Meal-planning is an important part of our week. It allows us to be more prepared and relaxed with regards to our nightly meals and reduces stress. As locavores it 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!
For me, meal planning is easiest when I look at old meal plans. This is why it’s so helpful to make a meal plan and keep the plan—I can go back to one year ago and look at what we ate (or planned to eat). That gives me ideas and soon the creative juices are flowing and I’m getting excited about what great things we’ll be cooking in the week to come. When I worked as a teacher this would give me something to look forward to on Monday mornings when I might otherwise be a little less than excited about the weekend being over.
We’ve been busy with lots of apples from a friend with a tree! Here the assistants are working on sauce.
Since food is such a routine part of the day it seems quite important to take the opportunity to make it not feel routine. A meal should be anticipated not just because of hunger and necessity but also because it’s a new experience waiting at the end of the day (or in a lunch!). This is one of the big reasons that we don’t repeat too many meals (although this week includes two classics, Eggplant Parmawesome and Beet Black Beans!). In any given week there are probably only one or two meals that we will eat that we’ve made before. It is a bit more work to cook new meals from scratch but it makes the process more of a challenge and more interesting. Yes, a few of the meals are sort of fails, but most are successes, and a few are amazing! So now I will stop writing and starting flipping through old meal plans (that are all in this same Word document I’m typing in now) and figure out what we’ll eat this week….
The plan for September 16-22. Linking up at Menu Plan Monday.
New Ferment to try making this week to enjoy the following week: Kimchi!
(Both recipes from The New Moosewood Cookbook)