Weekly ritual

Weekly ritual

Good Monday to you and yours!  The market was fabulous this weekend (as it usually is). These little quirky pumpkins are actually edible squash. They were a bit pricey so I opted for a photo instead. Getting into the routine of shopping, prepping and meal planning for the week can be challenging.  For me – typically I go to the grocery (2 or 3 different stores) on Fridays, the Farmer’s Market on Saturdays for fresh produce and take 4-6 hours on Sunday to cook for the week. It becomes second nature once you get into the habit. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt’s pepper season and the different varieties are so luscious!  Remember to make your meal colorful. We get in our necessary nutrients this way. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATypically the smaller the pepper the hotter the intensity.  These are perfect added to soups, stews, sauces, dips and marinades. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe larger varieties are perfect to eat raw (with a yogurt or bean dip), added to salads and wraps or stuff them! OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERARoasted vegetables are easy to prepare, taste great and are super for advanced planning. This medley is a combination of onions, swiss chard stems, bell peppers, mushrooms and green beans. And seasonings of course! OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADrizzle the vegetables with olive oil and seasonings, then toss to coat all sides and roast on 425 degrees for 20-30 minutes (toss mid way).  To make them a bit more crispy, broil them at the end. This vegetable medley is an excellent side dish and super good left over too. I like placing them on cold salads and even adding them into soups a day or two later to gain the assortment (and yumminess) of uses from one simple dish. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERARoasted carrot and radish are a sweet mix. This is my second mix for the week, including onions and green beans too. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA On a side note the food photos are all by me too and such an inspiration to make “the plate” colorful to entice you to want to eat it! Food is art. Culinary craft is fun like throwing paint onto an empty canvas. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAButternut squash hash beats the white potato any day! Just peel the skin from the squash, cut into cubes and sauté on high heat until browned. Try using a mix of butter and olive oil to enhance the taste along with some sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Less is more. The natural flavor of butternut squash is so tasty all by itself! OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI purchased an array of  leafy greens to form my salad mix including radicchio, spinach, kale, mustard greens and rainbow chard. There was so much volume of greens I decided to make my Spinach Burgers too! In a fry pan just add garlic, onion, greens such as spinach and kale, peppers, red onion and whatever else sounds good to you. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASaute the greens until limp. Using tongs, simply turn the greens until they are wilted then cool and squeeze out the moisture. Add other ingredients like egg and Panko crumbs. Form patties and pan sauté in olive oil until browned both sides. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADinner is served! With leftovers for the next day! OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASalad mix is ready for lunches. Steamed green beans and roasted vegetables are portioned out in 2 cup containers for ease of grab and go. Butternut squash ready for a breakfast side paired with eggs. This is an idea of how I go about some weekly meal planning techniques. Happy cooking!

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