Recently I wrote how our family had implemented a more strict grocery budget and how I was working out the purchase of healthy, mostly organic, frequently local food within the new parameters. (Read here http://wellfedfamily.net/?p=217 ) Here is an example of a week’s worth of dinner menus including links to recipes when available. I just wanted to give you an idea of how we normally eat. Everything is just plain, wholesome real food for the most part. There are occasional instances of a package or can of something, but even then those items are usually single-ingredient items such as canned tomatoes. I’ve been told one of the frustrations of cooking from scratch is the amount of prep time it takes. My advice for getting around that is this: 1) put on some happy music and pour yourself a glass of something (kombucha? wine?) and let the prep time be a relaxing time rather than a stress-filled time 2) practice your knife skills and make sure your knives are always sharp so the chopping and slicing goes easily and quickly. Many people don’t have any knife skills or even know which knife to use in which situation. Thankfully we have You Tube! Here is a favorite chef of mine, Alton Brown, explaining the many different kinds of knives and their uses: ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=4KY42QGD0DQ#! ) and here is Simply Ming showing good knife holding technique ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=MXP85t1bQB4 ) and here is one last one showing how you can put a little skill into good use by making quick work of mincing an onion ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=bXre3lrYICg#! )
List of Menus
Chicken Oreganata ( http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/chicken-oreganata-10000001036137/ ) I made this with bone-in chicken thighs instead of boneless because bone-in are cheaper and more flavorful. Just extend cooking time another 10 minutes or so. I served it with another Greek-inspired side dish called Fashoulakia which is a green bean and tomato dish flavored with dill and other herbs. You can make the green beans ahead and serve them chilled or room temperature. Here is the green bean link ( http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/fashoulakia-10000001036202/ )
Salmon Cakes with mashed potatoes and a tossed salad plus some Bubbies fermented sauerkraut was the menu for Tuesday. I used the Salmon Cakes recipe from the Well Fed Family Eating With the Seasons cookbook. I am currently sold out of the cookbook, but hoping to get an e-book version published this summer.
Lemon Rosemary Roast Chicken with Red Potatoes was Wednesday’s dinner. Here is a link for a similar recipe although mine used more garlic, rosemary and melted butter. I doubled the recipe and saved the meat from the extra chicken in the freezer for later, and then put all the carcasses in a big stockpot to make broth. ( http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/lemon-rosemary-roast-chicken-with-potatoes-10000001185388/ ) I can’t remember what we had along with this, but broccoli or a salad or some kale would go well.
Hotdogs with oven fries and coleslaw was for Thursday. My son makes great spicy oven fries and that is a big help when I’m trying to get a quick dinner on the table before a ballgame. I like to make homemade hotdog and burger buns in big batches and then keep them in the freezer, but in a pinch you can also find sprouted hotdog buns from Ezekiel or Alvarado Bakery in many health food stores and groceries. Homemade is much cheaper! Here is a simple bun recipe from King Arthur ( http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/hamburger-or-hot-dog-buns-recipe )
Chuck roast in the crockpot was an easy supper for Friday. I put quartered onions and several chunked up carrots in the pot first and then put the grass fed chuck roast on top. I sprinkled the whole thing generously with an herb blend from Simply Organic (I think it was the Grilling blend for beef), put on the lid and that was it. That evening we made some smashed potatoes to go with it, sliced up some tomatoes and cucumbers and had an old-fashioned Southern supper. Here’s a similar recipe for how I make mashed potatoes, however I don’t peel the potatoes, and I just mash them right in the cooking pan instead of dirtying another bowl! ( http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/perfect_mashed_potatoes/ )
Each week when I make up my menus I try to have at least one night of beef and one night of fish. When I have access to good pasture-raised pork I also include that. Using homemade bone broth several times a week, whether in a soup or cooking rice with it, is also something I try to do. We work on having fermented and raw foods every day whether at breakfast, lunch or dinner. Sometimes every meal!