You may have noticed lately that things are changing. The weather is colder, most of the pretty leaves are gone, the Sunday paper is full of Christmas ads, catalogs you’ve never seen before are arriving in your mailbox and Thanksgiving recipes are appearing on blogs. I’m not going to lie, I’m completely okay with most of these changes (though I would’ve kept the warmer weather and the foliage). I love the holiday season and I have no problem with it starting so early.
Another change you may have noticed was the lack of a menu plan last week. Honestly, it was mostly because weekends are never long enough (and last weekend was especially short) and I just didn’t get to it. But after not posting and then beginning to work on this week’s menu, I started thinking about another thing that changed last week. As of last weekend, the regular season at our CSA is over and we’re now into the winter season. In the winter, we only pick up our share every other week. So, with the knowledge that it’s going to be two weeks between pick ups, I’m going to try planning my menus two weeks at at time. My bi-weekly menu plans may not line up perfectly with our CSA pickups, but I’m looking forward to seeing if I’m able to plan two weeks at a time and how it will affect the rest of my grocery shopping. Could I possibly get away with only going twice a month? Probably not, as I enjoy seeing what’s on sale in the weekly circulars too much, but we’ll see. I was able to cheat a little on my first set of two week plans as we’re visiting with friends over the weekend and we haven’t yet figured out what meals will look like. But still, planning the next 11 meals is no small feat. Maybe I’ll even manage to think about breakfasts and lunches now that dinners are set.
Thoughts on the 10/19-10/25 plan
My menu plan from a couple weeks ago was the first time in a while that I felt really awesome about the entire week’s worth of food I put on the table. It was such a successful week in the kitchen that I already wrote a special post about two of the meals that I made, the Lasagna Stuffed Spaghetti Squash and the Curried Vegetable and Chickpea Stew. But the Spicy Squash Nuggets were also really fabulous and easy, especially since we had leftover squash already cut from the Pumpkin Spice Waffles with Butternut Bacon Syrup I made the night before. The waffles themselves were pretty good, but the topping was a little heavy on the syrup and light on the bacon and butternut for my tastes. I’m not sure I’ll make them again.
Saturday — chickpea “crab cakes” from The Meatlover’s Meatless Cookbook
Sunday — leftover “crab cakes”
Monday — 30 minute black bean soup with cornbread
Tuesday — leftover soup and cornbread
Wednesday — Joy the Baker’s Breakfast Pasta with bacon and eggs
Thursday — kale and feta quesadillas
Friday — frozen ravioli and kale chips
Thoughts on last week’s plan:
Considering the incredibly busyness of last week, I’m really pleased with the way the menu worked out. I definitely front-loaded the menu with meals that required the most effort, leaving really easy meals for the end of the week. I feel like I’m getting better and better at planning meals that I feel good about eating and serving, but don’t take hours to make. I’d like to be able to spend a couple hours in the kitchen every evening, but clearly that’s not a reality. Last week’s list of meals included only one dish I’d never made before, which also turned out to be one of my favorite meals of the week. Joy’s Breakfast Pasta was super easy to make and also incredibly delicious. I don’t think I’d need to change a change, though the thought of a little more cheese has just crossed my mind. Definitely the sort of recipe that makes a ton of sense, but I never would’ve thought of. It will definitely be appearing on our menu again soon.
And now, for the meals I’m intending to make over the next two weeks:
Saturday — homemade deep dish pizza
Sunday — baked salmon, hasselback potatoes & Brussels sprouts
Monday — Martha Stewart’s vegetable pad thai, a tried and true favorite
Tuesday — Tofu, roasted vegetables and rice
Wednesday — chickpea noodle soup from Peas and Thank You, another well-tested favorite
Thursday — leftover soup
Friday — dinner with friends
Saturday — dinner with friends
Sunday — dinner with friends
Monday — frozen pierogies, kielbasa and greens (whatever we pick up at the CSA)
Tuesday — frittata with potatoes and squash on the side
Wednesday — Smoky Butternut Squash Sauce with Pasta and Greens from Oh She Glows, a site that I’ve really been loving the recipes on lately
Thursday — slow cooker chili
Friday — leftover chili