One of the things we strive for when planning our menus is making everything fit together into one nice, neat little package. We look to use ingredients in different ways throughout the week so that we’re benefiting from the ability of do-aheads and being able to buy in bulk. We also benefit from a well-stocked pantry.
I spent part of last week in Florida with the other Lifetime Moms. I was excited to meet them in person, and I’m delighted to call them my friends. While I was gone, my brother Joel and Ole held down the fort and tried to keep things under some semblance of control. This week we’re back to normal, and I may even try to put away the kids’ clothes that have been waiting on the living room bookcase for the last two weeks…
The Preparation Shortcuts:
1. Make the ribs ahead. Ole always makes several racks and stores them in the fridge for a few days or in the freezer so that we can have easily accessible ribs when we need them. Of course, fresh off the smoker is always best, but we don’t always have 4 hours to smoke them the day we want to eat them. just make them ahead and bring them along. Five minutes on the grill, and you’re ready to eat.
2. Use the leftover asparagus and English peas from Tuesday’s meal for the soup on Friday. Incorporating meals with similar ingredients throughout the week reduces waste and, subsequently, cost.
3. Make vegetable stock from vegetable scraps on Tuesday for the risotto, but make plenty extra for the salad on Thursday and the soup on Friday. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
4. Broil extra chicken with salt and pepper only alongside the yogurt chicken on Wednesday. Cool, wrap and hold it until Thursday’s meal to save you that extra step.
5. Make extra wild rice on Thursday for the soup on Friday. Store in the fridge until you’re ready to use.
The Shopping List:
1-2 racks of baby back ribs
4-5 chicken breasts
3/4 pound raw shrimp with shells on
1 bunch thin asparagus spears
2 cups shelled English peas
1 1/2 cups sugar snap peas
1 pound baby carrots
1 head celery
small piece ginger root
2 cups wild rice
1/3 cup dried cranberries
fig vinegar (could substitute with apple cider)
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 cup Greek yogurt
homemade vegetable stock
dry white wine
Fresh from the Garden:
red spring onions
Last week from Food for My Family: