Thursday, June 28, 2012

Menu Planning

I'm lazy and I love vegetables and lists. My meal-planning strategy is based on these facts.

I start with the produce. During the Summer and Fall I participate in a farm share that distributes on Thursday afternoon, so I do my meal planning for the week Thursday evening.

This week's farm share has loose salad greens, purple basil, broccoli, parsley, FIVE CUCUMBERS, zucchini, scallions, summer squash, chard, beets, snap peas and a head of romaine lettuce. 
Once I get home with my haul, I think about what protein and carbs would be good with what vegetables. I'm a vegetarian, and I try to vary my protein and carb sources and combinations to avoid the (admittedly delicious) Constant Pasta Syndrome. 

Carbs list:
  • Wheat – pasta, couscous, noodles
  • Wheat – bread, pita, tortilla
  • Potato
  • Rice
  • Corn
  • Oats
  • Beets/Squashes
Proteins list:
  • Soy – edamame, tofu, fake meat
  • Beans – black or pinto
  • Beans – lentil, white or chick peas
  • Quinoa
  • Other seeds or nuts
  • Dairy – yogurt, cheeeeeses
  • Egg

I cook/prepare big batches of a couple of things a couple of times a week, and then alternate between dinner and lunch with those batches until they run out and I do it again. I've got some feta and eggs I definitely want to use this week, and a new bread recipe I'd like to try. With those things in mind, here are a couple of ways this week's farmshare could shake out:


Edamame, zucchini and scallions stir fried, over rice with a cucumber salad on the side.
Basil walnut pesto pizza topped with mozzarella with a green salad on the side.
(and then, a few days later ....)
Broccoli quiche (egg-based) with sauteed chard on the side.
Beet, walnut and feta salad.

Broccoli fried rice (egg-based) with a cucumber salad on the side.
Make basil into pesto and freeze it.
Zucchini and pasta salad in vinaigrette with feta and chick peas.
(and then, a few days later ...)
Roasted root vegetables with marinated tofu and buttered snap peas on the side.
Lentil soup with chard in it, crusty bread and a green salad on the side.


  1. mmmm, lentil soup with chard in it... I feel a little of this type of planning would definitely help cut down on the food waste in my life, which used to be so much less bad and I'm not exactly sure what has happened to me.

  2. Stella, I think the two things that make this strategy work for me are my desire to just eat most of these vegetables raw and naked anyway, and consciously making batches of things that actually improve in the fridge over a few days. Mmmm, vinaigrettes.

    I am going to experiment with freezing the lentil soup. I don't see any reason why it shouldn't work, and frankly, it is NOT soup weather.

  3. I eat soup constantly in the summer. /shameface

    Your eating organizational skills are breathtaking. Mine go like this:
    -Hide delicious things in the back of the fridge where nobody will find them and throw them away.
    -Forget about delicious things in the back of the fridge until they go bad and nobody will find them and throw them away.

    Sad truth. Stella and Sasha have been working on me, though. I didn't even know kohlrabi was a food that existed and now I love it.