Weekly Menu Plan: March 2016

 

The Kitchen Beet :: Farmer's Market Asparagus

I’m barely squeezing this in, since it’s April in less than an hour, but I’m determined to make this into a series! If you read last month’s post, I put together a weekly menu round-up after realizing I actually prefer the structure of assigning a meal to a specific day. My weekly menu plans attempt to include lots of variety, copious amounts of veggies and meat or fish once or twice a week. My goal is always to have my little family of four, with kids aged 11 and 2.5, eating the same thing (in some form).

Below is the exact menu we followed for a week (Saturday – Friday), with notes where I modified a recipe, or deconstructed to better meet the desires of a kiddo. I’ve linked to the cookbook or recipe where I can – several of these recipes are mine, but many come from other wonderful sources! As I mentioned in the last round-up, my menu plans always include a few “other” items intended to help with breakfasts, snacks and packed lunches.

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Swiss Chard, Asparagus + Leek Frittata with Oven-Roasted Tomatoes

TKB - swiss chard, leek, asparagus frittata with tomatoes

I like attractive food. I like bringing a dish to the table that elicits an anticipatory sigh of happiness. Sure, I love homely-looking dishes too, like this wild rice casserole, or these stuffed mushrooms I can’t seem to take a good picture of (and so aren’t yet posted).

I love the look of these eggs with bright, healthy greens throughout and wrinkled, vibrant tomatoes on top. Our farmer’s market opening day isn’t until May, so I’ll have to wait for local asparagus until then. But in the meantime, this spring veggie is available at an affordable price at the local grocery.

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The Best Guacamole

 

TKB - Guacamole zoom

It’s the season where windows start to open, walks and bike rides own the after work/school schedule and basketball is on our television more frequently than any other time of year.

Guacamole is a year-round kind of snack, but it’s particularly ideal for getting together with a group of friends for basketball and chatting. (Or book club/girls’ night/any gathering involving people + food.) If I’m being transparent, I’ve never followed a recipe for guacamole before. It’s one of those things I make with such frequency, I just taste as I go. (Perks of the “job.”) My sisters always request this snack, and are known to have avocados, lime and garlic waiting on the counter when I show up at their place, to remind me what they’re hoping for. Since all four of my sisters live in a different state than me, I thought it would be a nice spring gift to give them, and you, the best recipe.

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Red Lentil Soup with Sweet Potato, Kale & Herbs

The Kitchen Beet - Winter Red Lentil soup

For the sake of all parents (and all people with taste buds), you should have this soup recipe. I’m particularly smitten with it because my children will eat it without fuss, and I happen to really enjoy family meals that involve us all sitting around the table, eating. (Such a novel idea!) It comes together easily, is pretty inexpensive to make, and if you do yourself the favor of chopping the leeks, sweet potatoes and kale beforehand, you’ll be impressed with how quickly you get it on the table. Here in Michigan we’re trying to maximize our time outside and enjoy the latest snowfall. I’d be hard-pressed to find something I relish in more than a hearty, veggie-filled bowl of soup after a couple of hours on the cross country trails.

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Butternut Squash-Sage Galette

The Kitchen Beet - Butternut Squash-Sage in bowl

I’ve been meaning to post this since Thanksgiving, and now Christmas is in EIGHT days. My favorite part of a house bustling with food preparation for a group is actually the eating throughout the day. The focus for a holiday like Thanksgiving is typically the “big meal,” but I prefer all the other details – starting with a hot breakfast and leisurely coffee, snack buffets with hummus and veggies, and feeding people flavorful bites throughout the day. The two most-loved appetizers from this year were Balsamic Mushroom Tart with Walnut-Parsley Pesto, and this galette. There’s something about a flaky, buttery crust setting the stage for sweet butternut squash and sage to dance together. It didn’t last four minutes with my family.

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