipe collection that I can refer back to whenever I feel the need to cut through the noise. A personal blueprint, that is specific for me and my family (and that can be for you and yours).
True seasonal capsuling could have meant to cut down the ingredients list (as you would cut down the amount of clothes you own in a capsule wardrobe), but that doesn’t work for me. I love food and think abundance and variety is key. I want to have it all, but in a manageable bundle. So instead I am choosing to create a recipe collection that encompasses the season, my family’s needs, a healthy approach to food and a large variety of ingredients, centred around fresh fruit and vegetables.
It’s a numbers game
A season is 3 months.
Roughly 13 weeks.
Roughly 90 days.
Lunch and Dinner can be grouped together in our house. Often my husband takes dinner leftovers to work for lunch, and sometimes we have Abendbrot for dinner, which is simply open faced sandwiches with lots of toppings. So there are no fixed rules around which meal is the cooked one. But let’s say we have one hot meal and one sandwich style meal a day.
That makes 90 breakfasts, 90 sandwich style meals and 90 hot meals throughout the season, plus snacks and treats of course.
What is the blueprint made up of?
We usually end up eating the meals that we like more than once so in my capsule recipe collection I’ll have 20 hot meals. That means throughout the season we’ll eat each of the recipes about four times if we switch it up regularly. More often if we love it. It also still leaves enough room for my ‘shiny things’ moments, when I come across new recipes that I want to try out.
I’d say we switch up breakfasts less often than hot meals so 10 staple breakfasts will do.
Similar with the sandwich situation, which already consists of bread/ wraps etc and spreads/ meats/ cheeses, so I’ll simply choose 5 savoury snacks and 5 salads/veggie dishes to mix things up with.
For treats there will be 5 refined sugar free/raw treats and 5 sweets (cakes, muffins, biscuits…). I like to call that balance :).
And lastly I think 5 smoothies and 5 drinks will round up the blueprint nicely.
Let’s sum it up:
5 salads/veggie dishes
5 savoury snacks
5 refined sugar free/raw treats
This makes 60 recipes in my winter capsule recipe collection.
My aim is to make these the most versatile, nutritious, comforting, easy to achieve and happiness inducing recipes as possible. They should be great as standalone recipes but also wonderful in combination. If I stick to this capsule we will eat a balanced diet throughout the next three months, enjoy our favourite meals and still have room to experiment with other things if we feel like it. There’s also room for the occasional night out/ take away, because I know we will always fall back on this capsule.
And most importantly I’m looking forward to the ease of meal planning with a small range of recipes if I don’t have time or brain space for new cooking adventures.
The fun begins next week!
Until next week I will collect the recipes for my winter capsule and I invite you to do the same! If it’s not winter where you are, make it a summer collection :). That really is the fun bit. It will be very personal choices, based on my family’s needs. I won’t worry too much about the guidelines I discussed last week just yet. Simply collect all the options together. Some I will have too much of, some not enough. That’s ok. The key is to collect everything I love in one place for now. Nothing’s better than a good overview before implementing the guidelines and making amendments accordingly.
Let’s meet back here next week and see where we’re at.
I hope to see you then!