Saturday, October 2, 2010

Meal Planning - We Are Still on the Wagon

Well, as my due date draws closer, time seems to find all kinds of things to be crowded with.  We have been taking the time to diligently meal plan; but I have not been taking the time to post our plans. Actually, as I have gone from working in the office to freelance writing from home, it seems I have fallen off the face of the blogosphere all together.  I am really wanting to remedy that, though, as I would rather write about these things than how many ways there are to skin a cat in Minnesota (anyone who has done freelance article writing online certainly understands that sentiment, I am sure).

We received a very pleasant surprise today: Dh went to our dairy farmer to get our milk, and checked to see if he had any beef yet (he said closer to October last time we spoke with him).  Well, he did not have the new beef yet, but after dh helped him get a cow back into the pasture, he gave us a shopping bag full of steaks and ribs he had in the freezer. Gave. Things are a bit tight these days, so that was a huge blessing.  Tonight we are having sirloin! (A side note: If you have never cooked grass finished beef before, or have cooked it with not-so-great results, head over to Kelly the Kitchen Kop to check out this post. Cooking grass finished the same way you cook commercial beef can lead to some tough results!

Regarding the pig we split with a family from our church: We worked our way through the pork chops, tenderloin, and roasts pretty quickly. We have another roast left, but mostly a good bit of sausage and lots (and lots) of ribs. Add that to the beef ribs we just got from our dairy farmer; and we have decided that the next few Sundays are officially "Rib Day."

Taking inspiration from many of the amazing real food bloggers I have been reading, I also decided that we would freeze the remains of one meal a week for freezer meals post-baby. I will have my mother here with me for a month, and friends visiting, so I know it may not be a drastic necessity; but I wanted to have at least a week's worth of back-ups, just in case. So far we have frozen the mixed up (but raw) beef mixture for Barley Burgers, Venison Sausage Chili (Dh's amazing creation), Pork & Cranberry Stew (we had a gluten-free guest that night so it is made with rice instead of barley). We actually have two nights worth of the stew frozen, all thanks to being only two people with one large crock pot ;) .

We were also very blessed with an abundant (and I do mean abundant) harvest of sweet potatoes.  For our first garden together, most of our planting yielded sparse results. Good, quality, heirloom and heritage fruits and veggies, but not in the greatest quantities. Sweet potatoes, it seems, were the exception to that rule. We planted 2 sweet potatoes in about 4 pieces (after sprouting them), and they took over our backyard. So, I have plans to freeze enough baked sweet potato for a few sweet potato pies (I need to do that before the baby comes, for sure!) for Thanksgiving and Christmas; but otherwise, we have them stored in the crawlspace under the house and we're just trying to incorporate them where we can.  So on this meal plan, you will see several meals with sweet potatoes, and now you know why!

One last little addendum.  My last checkup with my midwife had me reading as slightly anemic. Not a huge deal, but being due in 2 1/2 weeks (give or take), I decided that everything with grain is going to be soaked this week, even things I don't normally soak (like crepe batter, or rice for the risotto). Though I am not sure yet exactly where I fall in the phytic acid debate, I figure that this week I need all the help absorbing iron I can get.

Monday - Spinach/Tomato/Mozzarella Fritatta, Whole Wheat Toast (from our homemade soaked WW Bread)

Tuesday - Hamsteak (from our pig!), Sweet Potato Risotto (Yes, I am soaking the rice for this)

Wednesday - Breakfast for dinner - Sausage (from our pig!) & Egg Crepes (with soaked whole wheat crepes)

Thursday - Spaghetti with garlic bread (again with our homemade soaked whole wheat bread), and steamed veggies

Friday - Pan Fried Chicken, Veggies, Rice (soaked, and cooked up with a little bit of chicken stock - hello flu season!)

Saturday - Cozy Quinoa Casserole (We are revising this one to exclude the ground turkey - since it is really not necessary - and to replace the Acorn Squash guessed it! Sweet Potatoes! Plus, we are ignoring all the "low-fat" and "low-sodium" parts of the directions. Only full fat cheese and our homemade chicken stock work for us!)

Sunday - Beef Ribs, Cornbread (soaked), and Baked Sweet Potatoes.

Visit Laura @ I'm an Organizing Junkie for more great menus!

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