Are you a KS groupie?
(Don’t answer that; the very idea kind of freaks me out.)
Let’s ask a better question: do you want searchable access to over 2000 whole foods recipes (and counting) that the readers of KS deem good stuff?
There’s a new KS group on Plan to Eat now, and just by going to kitchenstewardship.plantoeat.com you’ll be added to it. Everyone who joins will be able to share recipes in a sort of real food haven, free from Crisco and where people know what soaked grains and ferments are! PS – I can kind of proctor the group and boot anyone who clearly has all the wrong sorts of recipes, but I can’t promise purity all the time. Just know that when you search, you’ll only have to sift through 10% junk instead of 95% like when you do a Google search for a recipe.
Here is how it works:
When new users visit and sign up for a new account they are automatically added to the group and a 20% coupon is applied to their account for a year subscription.
When current PTE customers visit, they are automatically added to the group as well (and all the recipes in everyone’s "recipe box" sort of land in a big pool for us to immerse ourselves in…).
The "group" function means you won’t have to ask me to be your friend to share recipes with me, and you can benefit from so many other people’s recipes (12 already with just a "soft launch" via Facebook; I can’t wait to see what happens after today!) without having to "know" them or "friend" them. My apologies if I’ve ignored some friend requests in the last month; I knew this was coming and would be the better way!
Just click the "groups" tab near the top of your Plan to Eat dashboard and you can view everyone’s recipes, organized by category. You’ll be able to search for a recipe or ingredient, or filter by any or all of the following categories:
- main ingredient
- member (I’m "kitchenstewardship")
- and more!
I just barely started browsing and I already have a new tab open with some grain-free pancakes I’ll plan in for next week!
This post is sponsored by Plan to Eat.
How I Import Recipes
I admit I’m still a Plan to Eat rookie, but I’m pretty quick at popping recipes in from websites. Here’s my 60-second system:
I copy and paste the ingredients, which takes about 30 seconds, less than that if the bookmarklet tool reads the post properly, then it’s automatic.
I type the title of the recipe. I choose the course and the main ingredient. I tag it, because tags will help ME when I’m looking for a recipe with a certain ingredient, or something “fast,” "easy," or “slow cooker,” three of my most important tags.
In the “method” section, I don’t copy all the instructions for three reasons:
Sometimes bloggers include a lot of photos in the method section, so it would be multiple copy-and-paste moves, taking more time than I want.
If I’m on the computer looking at my recipe anyway, I might as well go to the site to benefit from the pictures, recipe notes, and even comments that might enhance the recipe.
It’s kind to the blogger not to completely copy his/her instructions, especially when thinking about the sharing function of PTE. Now others who are interested in the recipe can also be introduced to a great blogger, and that blogger gets a little traffic as a thank you for their good recipe.
Having the ingredients in your PTE recipe box makes all the difference, since that will populate your pantry/shopping list and be searchable if, say, you’re looking for a recipe that has potatoes, spinach, and canned salmon when you’re two weeks overdue for a grocery store trip and that’s all you have!
Why PTE is a Struggle for Me
I’ve been trying to plan my meals the past few weeks with PTE, and I just keep failing. I think my hang ups include:
The time investment can’t be denied – it does take a minute or two to import each new recipe.
However, if I had a smart phone and could use the shopping lists, that would make a huge difference.
Whenever I get on my computer, I get sucked into the world of blogging. So sometimes, it’s safer for me and more efficient to keep things off the computer on paper…
However, I’m getting more and more online recipes, so a big part of me loves the idea of having them all in one place…I just need to commit to the investment so I’m not looking all over for a recipe: “Hmmm, did I bookmark this in Firefox, pin it on Pinterest or get it into Plan to Eat? I can’t find it!”
I’m currently struggling with inspiration for meal planning, so I am likely to have “scrambled eggs and smoothies” or “leftovers” or “meal from freezer” in there a lot, or just simple things that don’t need recipes like “salmon and baked potatoes” or “hamburgs and potato salad.” For me, it’s easier and quicker to just scribble that phrase in my calendar than it is to even type it in the right place in PTE.
BUT…I am excited to have more of my recipes in one place, and I love sharing with others. I think using Plan to Eat will mean that, when I see a recipe I want to try online, rather than bookmarking it and never getting back to it because I don’t remember what I bookmarked, I’ll get it right into PTE and maybe even plan it right away for the following week. As I work with it more, it will become more useful to me, and I’m excited about that (see note above about meal planning inspiration slump).
A System I’m Working On
As I plan my weekly menus, I’m testing out how to help myself prepare for the next meal in advance. I’ve created some "recipes" that are pretty much blank other than the title, for things like “thaw meat” and “soak beans." Then I can quickly drag and drop them into my menu plan for the day before a meal that requires those steps.
I’m hoping this will help me remember to do things like "soak beans" 4 days before a meal and then "sprout legumes" for the next 3 days. (How to sprout stuff)
How do you plan ahead for traditional foods tasks like fermenting, soaking, and sprouting?
I also have a couple strategies for speeding things along with recipe importing and planning:
- If I have a recipe that I use on a recipe card or in a cookbook, I might not type it all in to PTE. I’ll just create the recipe with title and maybe main ingredients so I can search it, then make a note of where to find the rest in my physical kitchen. This isn’t so helpful for the sharing aspect, but it makes my life easier…
- If I want to plan something that doesn’t take a recipe, like stir fry or hamburgers, I’ll just "add a note" in the weekly calendar and drag it to dinnertime, rather than creating a new recipe.
- I’m letting myself take it slowly. For example, this week I made sure my recipes were imported for Monday and Tuesday’s meals (like Three Bean Soup, pictured above), even though I didn’t officially make a plan (it’s on my old paper system). Wednesday I get my first CSA box (ever!), so I want to see what’s in there before I plan the rest of the week (although Thursday already has something with kale tentatively planned; you know CSA boxes this time of year!).
- If you use PTE, really, install the bookmarklet in your browser – it’s fantastic! You don’t even have to open a new window/tab to put an online recipe into Plan to Eat, and if the recipe is nicely formatted, PTE does all the work for you and you can just tag it, save it, and be done!
I think Plan to Eat is ideal for:
- People who don’t already have a system for meal planning.
- People who have a smart phone or tablet that they use in the kitchen.
- Folks who already have their calendar online instead of on paper.
- Those who like to use online or eBook recipes (KS has 4 awesome eBooks right here, and you’ll see many of those recipes in my PTE recipe box often)
- People looking for new recipes – utilize that KS group and let me know how it’s going!
See you in the group!
If you missed the last Monday Mission, click here.
Disclosure: Plan to Eat is a sponsor of Kitchen Stewardship this month, and this is a paid post. See my full disclosure statement here.