Eating Local for Urban Families. Gluten-free and Dairy-free, too!

Thursday, August 2

Meal Planning: I may have figured it out

I came home from BlogHer to a fridge full of mishmash and rotting vegetables. And while I was gone my dear friend, Leah, had her second baby boy so I could totally justify getting take-out from Thai Ginger my first night back. An order for the family with the new baby, and an order for my family while we’re at it. Thai is my weakness.

But I'm determined to be more organized in my kitchen. So Monday night I finally sat down to plan meals for the week. I do some form of this occasionally but I’d totally slacked in the last few weeks of constant traveling and work overload.

This time I approached it differently. Instead of wandering through cookbooks randomly, making long ingredient lists, and feeling deflated because I will never have the time to cook something fabulous on a weeknight (I have very aspirational cookbooks), I simply wrote down ingredients that are in season right now and easy to get:

yellow squash
green beans

And then I pulled out my beloved Moosewood Cooks at Home cookbook and just looked up dishes by ingredient. I knew this book, which is simple vegetarian recipes, would have recipes I could handle under duress. Here’s what I came up with:

Monday: Thai take-out, remember?

Tuesday: Frittata. Use some zucchini and potatoes that have been lingering. Serve dilled beans.

Wednesday: Cheese quesadillas with shredded zucchini. Use up the rest of the zuc from Tuesday. This is the perfect dinner for our picnic in the park at the free summer concert series. Serve with wine (just the grownups, of course).

Thursday: Chicken salad. Apples, celery, feta and greens. (I added the chicken to the salad.)

Friday: Fish in a packet. Dover sole, zucchini, mushrooms and Walla Walla onions from my dwindling stash. Serve with carrot and parsley salad.

I made my list and headed for New Season. Stay tuned. I may have just solved all of my dinner making dilemmas.


Kaleigh said...

Yeah, the Saturday trip to the Farmer's Market is often my first step in the week's meal plan. I can't know what's going to be there and appeal to me, but once it's home, I can usually create a meal plan around it. Ratatouille is becoming a regular feature with the tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants that are here in abundance. Your week's menu looks great!

Katherine Gray said...

Ratatouille! With the release of the movie I've been reading about this dish everwhere. It sounds like a fancy version of my nanna's dish, Hoopdedoo! (Which I think was her soup made of leftovers post-canning.)

Perhaps I'll take Clara to the movie and then come home to make a gluten-free version...