With CSA season in full swing, my meal planning strategy has shifted away from looking through recipes and building a grocery list and towards strategically working through the grocery bag of veggies I get with an eye towards minimizing effort and waste and maximizing variety and taste. This past week, I decided to keep it simple when I shopped: 1 bag veggies from Bellair, 1 family pack from The Organic Butcher, and one brief trip to Whole Foods to replenish kitchen “staples” (eggs, milk, chocolate…you know, the basics).
My CSA loaded me up on potatoes, beets, carrots, onions, corn, hot peppers, and a few tomatoes, squash, and eggplant. (Unfortunately, the wet weather has washed out their lettuce and put a temporary damper on the growth of sun-loving summer crops; I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a drier, sunnier few weeks.) The family pack from The Organic Butcher is a great deal. I can’t believe it took me 3.5 years of living in Charlottesville to finally give it a try! For $35, you get:
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 whole chicken
- 1# ground beef
- 4 hot dogs
- 4 Italian sausage links
- 1 pork tenderloin
- 1 packet beef jerky
This is pretty sufficient to cover Michael and I for lunch/dinner from Sunday night through Friday afternoon, give or take a bit depending on our appetites (i.e. how many workouts we do). Not only do you get the pleasure of supporting a smaller, local business, the meats are delicious: the sausage was phenomenal, perfectly spiced and not too salty, as were the hot dogs (I normally avoid hot dogs, but I couldn’t resist these).
When faced with such a bounty of food, I keep it simple and straightforward. Getting dinner on the table can be challenging enough on busy days and trying to work through our CSA share before things go bad increases the challenge. There’s no need to make things harder by also trying new recipes.
So, on Saturday, I sorted the veggies into the fridge, putting those with the shortest life span in the front of our veggie drawers, tossed the chicken breasts with some Tessemae’s soy ginger dressing to marinate over night, and put half the family pack meat in the freezer to pull out later in the week.
On Sunday, I set the grill to heat. Then I sliced up a pile of veggies to stir fry with some coconut oil and a finishing splash of Tamari.
I made a pot of rice, grilled the chicken, and plated the rice with veggies and sliced chicken on top.
Simple and delicious. (And pretty, if I do say so.)
What are you grilling these days?