In my last meal-planning post, I talked a bit about Carnival as the celebration preceding Lent. To get into the spirit of Shrove Tuesday (otherwise known as “Fat Tuesday” or “Pancake Day”), we made some truly delicious (and easy!) Finnish Pannakukku.
So now it’s Lent. In these 40 days preceding Easter (Sundays don’t count), Christians focus on simple living and prayer in order to grow closer to God. Here’s a nice website if you’re looking to learn more about the purpose of Lent and/or ways to observe it as a traditional Christian. Some form of fasting and alms-giving are often part of Lent.
But there are tons of us who identify as secular. Or perhaps we’re spiritual, but not religious. Or we follow a non-Christian faith tradition. It doesn’t matter how you identify… I think a desire for simple living exists across all walks of modern life. Just look at the phenomenal popularity of Marie Kondo, or the prevalence of pantry challenges on Pinterest.
This is all to say that I’m going to spend the next 40 days being very thoughtful about how I menu plan. I’m making an effort to minimize my purchases and eradicate food spoilage or waste. My goal is to use up what I already have without bringing in tons of extra ingredients.
For the next 40 days, I’ll give a brief overview of the random items I had on hand that inspired the eclectic menus.
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Fridge, freezer, and pantry items I’m using up with this week’s plan: spaghetti squash, random leftover veggies, garlic, frozen edamame, frozen meatballs, a pack of hoagie rolls, Israeli couscous, goat cheese, dried fruit (tons of dried fruit), coconut oil, bacon, lamb chops, tater tots
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All of my dinner recipes this week are super easy, and all of them address my 40-day pantry challenge:
- Mulligatawny stew (my recipe comes from a Mark Bittman cookbook)
- spaghetti squash with bacon, goat cheese, garlic, and spinach
- Israeli couscous with pine nuts and parsley, plus lamb chops
- teriyaki meatballs with steamed edamame
- French dip sandwiches with tater tots
Baking bonus! I’ll also be making this delicious Paleo Breakfast Bread. (This is also where this week’s image came from–make sure to show the fabulous author and photographer over at The View from Great Island some love!)