at the market now • late September
It’s almost October here, a month into school and as I mentioned in one of the last posts, we have been steadily easing back into a routine of busier days, out of the house, working and such, which means meals need to be delicious, quick and thought out ahead of time. A huge part of this is a good weekend practice of cleaning house, organizing and planning meals for the week. During the week, I don’t want to have to bother with things like thinking what’s for dinner, running out to get ingredients, rummaging through a messy fridge to find things, so I have been sticking to this little routine lately. On Friday after classes, the kids and I shop at our co-op for things we can’t get at the market- bulk beans, grains, nuts, PB, tofu, etc. Then on Saturday morning, we shop at the farmers market for fresh fruit, greens, and seasonal colorful veg. When we get home, I start laundry, scrub out the fridge, wash fruits and veg, and cook a few things to propel me into the next week. I like to make a baked good/snack, a pot of grains, and soak beans to cook on Monday. Here’s some other things that I’ve been finding helpful to do ahead of time to ensure nourishing meals:
baking sweet potatoes: I pop as many of these as we need in the oven as soon as I am in the kitchen in the morning and let them bake leisurely before we leave (no need to time, just bake until tender and soft and some juices are bubbling out, I bake at 400F/200C). I simply turn the oven off when I leave, to let them have a little extra time in the heat if needed. Then, later, I either eat whole, or split them in half lengthwise and fry them, cut side down in a skillet to caramelize the edges and reheat. Add butter or maple if you like for an extra delicious side.
washing greens on the weekend: I do this with hearty greens like kale or for softer salad greens I know we’ll eat in the next 3 days. It makes me much more likely to incorporate salads and greens in meals when they are ready to use. Also, I have been loving separatign celery bunches, washing them, then storing with washed carrots in a damp cloth bag int he crisper drawer for easy access to clean, snackable veg.
cutting up veg ahead of time (such as winter squash, broccoli, cauliflower): Again, saves some time during actual dinner prep if you can take a little time the day/night before or morning of to cut up veg. I do this and keep in mason jars or pyrex bowls with sealing lids for up to 5 days in the fridge. You can cut winter squash into cubes for roasting or soups, trim and halve Brussels sprouts, cut broccoli or cauliflower into florets, deseed a pomegranate, etc.
what we bought + cooked this week
celery: for snacks + soup, I separated the stalks and washed, then stored in the crisper drawer in a damp cloth
parsley: for adding to anything as seasoning, I trim the stems 1/2 inch and remove the rubber band, then place in a glass of water in the fridge
carrots: snacks + soup, I scrubbed and stored in a damp cloth in the crisper drawer
tuscan kale: kale salad, I wash and rolled up in a damp cloth and stored in the veg drawer
avocados: for salad + snack
sweet potatoes: for roasting
brussels sprouts: for roasting
bulk farro: for farro salads + in soups
cauliflower: for roasting, wither store whole in the veg drawer or cut into florets and seal in a container in the fridge
apples: for snacking on with PB or AB, we love to sprinkle large coco flakes on too
broccoli: I add a little oil, add the broccoli, sear until a little browned, add a splash water and cover till tender, then toss with lemon and salt
cabbage: salads or braised cabbage, I just toss the whole head straight into the veg drawer
Beyond Brats: we don’t eat these super often, but they have been delicious with the cabbage and a little dijon mustard
- leftover chili from the weekend got remade into instant pot chili Mac which we had with cauliflower buffalo wings
- chickpea, pumpkin and coconut curry + rice and green beans from the garden
- beyond brats + tangy apple cider braised cabbage + roasted sweet potatoes with maple
- kale salad with quinoa, bell pepper and peperoncinis and a lemon/olive oil/salt dressing*
- general tso’s tofu with broccoli (repeat from last week but, dang, this one is good and a crowdpleaser)
- apple cider farro salad
- a big batch of maple olive oil granola that we ate with yogurt and our garden’s passionfruit for breakfast- this recipe, but I add a few nuts and about 1 tsp freshly ground cardamom
*cut or rip two bunches tuscan kale into bite size pieces, then massage with 1 tbsp lemon juice and 3 tbsp olive oil and a big pinch salt and chile flakes until softened. Add in 1/2 a very thinly sliced bell pepper, a diced ripe tomato, a few scoops sliced peperoncinis, and about 1 cup of cooked and cooled quinoa. Toss to combine and taste. Add a salty feta (the tofu one in my book is great) or avocado, and sprinkle over toasted pumpkin seeds.