September Meal Plan #1: International Appreciation


Photograph: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt, originally posted to Serious Eats

Big Sis goes back to school this Wednesday! And Little Bro starts preschool the following week! I’m excited for the externally-imposed routine to recommence, and I’m trying to take best advantage of this time to make tiny (but hopefully high-impact!) shifts in our routine. More big picture thoughts on that later. For now, here’s how it relates to food.

I already do A LOT to manage the food around here. I meal plan, stick to my grocery list, and (usually) adhere to my food budget. But one aspect of meal-planning always escapes my attention: lunches. Lunches are my Achilles heel.

LUNCH RESOLUTION: I’m going to try pre-making all of our lunches the night before until this (hopefully) becomes a not-even-worth-mentioning part of our routine. The kids are pretty easy. I bought sandwich fixings for Mr. M. And I’ll be working my way through a big vat of slow-cooker Indian-spiced lentils. You can definitely eat them with rice, though I prefer them with naan and yogurt.

CSA UPDATES: This week’s treasures include wax beans, Thai basil, Chinese eggplant, broccoli, garlic, arugula, tomato, and cucumber. I’m going to make and freeze pesto. The cucumbers and tomatoes will go into lunches. And garlic… well, that goes into everything in the Diamond household. The rest? Well, the rest has inspired this week’s dinners!

INTERNATIONAL APPRECIATION: You’ll note an international flare to the week’s menu. Yum! We’re lucky enough to live on the Pacific Rim in a diverse area replete with fabulous Asian markets. This week, we’re taking advantage and treating our taste buds.

* * * * *

Vegetarian DinnerEggplant stir fry

The Big Easy – Szechuan dry-fried beans and pork chops

Fast and FlavorfulArugula salad (with shrimp added) and Dutch oven bread

Too Hot to Handle?spicy garlic-fried chicken and char-grilled broccoli (Yes, I’m assuming the children will have pancakes or peanut butter and jelly that night. The spice factor’s a bit high for the 6-and-under crowd.)

Slow Cooker Mealsausage, spinach, and white bean soup 


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