I've been keeping up with my get-veggies-first, make-weekly-menu-after plan. And it has been EXCELLENT.
First of all, who doesn't enjoy spending time out in the sunshine, browsing the farmer's market? It is a ten minute walk from my house and has become one of my favorite parts of my week. Peace. That's what I feel on the walk there, the exchanging coins and bills for fresh produce, the chit chat with others, listening to jokes about redneck vasectomies...
Ok, so that last one didn't bring me peace, but it did make me chuckle in a "I feel like I shouldn't laugh but I just have to" kind of way... and laughter is the best medicine.
So, what seasonal/new thing did I get this time? These guys:
That's right, parsnips.
I have never had a parsnip in my life until this week. Actually, until about three months ago I thought they were called 'white carrots'. Silly me.
Having no idea what to do with them, I turned to my favorite resource: Everyday Food. One of my archived magazines had a whole parsnip section. And one of those recipes called for other items I had already purchased at the farmer's market.
And that is the beauty of shopping like this. Peace, yes. But having things on hand that are fresh, easy, and cheap to try new recipes is the winning part. I settled on a beef parsnip stew and the only thing I had to buy at the store was beef. Everything else I already had on hand. Score.
I continued to make my meal plan for the week this way. Asking what veggies do I have on hand? first, and what can I make with these? second. Wanna know how much I spent for us to eat for the entire week, breakfast, lunch, and dinner? $48. That's nine dollars at the farmer's market, plus $39 dollars at Trader Joe's. I was shocked. Chalk up another point for my new plan...
As for the stew? My husband immediately said, "This is a TEN! Feel free to repeat this one anytime!" And later, "Babe, you MUST make this when my parents visit from Brazil. They will LOVE it!"
I guess low prices are not indicative of low taste, but rather quite the opposite.
Recipe from Everyday Food, October 2012