|Gilled Pineapple and teriyaki chicken with roasted red potatoes and rice. // Sloppy Joes with grilled zucchini, corn, and potato chips.|
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!
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 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.
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.