Most weekends – as long as our calendar is not packed too full – I sit down and plan our meals for the week and then the whole family goes grocery shopping together (occasionally I sneak out alone at nap time). But each year I always have a goal of eating healthier, and to me that includes eating more locally grown and in-season foods. So, when the New Year hit, I decided to mix things up a bit and start the meal planning at the Gilbert Farmers Market on Saturday morning.
Looking for produce I thought my husband and my kids would eat, we ended up with turnips, onions, potatoes, sweet potatoes, kale and oranges.
The first thing we did when we got home was make a smoothie, which my girls love to help with, using ingredients already on hand and incorporating some of the kale.
After enjoying our snack, I used the remainder of the kale to make kale chips with olive oil and salt and pepper as the vendor advised. He also cautioned that it can burn quickly, and it did a little bit, despite my watching it. Still, I enjoyed it – kind of like the way burnt popcorn tastes – but nobody else would try it.
Then, I sat down at my computer and pulled up Pinterest to make a meal plan using the rest of our purchases.
In addition to my farmers market ingredients, I have ripe lemons on my tree, so I was excited to find recipes that incorporated it. Night one we had Lemon Roasted Turnips and Lemon Basil Grilled Pork Chops.
For Meatless Monday, I went with Sweet Potato and Black Bean Enchiladas. (Since my youngest daughter doesn’t eat dairy, I made the first two without cheese.)
I let the dogs have some of the extra sweet potatoes in their dinner. (They are more appreciative of anything I cook than my two-legged children!)
Finally, I made Lemon Chicken and Potatoes in Foil. This one took longer to cook than anticipated, but was very good.
All the meals were good, in fact. My husband and I enjoyed them all, and it made us step outside of our rut of eating the same meals week after week. (Since our girls are 2 and 4, they are a little bit harder to please, but that comes with the territory. Their favorite of all the recipes was the pork – who could have guessed?)
I don’t know that I’ll be able to pull this off every week, but I will try to do it more often throughout the year. Maybe someday I’ll even be able to commit to a CSA basket!