21 January 2010

what we're eating these days

I've mentioned a few times in the past few months that we're working on a bit of modified meal planning. In fact, I think I'll refer to it as "meal planning lite." Basically, we choose about three full meals to make each week and then I go shopping on Saturdays and do some of the prep cooking on Sundays. I also try to make bread on Saturday or Sunday, and maybe some other kind of baking (this past weekend I tried making crackers, more on that experience later).

This has been working out really well for us because it gives us enough food to have leftovers or just graze the rest of the days, and have plenty of food for lunches too (this is critical, especially for me, when I'm now walking or biking to work and there's nowhere super close to my work to grab lunch if I'm unprepared- and I'm usually not wanting to bundle up to go out in search of something in the middle of the workday).

This week we made a number of bean-based meals, which was great because I was able to cook all the beans over the weekend, so they were all ready to go. We used to go through probably two cans of black beans each week, not to mention chickpeas and occasionally kidney beans as well. Not that canned beans are that expensive, but dried beans in bulk are way cheaper. It takes a little bit of planning, but isn't that what I'm striving for here anyways? I can't remember the last time we bought a can of beans now.

I try to always have some black beans cooked, since that's a favorite snack around here- plain (or maybe with some rice, avocado, or tomato- depending what we've got lying around) with some hot sauce and salt, eaten with corn chips, or tortillas. I also usually have a store of chickpeas ready to go, since we're making hummus almost every week now.

Here's what we're eating this week...
Sunday: Broccoli Polenta with Chickpea Cutlets
Monday: Lonely Leftovers (I had an evening meeting, and Jared was out with a friend)
Tuesday: Pasta E Fagioli (Fusili with White Beans and Fresh Tomato Sauce)
Wednesday: Grazing (mostly black beans with chopped avocado and hot sauce, eaten with chips)
Thursday: Chana Masala with White Rice
Friday: most likely leftovers (Jared and I both have plans and won't be home for dinner together)

This system seems to be working out great for us so far, of course, we'll see what happens when Jared goes back to school next month!

PS: This was the first time I soaked my beans in mason jars, and to be honest, I have no idea why it seemed like a good idea. The chickpeas overflowed overnight and those and the black beans ended up being really hard to get out of the jars for cooking. In short, I wouldn't really recommend this as a soaking method, unless you have very small quantity- like less than one cup.

Note: Thanks SO much to everyone who has supported the Craft Hope shop so far, it's been an overwhelming success. We have sold over 1,000 items and raised over $20,000 for Doctors Without Borders relief efforts in Haiti. I am humbled and feel so honored to have played a teeny part in this incredible effort. The shop is still open, and I still have two clutches and a child's knitted hat available, so please go check it out! The work is not even remotely finished!

Also, watch this video. It might have just changed my life.


  1. I love hearing about your "meal plan lite". For whatever reason, I am often stumped when it comes to meal planning so it was good to hear some suggestions. Funny thing is, we often end up eating beans and rice from the super sweet take out place like three times a week anyway-so I don't know why it never occurred to keep a regular stash on hand. Anyhoo...hope you have a lovely weekend, darling!

  2. I'm trying to get into the habit of meal planning. It makes life so much more 'calm' Your meals look so tasty!