Thursday, May 17, 2012

Our food

So lately I've been trying to take pictures my our dinner every night. Mostly on instagram. Mostly as proof that I'm a decent homemaker.
Gilled Pineapple and teriyaki chicken with roasted red potatoes and rice. // Sloppy Joes with grilled zucchini, corn, and potato chips.
But I have gotten some questions about how we plan our meals, so here's what we do at our house:

We are part of a food co-op, which is one of the best things for our diet and our budget that we've ever done.  Essentially, we sign up every Monday morning that we want food that weekend and pay $15, and then every Saturday we go pick up a great big box of assorted fruits and vegetables.
You get WAY more food for your money, and every once and a while you get food that you've never cooked before, so you don't get into the same cooking routine.
We got brussel sprouts and cauliflower several times, and now I have several awesome recipes for each - they're some of our favorite vegetables now!

Grilled honey, mustard, parsley marinaded chicken thighs, with grilled corn, asparagus, and zucchini fries // Pineapple chicken with roasted broccoli // Fried fish, homemade mashed potatoes and minted peas // Brats with grilled onions and lettuce, broiled, cheesy potatoes, and roasted broccoli.
Some people like to just make the same food every week, but I love to cook and experiment. I love when I make something new and my family devours it.  We have friends over for dinner almost every week, because I really like to feed and take care of people I love. In my opinion, it's one of the best ways to show someone that you care. (Once after we fed our friends dinner, I said "I just want you all to leave, feeling warm, and full, and happy," and now every time they eat over they say, "I feel so warm, and full, and happy.")
Anyway, back to the food co-op. We go through Bountiful Baskets, which operates in several states, so check them out if you're interested.
So we pick up our food on Saturday morning, and I go through the box and decide what I want to cook with and incorporate into our meals, and what I want to just eat as snacks, or roasted with our lunch. (The boys pretty much have roasted veggies every day with their lunch.)
I do try really hard to have at least one vegetarian meal, and one meal with fish each week, but that really varies.

Our monthly calendar // Some of my many cookbooks. If you're looking for a cookbook to help you cook more, I would HIGHLY suggest Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution or Mad Hungry: Cooking for Men and Boys.
And then, during the boys naptime, I pull down the calendar off the fridge and yank out all my cookbooks (I have over 15. And all those magazines? Issues of Martha Stewart Living and Better Homes and Gardens, with the odd Ready Made among them.) and I usually pull up my Pinterest, because I've got a nice-sized food board, which I love to cook from.
And I start searching for recipes that use this weeks veggies. I love planning our meals around vegetables, because we eat much more healthy than ever before.
I make a list of all the recipes that I want to make, and then go through our cupboards to see what we don't have. Sometimes we need more pasta, or whipping cream, and always there is meat to pick up. And I make a list of regular things, like flour or cereal that we're short on, and we go to the grocery store.
I write the meal for each day on to the calendar, and then I know that I already have all the ingredients for what I want to make, and if I don't make something, a whole bunch of produce will go bad.

Chicken Pot pie, side of dijion braised brussell sprouts // Tacos // Sweet potato and cashew soup, topped with roasted tomatoes, served with homemade soda bread // Steak with roasted red potatoes, grilled bruschetta with homemade pesto and vinegar soaked tomatoes.

I usually make about three recipes that I am already familiar with, and three recipes that are new. (We often eat out once a week, or spend it with Travis' family.)
Our favorite ways to use up veggies that didn't get cooked by Friday nights are: tacos, minestrone, or chicken pot pie. (depending on the type of vegetables) and currently, we're obsessed with the grill.

And speaking of soapboxes, I have a very long and passionate soapbox speech about the importance of eating dinner with your family. Here is the very short version: It is important to sit down and eat with your family in your own home, around your own dinner table.
And if you're going to go through all the trouble of eating together, make yourself some delicious food.

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Krystle said...

Yumm! I've looked into the Food Co-op thingy or something similar here, and it is way out of our budget unfortunately. But I did plant a good size garden for the first time in my life this year, so hopefully that will help!

xj. said...

Thanks for writing this up! (This yourliesl from instagram) I picked up some cookbooks from the library today and am going to steal your idea for the calendar. We'll see how it goes.

So I don't remember this with my daughter... when do you stop being afraid your baby will coke on everything? I'm constantly swiping big chunks of food out of my son's mouth and he is always extremely offended.

Aimee said...

I've loved seeing the foods you are making on instragram. We are trying bountiful baskets for the first time this weekend, so maybe you will need to give me some of your recipes for unique vegetable use. I hope to eat much healthier and save a lot of money this summer through our garden, but until it produces we will see what we think of bountiful baskets.

Little Gray Pixel said...

I would LOVE to eat dinner with my family. Unfortunately I don't get home from work till 9 p.m. I still make them delicious dinners; I just don't get to eat them with my daughter and husband. It sucks.

Jessica said...

Yum, yum, yum, yum, yum! Dinner is the best part of our day! Its nice to be able to know what your kids are eating, such a satisfaction!

Natasha and Jesse said...

They are trying to start a Bountiful Baskets in our area, but it's taking forever!

Can you post some of the recipes that you use...and maybe the one for the soda bread too? All the food looks so good!