Saturday, December 13, 2014

MY BOUNTIFUL BASKETS MEAL PLAN - 12132014

Christmas is coming!  ...and so is winter break.  That means kids will be home and that means more food prep.  Luckily, I think food is fun this time of year and I got a lot of great items in my basket this morning.

One of the items you may have noticed was TURNIPS!  I had never cooked with turnips before but I quickly studied up and learned a handful of ways to use them:

1.  Raw  (sliced thin or grated) in salads or for dipping
2.  Mashed and hidden mashed potatoes or other mashed veggies
3.  Roasted.
4.  Chopped and added to soups.
5.  Grilled.
6.  In Stew.
7.  In soup broth or stock.

I also learned that the peel isn't very appetizing so most people remove it.  Also, that turnips go amazingly with sweet potatoes, and that the smaller the turnip - the better the flavor. 

This meal plan uses produce from a Utah basket from Bountiful Baskets and is based on MyPlate recommendations.  The plan uses a few simple ingredients from a well stocked kitchen and minimal additional items from the market.  You can click on each recipe name for the recipe.  Everything shown here was included in the basket contribution - $15 plus a small fee ($2.50).








MONDAY
KOREAN BEEF BULGOGI
and BROCCOLI POMEGRANATE SALAD aka CHRISTMAS TREE SALAD :-)
Basket Items:
1/3 head of romaine lettuce
1 bunch of broccoli

I absolutely fell in love with Beef Bulgogi a couple of years ago at a local Korean restaurant. You can make your own sauce or get it off the shelf at the supermarket.  This is a more expensive meal than I usually make because I don't buy a lot of meat.  So, this might be something I do for a special occasion or just around Christmas time.

TUESDAY
EGGPLANT CURRY (Baingan Bharta)
Basket Items:
1-2 eggplant
1 large potato
1 onion

What can I say - I love curry!  It's one of my favorite ways to enjoy eggplant.  Also, I made eggplant parmesan last week so I'm in the mood for something completely different.  Served with a side of potatoes roasted Indian-style.













WEDNESDAY
CITRUS & TURNIP SALAD
Basket Items:
1-2 turnips
1 grapefruit
3 clementines
1/3 head of romaine lettuce

I wanted my family to try turnips both cooked and raw, and a salad will help me use some of the citrus we got in the basket.  You'll want to peel the turnip, then grate them or slice into thin bite-sized pieces before adding to any salad you create.  I plan on having mine with sesame ginger dressing.  Chow mein noodles would be yummy, too.












THURSDAY
EASY CROCK POT FRENCH ONION SOUP
Basket Items:
4 medium onion (or 3 large)

I had quite a few onions in my basket.  They will keep if you don't want to use them this week.  I thought it would be fun try French Onion soup and I'm always happy when the crock pot does my cooking for me!












FRIDAY
THIN CRUST CARAMELIZED ONION, EGGPLANT, POTATO & MUSHROOM PIZZA
Basket Items:
2 onions
1 eggplant
1 medium potato

I had a lot of eggplant in my basket.  If you didn't, you can make this pizza with just the onions and potatoes, or even just the onions.  Yum!!
















SATURDAY
PETIT SANDWICHES W/ APPLE CHIPS
Basket items:
6 cameo apples
2 cucumber
*pretzel buns (may use store bought rolls/buns)

Create a sandwich with what you've got on hand.  For me it might be leftover ham, or eggs over medium, maybe some leftover beef bulgogi.  I'll add cream cheese, sliced cucumber, lettuce, and any other veggie that sounds good, along with another dressing such as mustard or sesame ginger.  These apple chips will make a great sidekick, but they would also be great to have around during the winter break for snacks.  You can make them with a dehydrator or just in your oven.


SUNDAY
ROASTED SWEET POTATOES, TURNIPS & APPLES W/CRAISINS
Basket items:
 4 turnips

Sweet potatoes are so cheap this time of year and they go really well with turnips in any form - mashed, roasted, what have you.  The apples and dried cranberries make for an interesting blend of flavors and colors.

SNACKS
ROASTED EGGPLANT HUMMUS W/CUCUMBER (for dipping)
Basket items:
1 eggplant
1-2 cucumber

Mmmmmm, I can't wait to enjoy this delicious hummus with  whatever raw vegetables I can get my hands on, and maybe some flatbread.  The cucumbers that I have in my basket will be good.  This hummus would also be great on a sandwich or wrap.


