Meal-planning is an important part of our week. It allows us to be more prepared and relaxed with regards to our nightly meals. As locavores, it also makes eating locally much easier because we take the time to figure out what seasonal foods are available and how we can use them. If you live in a similar climate (we’re in Southern Ontario, which is a pretty classic upper-midwest climate) then you should sign up for email updates or check out the facebook page or twitter feed and compare what you’re eating with us!
Why do we keep sharing our meal plans? Furthermore, why do we plan our meals at all? Hey, and why don’t we eat much meat?
The reason for sharing the meal plan is to show others what eating local food looks like, all year-long, at least in this corner of Ontario, the Waterloo Region. We eat about 90% vegetarian and hope that others who find this blog can see how diverse the foods are that are available from less than 100 miles away and how little we rely on meat to fill out our meals.
We also share our meal plans as an exercise in accountability. By making the commitment to share the plans on this blog it helps remind us when we need to make a new meal plan, as well us giving us a forum in which to get a little bit of feedback about our menus and look at other people’s plans to make comparisons and get new ideas (this is why Menu Plan Monday is so awesome!).
Planning meals has been essential for our sanity ever since we had our first child. Leaving for work at 6:30 in the morning and knowing that my wife and I would both be gone at work until late afternoon meant that getting dinner made could be stressful. Coming home and seeing that we had already bought all the necessary ingredients and planned out the meal made the process so much easier and enjoyable. We still had to cook dinner but everything needed was there waiting to be made. One of us could play with our son and the other could easily make dinner. Yes, we changed the plans sometimes but at least there were plans that could be changed as opposed to no plan at all! We are no longer a family with two working parents but the habit of planning meals has stuck with us and continues to lower our stress level and help us eat complete, delicious meals!
Oh, and the meat question? We believe that meat should be something special, not the easy protein filler that it often ends up being. Meat in North America can be very cheap… to buy, but comes with a very large environmental and ethical cost. Rather than contribute to any CAFOs (Concentrated Animal Feed Operation) we choose to buy from smaller, local meat producers who are committed to raising their meat in sustainable ways. This tends to cost more and we don’t mind paying more for it, but choose to do so on a weekly rather than daily basis. When we eat meat it is a treat!
October 28- November 2, yet another week of cooking from Food52):