December 5, 2012

Today I'm talking about stocking your fridge- your pantry- your kitchen cupboards.
I've been asked about ingredients that are always in my kitchen / meal planning a few times on formspring and those are the questions that I'm always excited about and never have time to respond to!  I've been planning to post about it for months and am finally getting down to it. It's Christmastime and our thoughts drift toward food even more often this time of year. We usually spend a little more on groceries during December because we get some luxuries and "grocery store gifts".. how about you guys? Is your fridge full of goodies around the holidays?

Well. Let's begin. 
First I should explain that I'm the wrong person to ask about meal plans right now because we basically eat the same meals every week. We're currently working through some food intolerances for Grant and are suuuuuper limited on foods that sit okay with him. I'm talking like a handful of ingredients, tops. To be honest with you, he has eaten chicken, beef, carrots, squash, and zucchini for about 10 months. The awesome part about that is that our meals are so simple! I've actually loved the challenge of making delicious meals with such restricted ingredients. It's been going well so far and they've kept us happily fed for almost a year!

I guess my advice for planning meals would be to:
1. Have some meat thawing. Or figure out (in advance) whatever protein you're going to use.
2. Have "regulars." Have breakfast for dinner once a week, or tacos, or soup, or stir fry. 
3. Keep it simple. or else you won't feel like making it. It's so easy to stick some chicken in the oven, or flip a burger, or cut up some carrots, or make rice.
4. At the beginning of the week, sit down and assign a main dish to Monday-Friday. You can figure out the side dishes (if you even need them) and the weekends as you go. 
5. Have a standard grocery list. If you buy the same things, you'll always have the supplies you need to make your favorite meals. 
*for lunches: we like to have leftovers, soup, or a rice salad (for me)  

Ingredients that are always in my kitchen:
protein: chicken breasts/thighs/drumsticks, whole chickens, grassfed beef, organic beef hot dogs, ground turkey, farm eggs, sometimes salmon or other fish
fats: coconut oil, olive oil, sometimes grass-fed ghee or butter, sometimes raw cheese, rice milk/coconut milk/almond milk or organic raw milk, homemade chicken broth
grains/legumes: rice, quinoa, brown rice pasta, black beans, lentils, white beans, cans of organic baked beans, sometimes a loaf of store-bought sprouted bread
veggies: based on whatever is in season-- carrots, red onions, garlic, squash, kale, zucchini, lettuce, red bell peppers, turnips, parsnips, broccoli, sauerkraut, asparagus, cauliflower, potatoes, corn, celery, and Muir Glen organic tomato sauce (their cans are BPA-free)
fruit: apples, bananas, lemons, plums, sometimes oranges or a pineapple, or whatever is in season
snacks: almonds, dried fruit, almond butter, peanut butter, Larabars, avocados, organic corn tortilla chips and salsa, baked treats
baking supplies: coconut flour, sprouted rice flour, sprouted oats, sprouted cornmeal, cinnamon, vanilla, coconut oil, dates, nuts, cocoa, honey, coconut milk, baking soda, Enjoy Life chocolate chips
seasonings, herbs & spices: sea salt, garlic, rosemary, sage, thyme (my chicken seasoning)
cumin, oregano, cilantro, pepper, raw apple cider vinegar, red wine vinegar, red curry paste

With these you can make...
Roasted whole chicken with root vegetables, chicken chili or beef chili, thai red curry over rice, burgers with a ton of toppings (no bun), pasta dishes, stir fry with chicken/veggies/rice, chicken soup, broccoli soup, roasted cauliflower soup, squash soup over rice and lots of other soup options, burrito bowls, hot dogs with caramelized onions and sauerkraut, roast beef, scrambled or fried eggs, roasted salmon, veggie quinoa bowls, banana cinnamon quinoa, salads with homemade dressing, cilantro rice salad, meatballs, stuffed squash, garlic lemon chicken drumsticks or thighs, carrot fries, roasted zucchini... etc. 

So that's a glimpse into our current food life. I realize it might not be a super helpful answer for you guys because of our current limitations, but maybe there was an easy meal idea that encouraged you or an ingredient that sparked your interest. I hope so! I really love everything we eat. There are things that I am excited to cook with again (butter!!!) but right now I'm content with this kitchen stocked with the simplest stuff. I know someday we'll be having more variety. Well. You made it through! That was quite a bit of food talk. But for me, I could talk about food all day long. So I'm here if you want to chat! What's your go-to meal?


Chiara said...

I am sorry Grant has some food intolerances, it must be quite annoying. Luckily he has you to cook his meals!
I am totally like you: I could talk about food forever! My boyfriend always jokes about food being the thing I love above everything (not true, but close). I am not a vegetarian and I will never be, but I do love vegetables, their variety, their colors... plus, in Italy we are constantly advised to eat meat less than 4 times a week because meat won't protect your body from cancer as vegetables would. Since I don't think meat is that bad for our health, but I do think we should not eat too much of it, I try to plan my meals thinking of vegetables as the main course instead of as a side. This way I eat more vegetables and less meat without completely taking something away from my diet.
Another thing is sugar. I have never been much of a sweet tooth, but lately I have completely given up all refined sugars and drastically limited the amount of brown sugar.
Sorry for the looong comment, but much more could be said... Just one last thing, there is a vegetarian blog that I love, where I find lots of great and healthy ideas (that I often pair with meat), check it out if you are looking for ideas:

PS Loved your post, could you tell?

Josie said...

burrito bowls are on the menu weekly as well as eggs/breakfast one night

i started making my own bbq sauce -so i usually add it to some chicken/beef in the slow cooker or use it for homemade sloppy joes with sweet potato fries on the side
i was never a fan of sloppy joes growing up - now that i make them myself - i want them all the time - total comfort food

La said...

Summer, it sounds like you and Grant might be able to try this recipe:

My husband and I eat it pretty much every week. I can't have peppers, so I just leave those out and it's still good. Add some avocado for a little extra flavor. :-)



about this blog

Hello, I'm Summer. A people-loving introvert whose hope and life is in Jesus. His promises are my passion and my ministry is homelife. This blog is a place for me to write about everyday things. Especially food. My favorite thing to do is sit around a table, lingering over a long meal with good conversation. I live with my husband and our 2 littles. We like blizzards, thrifting, grammar, guacamole, cheerful hearts, nice manners, good movies, and making simple, real, nutrient-dense food.

"If Christ be anything, He must be everything."
-C.H. Spurgeon

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