One of the many ways of approaching meal planning is to play a little game of Sudoku, to help cut the number of ingredients you’re buying.
The principle of Sudoku is that you have a puzzle grid in which you place the numbers 1-9 in each row, column and box so that they show just once in each direction. You have to carefully consider where you place each number and move things around until they all fit; it’s a brain-training exercise that is extremely satisfying once completed!
Supper Sudoku uses the same premise as the puzzle but with the intention of showing you how you can reuse ingredients in multiple ways. For this, you need only a 4×4 grid and you pick 4 each of proteins, carbohydrates, veggies and sauces/flavourings, which you then arrange in your grid until you get a pleasing combination. Ultimately, you should end up with 10 unique meal combinations for only the 16 ingredients.
This is your Sudoku grid.
P = Protein; C = Carbohydrate; V = Vegetables; and S = Sauces/Flavourings.
You should pick complementary and flexible ingredients (no specialist items) that you enjoy, and that you won’t mind eating more than once.
I decided to use the following items to make up a ‘world food’ plan, as we enjoy lots of different cuisines in our house:
Proteins: Chicken, Prawns (Shrimp), Beef Steak, Salmon
Carbohydrates: Rice, Pasta, Sweet Potatoes, Noodles
Vegetables: Spinach, Broccoli, Spring Onions (Scallions), (Bell) Peppers
Sauces/Flavourings: Tex-Mex Spice, Tomato Sauce (Marinara), Coconut Milk, Soy.
And this is my complete grid!
If you follow any arrow, you can see the different ingredients it uses from the grid. You will also see how I have chosen to add a further couple of ingredients to embellish each meal, but this is entirely optional.
Want a closer peek? Download the PDF to take a good look at my grid, plus print out the template to have a go yourself!
DOWNLOAD HERE: Supper Sudoku.docx
How do you approach your meal planning? Drop me a comment and let me know!