Nov 5 2008

Meal Planning

I’ve decided to start posting the week’s meal plans because:

a) I suspect my mother believes that we subsist solely on pork rinds and Smarties, so she will be reassured by this
b) It will be useful to me to have the meal plans here rather than carefully written out on random scraps of paper that Robin proceeds to throw out the window
c) It will remind me to post here more regularly
and d) I get a weird kick out of seeing what other people are eating—everything from Wendy’s gorgeous bento boxes to Urban Homestead’s weekly menus.

We get a box full of fresh produce delivered to our door each Wednesday from one of the local farms, so that largely determines the ingredients I’m working with each week. I like the element of challenge involved: the contents of the box are a surprise and sometimes it’s stuff I never would have bought at the store, like rutabega or broccoflower, so it forces me to expand my horizons both as a cook and as an eater. I like eating locally and seasonally, although the reality of “eating seasonally” is not all sparkles and charm. I’ve cooked six pumpkins, two acorn squash and three butternut squash in the past month or so and frankly I’m pretty sick of gourd-based dinners. Oh but guess what we got this week? More squash.

Here’s the full ingredient list for the week: a bunch of radishes, a big bunch of lovely chard, a bunch of kale, a bunch of broccoli rabe, a bag of bok choy, a large head of fennel with stalks and fronds, a head of Napa cabbage, three oranges, two bell peppers, and two carnival squash. Also I still have a pumpkin left over from an earlier week.

Plan for the week:

Tonight: Hot and sour soup with bok choy
Thursday lunch: roast squash with butter and salt, boiled cabbage with same
Thursday dinner: pepper/beef stirfry with quinoa
Friday lunch: kale sauteed with bacon and onion, possibly the other squash
Friday dinner: baked polenta with chard & cheese, a simple salad w/ lettuce and radishes
Saturday we go out for brunch
Saturday dinner: whole wheat pasta with Italian sausage, fennel, and broccoli rabe
Sunday lunch: scrounged from leftovers, whatever’s in the cupboards
Sunday dinner: slow cooked garlic-studded pork shoulder with parsnips, turnips, and apples (a recipe I’ve been wanting to try)
Monday lunch: peanut butter sandwiches
Monday dinner: probably leftover pork
Tuesday lunch: fried fish fillets (bought frozen and tossed in the oven)
Tuesday dinner: pumpkin soup

We’ll eat the oranges for breakfast/afternoon snacks. So that’s the plan!