Hello and welcome! I wanted to start by sharing my weekly meal plan with you, and then over the course of the week, as I make the meals, I will pop in occasionally and review the recipes.
Overview of my meal planning strategy:
I use a meal planning tool from Rifle Paper Co. (pictured below). It’s very simple — just a paper pad with a tear-off grocery list. I typically list all my dry goods on the left of the grocery list and all my produce on the right.
I typically make a list of the vegetables that I need to use and try to find good recipes that will use them in the most efficient way possible. I’m still working on this, and I definitely make mistakes where I end up with some food waste. I start with the dinners that we will make for the week and consult my recipe books for recipes that I want to make. Lunches for my husband are typically sandwiches. For me, I either make a large salad in advance or eat leftovers, depending on how much we cook on the weekend, how busy we are, and what the planned dinners are (whether they pack well for lunch). Breakfasts are either smoothies, baked oatmeal, whole-grain muffins, or breakfast cookies. We have been really into baked oatmeal lately and typically make a double batch to last through the week.
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)
For this week, you may notice that we don’t have a lot of produce on the list. My husband and I are currently trying out a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). What this means is that on Wednesdays, we get a big bag of produce from a local farmer — basically, a share of what they produced that week. We live far outside of Houston, so I was excited when I learned about a local farmer that would actually deliver to us in our area. I will share more details about our CSA experience throughout the week. It’s been really fun but definitely a culinary challenge!
Our vegetables from the CSA that we are using this week are: romaine lettuce, kale, and Swiss chard. We have already used the beets and carrots that came last week on Wednesday. I’m hoping to get more carrots this upcoming week on Wednesday. Otherwise, I’ll have to run back to the store or skip them in our dinner on Wednesday night. I also have a cabbage, but cabbage will stay good for a while in the fridge. I’ll probably use it sparingly over the next couple weeks!
Dinners this week:
- White bean & kale quesadillas — Mostly Plants cookbook
- Braised beef with lots and lots of onions — Six Seasons cookbook
- New York Chopped Salad — Mostly Plants cookbook
- Pizza night!
- **Bonus: Spaghetti with Swiss Chard, Pine Nuts, and Raisins — Six Seasons cookbook
- Technically, we’re making this for lunch on Saturday. I find it helpful to make meals that require a bit more effort for lunches on weekends (depending on schedule), as I typically have way more energy than I do in the evenings. That’s why Saturday has a more complicated meal for lunch and a simple meal for dinner!
My lunches this week will be primarily leftovers, as I have a couple events at work where lunch will be provided. Sometimes I still bring my own lunch as a backup, in case I dislike whatever is provided or something falls through! Leftovers make it easy to be flexible with your schedule, as opposed to meal-prepping specific lunches prior to the start of the week.
I’ll also indicate in the Miscellaneous section if I’m making anything special — i.e. snacks, desserts, baked goods, etc. This weekend, I will try to make my husband’s sandwich bread from scratch! I’m going to use a recipe from the Pretty Simple Cooking cookbook for a Multigrain Artisan Loaf. I’ll keep you posted on how it goes!
This Week’s Cookbooks:
The Mostly Plants cookbook is new to me, but I have the Pollan Family Cookbook already and am excited to try recipes from their new book! I buy into the flexitarian diet, and I am excited for a book to showcase plant-focused cooking.
Six Seasons is a favorite of mine, as it focuses on vegetables in season and develops the recipes based on in-season produce offerings. The only caveat is that in Texas, our seasons are slightly different than the book, so I often am in a couple seasons at once with my produce!
I love A Couple Cooks blog, and their cookbook (Pretty Simple Cooking) is fantastic! They have recipes organized by time so you know which recipes to pick depending on whether you are cooking on a week day or weekend, etc.
Our weekly based oatmeal recipe is from Sally’s Baking Addiction (1-Bowl Baked Oatmeal). We love it, and it’s super customizable for what you have on hand.
What are you making this week? Are you part of a CSA or do you shop your local farmers’ markets? Leave your comments and recipe suggestions below!
Happy meal planning!