Instead of getting produce from the grocery store, I like to get mine from SWFL Produce Co-op. The co-op supplies fresh, locally grown and locally sourced veggies and fruit, plus honey and eggs. Some items are organic, but I’m happy with conventionally grown local produce too. I admit, I’m not the most regular customer, sometimes because my husband bought a bunch of produce at the grocery store, sometimes we will be too busy or traveling and won’t use it, and sometimes because we still have produce left over from the previous week. Seriously, the produce is so fresh it typically lasts longer than a week, unless we eat it first, which is what happens with all of the fruit. Have you ever had apple bananas? Those are those small bananas at the front of the photo. They’re delicious – tangy and sweet and typically gone within two days in our house. That’s another reason I like the co-op; they get us to try new, different things we wouldn’t try on our own. And, if there’s something in the box you don’t want, you can trade it for something you do want.
Pick up days are Friday and Saturday. Then, we take all of our stuff home, unpack it and take a photo to share on the group’s Facebook page. I typically get a veggie box and a fruit box; the price for both varies $40-$45. It’s fun to see what everyone gets, and sometimes we share meal plans and recipe ideas too. This week, I thought I would share my meal plan with you too. First, here’s what I got this week in my boxes:
Vegetable Box-$ 20.00
Bonus Item!! WHITE Sweet Potatoes!!
5 Carrots with Tops (organic)
4 WHITE Sweet Potatoes
3 Cucumbers (Local, Organic)
3 Bell Peppers (Red, Green, Orange Organic)
1 Bundle of Spinach
3 White Zucchini (local, organic)
6 Red Roma Tomatoes (local, organic)
1 Bundle of Brussels (organic)
2 Purple Garlic (local pesticide free) – I traded one of these for a couple of extra carrots.
Fruit Box $20.00
1 Sugar Baby Watermelon (Georgia, pesticide free)
8 Apple Bananas (semi ripe)
4 Red Coconut Plums
1 Sweet Golden Pineapple
8 Rambutans – I traded these for two ears of corn
4 Apple Crunch Pears
2 Honey Yellow Mangos
Where to start, right? I admit, sometimes it’s inspiring, and sometimes it’s overwhelming. When that happens, I just try to break things down by what I know I can or will make, pick those things out, then fill in the gaps. Also, I try to be realistic with my meal plans. I know we won’t cook every day of the week, so I’ve stopped planning that way. And, I know that I don’t always cook what I’m supposed to on a certain day, so I don’t designate days for the meals. Everything I specifically plan to use in the plan is colored orange on the list above. Here’s what I came up with:
Orange Teriyaki Chicken with Grilled Pineapple – I cut half of the fresh pineapple into stalks and threw them on the grill with the chicken. I didn’t want to bother with skewers, so I just cut the chicken into strips and grilled them. I served this with jasmine rice with my favorite cheddar cheese sauce and fresh co-op tomatoes. Luckily there was enough leftover for at least one lunch too.
Greek Omelets – Breakfast for dinner is always fun, and my older son loves Greek omelets. Who am I to argue with an 8-year old boy who wants to eat eggs with spinach, olives, tomatoes and feta cheese? I don’t have a specific recipe to link to, but I’ll put it on the list for future posts. We’ll serve this with toast and fruit – apple bananas, watermelon and the rest of the pineapple.
Chicken Enchilada Stuffed Spaghetti Squash – This recipe from Eating Well magazine looks delicious and easy. Honestly, I’ll probably use leftover rotisserie chicken rather than cooking my own. My husband is a sucker for Costco rotisserie chickens, so we usually have extra chicken in the fridge. However, rather than using canned sauce, I’ll use Michelle’s recipe for Homemade Enchilada Sauce from Dish of Daily Life. Notice that this sauce uses one cup of yummy co-op carrots for a little bit of sweetness. This one will probably double as lunch at least one day this week.
Steak with sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts – This one is pretty easy – throw some steaks on the grill, microwave sweet potatoes (another favorite of the 8-year old Eating Machine) and roast the Brussels sprouts. I’ll probably use Carole’s recipe for Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Dried Cherries and Pecans.
Veggies with hummus – Since I’ve been eating between patients, I like to have something pretty portable that can be eaten in stages. That way, it’s not cold when it’s supposed to be hot or soggy when it’s supposed to be crisp. Veggies and hummus is perfect for this. On a recent trip to Trader Joe’s I found their yummy Beet Hummus. It’s really not that beet-y, but it’s spicy with a pretty purple color. A couple of tablespoons of that with carrots, red peppers and cucumbers is a good, light lunch.
Sandwich – Yes, the old staple, ham and cheese sandwich. But, add some tomato slices, fresh spinach, onions and pickles, with a side of Terra Sweet Potato Chips for some extra crunch, and you have a pretty good lunch.
So, that’s it for my plan for the week. Yes, it’s only four dinners, but that’s enough for us. We tend to eat out more than we probably should, and we can always pull something out of the freezer if we’re home and don’t have anything left on the plan. Breakfast for me is typically a Kind bar, or yogurt or oatmeal and fruit. I’m looking pretty good in that area this week – apple bananas, plums, and watermelon are some of my favorites.
What are your meal ideas for the week? I’d love to hear your tips and ideas. Have a great week!