{FREE DOWNLOAD} Let’s Plan It!

Pearl’s Bantam-sized eggs. ({One of three new pets at Christina’s Townhome}

The summer growing season is in full-swing now, and that means veggies might start piling up in your fridge! It makes you moan and groan and feel all guilty but you know it’s true. If you get a CSA share or are an avid gardener, pretty soon you are going to scowl when you realize you’re getting backlogged on produce.

We all know that cooking and eating should be enjoyable, especially this time of year. We also know that planning out things in life (no matter what those things are) is generally a good idea. Sometimes it can seem really daunting to merge those two worlds though. So we’ve made it easy for you w/ our FREE DOWNLOAD : FSC’s Weekly Food Planner!

Our Food Planner is not just for planning meals but a week-by-week strategy for those who do many food-related activities in the kitchen! Such as DIY food projects like making your own crackers, yogurt, cheese or granola or food preservation processes like dehydrating, infusing or canning.

Frittata Made with Pearl’s Eggs & KFF’s Keith’s Blend Micro Mix (carrot, beets & arugula)

If you’re like me, I don’t fuss much with breakfast or lunch. It’s usually smoothies, sandwiches, salads, or leftovers. These meals are great times to use up things like greens, either cooked up with scrambled eggs, or in a wrap or salad for lunch.

But there’s still that dreaded dinner slump! This is the time when planning is crucial. Sometimes it’s so easy (especially when you are tired) to just head out to dinner or order in something instead of preparing a meal. Although I can’t tell you what you should prepare I can say it’s much easier when you pair up your produce with recipes you like to make or want to try.

Something that I always do when planning meals is to look at my schedule for the week. Will I have a meeting at night, do I need to take my son to 4H, will I be working at the market and getting home late? Immediately I know I need something quick or leftovers, then I work back from there.

I also like to map out things that need to be or can be prepped in advance. Examples are: soaking beans the night before using them, making a big batch of tortillas, making pizza dough, making a jar of salad dressing, etc. Then I also look at what other items I have on hand so that I can pick meals to make.

The last part of this is making a list for the store. This really should be last, because otherwise you could easily end up repurchasing something at the store that you already have. At least in my house, if I haven’t been keeping up with fridge and pantry organization, it’s easy to accidentally buy more of something I already own.

I also like to remain flexible and like to stay ahead of the game when I can. Sometimes I need to flip flop meals during the week, and in the height of the summer I know I can blanch and freeze items or quickly pickle them if they are about to spoil. I also like to think ahead for Swap items and make sure I have the right ingredients on hand so I’m not cursing at myself when I’m running all over town the day before a swap trying to get it all made and packaged properly.

Hopefully this will make life easier during the hustle and bustle of the summer. Other ways to save yourself some stress are having theme nights like Pizza Night or Stir Fry Night. Both of these are easy ways to use up lots of veggies all at once. If you are a CSA member, you could plan these nights to be the night before you get your next share pickup. That way you aren’t wasting anything and you are making room for the new veggies you are about to get.

Do you already plan out meals?
Have you always wanted to get better about it?
Try out our Meal Planner and let us know what you think!



Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Categories: FSC Downloads, Menu Planning

Author:Erika T.

Mom to Jack (lover of Legos) and wife to Chris (Naval nuclear mechanic) who keeps track of her family's DIY adventures at ourDIYlife.com. As a child of an Italian mother, Erika loves food in all its forms. She's also passionate about the fiber arts, sewing, photography, and writing. She can be seen skating with the Albany All Stars Roller Derby League where she proudly sports her "No Farms No Food" sticker on her helmet. Her day jobs include managing several social media accounts & a myriad of things for Kilpatrick Family Farm. Someday she and her family plan to have a sustainable farm of their own.

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9 Comments on “{FREE DOWNLOAD} Let’s Plan It!”

  1. thebeadden
    June 13, 2012 at 2:04 pm #

    Thank you. Such a great idea!

    • June 13, 2012 at 2:09 pm #

      GREAT! Glad you like it!!!! We are really hoping that it becomes a useful kitchen-planning tool!

  2. June 13, 2012 at 5:48 pm #

    I love this! Thank you so much. It’s something I definitely need to start doing. I have all these projects in mind and I’m supposed to start featuring Moroccan food this month, but haven’t managed to plan it properly.

  3. June 14, 2012 at 4:21 pm #

    This is a very interesting post. I know people who don\’t really know about cooking who just let vegetables spoil because they don\’t know what to do with them. I think part of using everything you have is actually knowing about enough recipes that you have a lot of options in the back of your head. The only real way to get good at stuff like this I think is to have experience cooking and to browse cookbooks/blogs more than when you are just looking for a specific recipe. I think then you need to develop a set of recipes that you know what goes in them off the top of your head and without much effort. For instance: we have a great stir-fry recipe and anything can go in them. You can make many different things into fillings for quiche, wrap sandwiches, and crepes, toppings for pizzas, and thrown into soups. We have gotten pretty good at planning, and while part of it is thinking ahead, part of it is also knowing catch-all recipes for when it is difficult to plan it all. The real key to it all might be a long while on a Saturday spent staring at Tastespotting. I think after you do that even lunch and breakfast become opportunities for adventure. Planning your meals is not an easy thing when you want to take into account money, time, effort, and taste. That is part of why I don\’t like the term \”foodie\” – I am not unusual or weirdly obsessed with food, I just want to eat things that are good for me and cost efficient. It just so happens that the only real way to do that is to make most things yourself. Great post!

  4. Amy Halloran
    June 15, 2012 at 7:15 am #

    Love the plan! I’m not a rule follower, even of ones I create, but I’m going to take a shot at using this!


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