TO MAKE AND FREEZE FOR LATER:
VEGETABLE SOUP
Basket items:
1 onion
1 turnip
1 potato

I'll chop these, saute them, and add them to a broth with other veggies such as lima beans, corn, cauliflower, carrots, red or white beans, and maybe add a grain such as rice or barley.  Then I'll freeze it and pull it out when I want something quick!  (Which will probably happen over the winter break).


EVERYTHING ELSE
Basket items:
1 1/2 bunch bananas
4 red pears
1 grapefruit
9 clementines
1 onion
SNACK, BREAKFAST, DESSERT IDEAS:

For Onion - breakfast skillet, breaded and fried and used as a salad topping, sauteed with chicken or other protein
Carmelized pears
Cottage cheese w/fresh fruit
Banana bread
Old fashioned banana pudding
Grapefruit sprinkled with cinnamon
Pear & cheese sandwich
Oatmeal w/banana
Bagel w/cream cheese & banana
Fruit salad (yummy, yummy)
Fruit & cheese tray
Fresh fruit stands alone!


Saturday, December 6, 2014

MY BOUNTIFUL BASKET MEAL PLAN - 120614



Have I mentioned that I love Bountiful Baskets?!  I was able to get meal plans for 7 dinners (to feed 4), 6 lunches (for 1), 1 dessert (feeds 4+) and enough leftover for snacks & breakfast everyday from this week's basket.  It shouldn't cost much extra to feed us this week!  I was excited by the EGGPLANT, BEETS&GREENS, and HONEYDEW MELON.

This plan is based on the current week's (Utah) Bountiful Basket.  Everything you see here cost $15 plus a small fee ($2.50).  The meals can be made using basket ingredients, items from a well-stocked kitchen, and minimal additional items from the market.  Click on the recipe names to be taken to the recipes.

MONDAY
I want to use my broccoli first since it will be the first to go bad.
Basket items:
1 Bunch Broccoli
1-2 Oranges


TUESDAY
This is one of my favorites!  I can't wait for Tuesday!  You can get some mixed baby greens or arugula from the store for a more sophisticated flavor - or use some of the lettuce from the basket.  I'll serve this with soup from my freezer and breadsticks.


WEDNESDAY
Wednesday is our busiest day of the week, so I'll prep these a couple days ahead of time and they will be ready to pop in the oven that day.  I'll slice some of the honeydew and add a side salad.
Basket Items:
4 Green Peppers

THURSDAY
Fabulous alongside grilled chicken or fish.  I'll also make cajun black beans because we love them!
Basket Items:
1 Bunch Beet Greens

FRIDAY
This couscous will make a great side dish.  The meal could be as simple as adding a protein and some fresh fruit or a cheese plate.
Basket Items:
1 Beet
(could also replace the spinach with beet greens)

SATURDAY
I like to keep it simple on Saturdays.  These wraps will be quick to prep and have ready to go!  I might make smoothies to go with them or fruit salad.
Basket Items:  
1-2 Cucumbers
2 apples
1/3 head of lettuce

SUNDAY
EGGPLANT PARMESAN with FRUIT PIZZA for dessert
I was torn between making babaganoush and eggplant parmesan, but making the parmesan was the best way to stretch it into an entire meal so I went with that.  Any of the fruit would be great on fruit pizza!  Plus it makes a great edible activity for the kids.
Basket items:  
1-2 Eggplant (Eggplant Parmesan)
Any of the fruit (Fruit Pizza)

LUNCHES & SNACKS
MASON JAR SALADS & FRESH SPRING ROLLS
I'm going to give mason jar salads a shot this week!  Seems simple enough - dressing goes on the bottom, with the heartier vegetables on top of that, and lettuce on top, separated from the dressing.  Then put lid on tightly and refrigerate.  I love spring rolls and they will be great for snacks that I can also take with me to work.
Basket Items:
2/3 head of lettuce - salads
2 cucumbers - spring rolls/salads
1 head of lettuce - spring rolls



EVERYTHING ELSE - BREAKFAST, LUNCH, SNACKS
Basket items:  
2 pears, 1 melon, 4 banans, 5 apples, 5 kiwi, 2 oranges.  This should be plenty for breakfasts and snacks. 

SNACK/BREAKFAST IDEAS
Toasted cheese & pear or apple sandwiches
Apples with peanut butter
Kiwi cups (just cut them in half and eat with a spoon!)
French toast w/banana
Oatmeal w/banana
Bagel w/cream cheese & sliced banana
Peanut butter & banana sandwiches
Greek yogurt or cottage cheese with kiwi/orange/melon
Apples or Pears with cheese slices
Apple Crisp
Smoothies
Orange julius
German Pancakes with fresh fruit
Fruit Salad (would be great with the pear & melon)
and of course they are all great just fresh by themselves!