Sunday, October 17, 2010

Local Eating Challenge: Week 3

Review of Week 2
Overall, last week's meal plan went well.  My husband ended up making chicken caccitorie for his lunch using the frozen roasted tomatoes, the half chicken I bought, some garlic/onions and herbs from our garden.  The meals got shifted around a bit and I got lazy one night, so we didn't end up eating the Acorn Squash with Arugula Pizzas (which were fabulous, btw) until Wednesday and Thursday, which was lucky.

I don't know if I'm getting into a groove, but this is getting easier.  And each week I'm still excited about trying new recipes which is saying something as usually with this much cooking I'm burned out.

Lessions Learned
I'm finding that consistently going to the farmer's market makes it infinitely easier to meal plan.  I now have a pretty solid idea of what I can find week-to-week.  It's no longer an Iron Chef situation where I have to think of recipes on the fly or come up with a meal plan only to have it ruined by not being able to find a key ingredient. 

But perhaps the biggest lesson was the awesomeness of local pork.  The ham roast I got last week was indescribably good.  The pork you buy in the grocery store usually tastes like chicken, which is to say it doesn't take like much.  This pork tasted intensely like *pork.*  I only used salt & pepper on it, yet it was full of flavor.  It was also a bit tougher than commercial pork so next time I'll probably brine it first.

I love "2fer" vegetables like turnip and kohlrabi that comes with the root vegetable *and* the greens.  Sometimes I use them in the same recipe, but often I split them up.  It's such a great deal.

Week 3
This week we went to Costco and stocked up on pasta (we do this every month or two).  The husband also brought a block of cheddar.  The total of Costco was $20.  The grocery store was mostly basics & came to $26.  At the farmer's market I got 2 bunches of turnips, 1 bunch of kale, 6 potatoes, 4 sweet potatoes, 1 bunch of carrots, 2 crowns of broccoli, 3/4 lb green beans, 3 roma tomatoes, 2 large onions, 3 large parsnips, 2 heads of garlic, 1 half gallon of apple cider and 3 lb chuck roast...all for $58!  So, we're $4 over budget this week, but since I was waaaaaayyy under last week, it evens out.

Here's the meal plan for this week:

Friday: last of the Acorn Squash with Arugula Pizzas
Monday, Wednesday: Spanish-style lentils (tomatoes, turnip greens, onions), steamed broccoli

Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday: Pot roast (chuck roast, 2/3 of the turnips, 2 parsnips, potatoes, sweet potatoes, green beans, onion, garlic)

My lunch: Roasted vegetable & wheatberry salad (1/3 of turnips, 1 parsnip, 3 carrots, onion & kale)

My husband's lunch
: Homemade mac & cheese (Have you sensed a theme yet?  He likes pasta.  A lot.)

Weekend lunch: I think we're going to go out to eat on Sunday for lunch, but on Saturday we'll made quesadillas from leftover cheese & roasted acorn squash

Breakfast: More steel cut oats.  God, I love these things.

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