Wednesday, August 4, 2010

creative menu planning

rarely do i have the luxury to develop a menu and shop for what i want. i usually plan my meals around what i have in the cupboard and what i get from this awesome food bank. although my husband and i work FT we lack a surplus of money needed to buy decent groceries. it's pretty sad, but a reality for many americans. we're too "rich" for programs that we could benefit from, but this pantry is very awesome because a) they have really good nutritious whole foods, b) we do qualify, c) they make thursdays a priority for the disabled, pregnant-(that was me!), and lactating-(that's me!), and d) if you can't make it there--you can get someone to proxy shop for you. shown above and below are some seasonal staples at the pantry: tofu and corn. MHC always has tofu, veggies, and tons of bananas and you can take as much as you'll use in a week. i freeze my bananas for baking, smoothies, and to puree for my youngest child who just started solids. above is some tofu that i southern fried via a test recipe from vegan crunk. her southern vegan cookbook is getting published, and i'm pretty sure that recipe made the cut.
just look at that crispy breadly goodness! i paired it with some fresh corn salad make with steamed corn onthe cob, green chiles/green onions from my garden, lime juice, cayenne, cilantro, and a touch of salt. the corn dish was deliciously simple and ain't bad heated.
this was a dish i made with white beans, wheat pasta, kale, basil, garlic, olive oil, tomatoes, and mushrooms. nursing moms: did you know kale will increase your milk supply and basil will decrease it? true dat. i served this tasty combo on some fresh leaves of swiss chard from the garden. i served it hot, but the dish is just fine cold. perfect pantry cleaner potluck sort of thing to have.

do you menu plan, or do you base your meals on what you can get on sale? talk to me about your favorite time smart, pocket book sensible meals.


Leslie R. said...

I try to menu plan. I use my cookbooks and try to make use of what's in the pantry. It's satisfying...and necessary!

Jessica @ Lima's Vegan Kitchen said...

I love menu planning and this all looks great!