I hope everyone had a wonderful Mother’s Day. We had a nice relaxing day which ended with a meal I did not cook. But now it’s Monday.
I didn’t post a meal plan last week because my husband was out of town and my daughter was sick. I made the easy chicken noodle soup again and still can’t believe how quickly this meal comes together (especially when I cheat with store-bought rotisserie chicken).
I also discovered an amazing recipe for restaurant-style salsa on Pioneer Women. She does a fantastic job with her recipes – great pictures, instructions, and humor. I made the salsa for a family get together and everyone loved it! I plan to make it every couple of weeks and keep it in the fridge.
This week I have a couple of new items to try including Pesto Parm Chicken and Red Beans and Brown Rice for Wednesday, the long slow cooker day. I haven’t found a red beans and rice recipe I love yet so let’s hope this one is a keeper.
What’s Cooking This Week
Monday: Have it Your Way Tacos inspired by Liz Weiss, MS, RD
Tuesday: Chicken Pesto Parm with Couscous and Vegetable Stir fry and Bread
Wednesday: Red Beans and Brown Rice served with a salad and fruit (let’s hope Anna goes for this one!)
Friday: Salmon topped with spinach, tomatoes and mushrooms, mac and cheese and green salad and fruit.
A post on Simple Bites — Stocking Your Pantry for Success — got me thinking about my biggest meal-planning challenge.
Right now, I pick items for the week and make one big shopping trip (Sunday) followed by a little one later in the week (Friday). The Friday trip is supposed to be spent at the farmer’s market getting mostly perishable items like fruits & veggies. But lately, I end up running low on something else like soap or cereal, and that makes me choose the grocery store instead.
We do stock up on certain items like paper towels, spices, and toilet paper but I haven’t been keeping the rest of my pantry full of items I use on a regular basis (broth, beans, pasta, canned tomatoes, etc).
So I’ve decided to have a monthly shopping trip dedicated to buying adequate amounts of the nonperishable items I use most often.
Maybe I’ll even have inventory day and get up at 5 in the morning like they to in restaurants. Just writing that makes me realize it’s a bad idea.
I’m hoping this decreases my weekly trips to the grocery store allowing me more time to go to the Farmer’s Market to get fresh and local produce.
I’m curious, does anyone else shop this way?
The Environmental Working Group released its 2010 Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 for Produce. For those not familiar, the EWG routinely tests produce for pesticide residues so consumers can decide when it’s worth it to buy organic.
The produce with the highest level of pesticides (dirty dozen) are celery, peaches, strawberries, apples, blueberries, nectarines, bell peppers, kale, cherries, potatoes, grapes (imported) and spinach.
The produce with the lowest levels of pesticides (Clean 15) include onions, avocado, pineapple, mangos, eggplant, cantaloupe, honeydew melon, sweet potatoes, grapefruit, mangos, kiwi, sweet peas, asparagus, cabbage, and sweet corn.
I rely on this list since I don’t buy everything organic.
Well, that’s it for now. Have a great week and let me know how you are doing!
Want to create your own dinner rotation? Get step-by-step help in Maryann’s book The Family Dinner Solution.
Besides the salsa, does The Pioneer Woman make healthy foods?
Maryann Tomovich Jacobsen, MS, RD says
I don’t follow her site on a regular basis but I think she cooks everything — some healthy and some not so healthy.
I grocery shop once a week with The Grocery Game, she teaches how to stockpile and buy items at rock bottom prices by combining sales & coupons so that keeps my pantry well stocked with the basics you discuss. There are tons of similar websites & blogs that match coupons with sales but I’ve found most of those you end up driving to several different stores each week and I just don’t have time for that. For most of my fruits & veggies, I get them from Bountiful Baskets every 2 weeks, a volunteer co-op mostly in the west states. It’s great as it provides whatever is in season so I get the chance to try new veggies that we may not normally buy. They have conventional & organic pick up sites.
Thanks for sharing the salmon recipe. It has vegetables PLUS it is ready in less than 30 minutes.
I grew up on a farm in the middle of no where… my mom had lots of shelves in the basement FULL of canned goods. The nearest grocery store was 30 minutes away and during the winter sometimes we couldn’t leave the house. The pantry was critical to having any possible meals! Mom had a certain stock point and replenished as she used it. I live closer to town now, but I also have a pantry that is also full. I keep several on hand of everything, buying on sales and just as needed. I consider it important for many reasons but especially for disasters – I want to be independent and not rely on disaster aide if the situation ever arises. The aide is good if needed, but I want to not ever have to need it – this is one way I can do that.
Mama Melissa says
I hope you got to try the CousCous! I just made it again last night and finally posted a pic on my blog… http://thesassyapron.blogspot.com/2010/05/couscous-and-vegetable-stir-fry.html
Still one of my favorite (healthy) quick-meals… hands down!
Maryann Tomovich Jacobsen, MS, RD says
It turned out good but your picture looks better (and prettier). I’ll have to try it again!