Meal Plan Week of 2/2-2/8

Hi Everyone! Are you guys staying warm? This recent cold snap has me craving comfort foods and you will certainly see it reflected in this week's meal plan! I have to say I am so in love with all the winter vegetables coming in my CSA boxes these past few weeks. Here is a peek at this week's goodies --  perfect ingredients for some soul-warming comfort meals. 



Maple Roasted Root Vegetables

Root vegetables-- if you plan on eating local and live in New England, you must get comfortable with root vegetables. I will admit, besides greens, they were the main thing that ended up in the compost pile when I first joined a CSA. Most people are comfortable with carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, beets, but rutabagas, turnips, parsnips, and radishes...well, they kind of get a bad rap. A lot of people find them bitter, spicy, or just plain weird. However, when cooked correctly, they are divine! My friend Nora (who is also the design guru of this blog;) -- found this recipe in the fall and it has become my "go-to" recipe for almost any kind of root vegetable. It would even work well with butternut or acorn squash. And seriously, this recipe could not be any easier!



Ginger Puree for the Freezer

I don't know about you, but Asian-inspired meals are one of my favorite meals to make -- we have stir-fry at least every other week. It is quick, easy, and delicious. Also, an easy way to make use of my fresh CSA veggies! I absolutely love fresh ginger, but it can be time consuming and cumbersome to use when trying to get a quick dinner on the table. I have purchased the ginger puree available in the produce section at the grocery store, but it is expensive and often has preservatives and additives. So I decided to make my own ginger puree! So easy and you will always have fresh ginger, ready to use! Now, since ginger does not come in a uniform size, please use your judgement and check the puree frequently for consistency while blending.
 
How to Make Your Own Ginger Puree 
 
 

Meal Plan Week of 1/26-2/1

Whew, TGIF! I am ready for the weekend. We had a rough patch with my boys, as they caught the creepy crud tummy virus going around, but they are back in action and ready for the weekend. My youngest is so excited for Sunday-- his little hockey league will be skating on the ice at the local minor league rink, so I am just glad everyone is healthy to enjoy the weekend! Here you go, this is what I'm making for dinner next week:

Butternut Squash Caramelized Shallot Fettucine

I made this recipe on Saturday night and oh. my. goodness. I knew I had to share it as soon as possible! Sooo delicious! I had the puree in the freezer, the shallots came in my CSA box and I have been dying to try a sage/squash based sauce. The flavors come together so nicely-- it has all the flavors of a gourmet restaurant, but took less than 30 minutes to whip up. So, if you have some butternut squash on hand, please make this. Your family will love the combination of savory and sweet! It took a few bites, but even my 6 year old agreed it was good.


Apple Cider Vinaigrette


As we continue to make use of our Roasted Butternut Squash, I decided to make a homemade salad dressing to bring out the flavors of this perfect winter salad. Simple, elegant, and delicious -- mixed greens, sprouts, feta cheese and butternut squash. All lightly tossed with this sweet and tangy Apple Cider Vinaigrette. I served it as a side to my homemade pizza night, but you could certainly make a large salad and have it as your main course. Yummmyyyy! 
 

Meal Plan Week of 1/19-1/25

Here is this week's meal plan! I would love to start incorporating reader recipes, so if you have a "go-to" recipe you would like to share, please email it to me at lil@freshmama.net ! It should be an easy weeknight meal other readers would enjoy (vegetarian, crockpot, make-ahead meals or quick pantry meals are just some examples). If I choose your recipe for a meal plan, I will email you back and let you know when it will be posted! The best thing about this blog has been the reader feedback -- many of you are making recipes from the blog and telling me how much your families enjoy them! Thank you for the feedback, it keeps me motivated when life gets crazy and I don't think I have an extra minute to sit down and write a post. You guys are amazing and I'm thrilled that there are so many Fresh Mamas out there!

Butternut Squash-Black Bean-Swiss Chard Enchiladas

2014 is upon us and I must say I am looking forward to cooking up some delicious and healthy meals this year. Although I don't usually make any "resolutions" -- I do find the new year is a great time to reflect on what worked well last year and try some new and improved routines. Nothing wild and crazy... Just a few tweaks here and there, I know my limits!

If you read my meal plan at the beginning of the year, you know one of my goals is to incorporate more meatless meals during the week. This can be a little tough as my husband is a meat-lover, so I really have to knock his socks off to get a thumbs up on a meatless meal. Well, he ate these enchiladas with gusto,

Ginger-Curry Butternut Squash Soup

When deciding how to start this post, I was trying to remember how I came up with this recipe. Then I remembered last year, opening my CSA box and finding a huge squash and a motherload of shallots! I probably had some ginger and decided it would all go well with a little curry thrown in there. Well, ever since the first time I made it, it has been my official butternut squash recipe. The sweet mixed with the shallots, ginger, and curry flavors are amazing!! I made this in the fall during a little taste testing at my house and everyone loved it! You can easily double the recipe to feed a crowd and keep it warm in the crockpot.

Sausage and Butternut/Broccoli Rabe Pasta

Many people do not to associate cooking from scratch as convenient, but I hope as you follow this blog, you will realize it isn't as hard as you may think. With my boy's schedules, I usually don't have more than a half hour to get dinner on the table between activities and bedtime routine. So I have had to become creative and learn methods of making a meal come together quickly. This meal is one example of a meal that can be broken down into steps and then served with minimal fuss. I roasted the vegetables and sausage on a Sunday night and placed them in the fridge. On Tuesday night, I simply boiled the pasta, microwaved the veggies and tossed it all together with the olive oil and cheese. TA-DA! A healthy, homemade dinner with almost no cleanup required. Everyone liked it and it was even better as leftovers!
 
 
 

Roasted Butternut Squash

This week I will be paying tribute to my favorite winter squash --butternut! I'm kicking off butternut squash week with this basic roasted butternut squash. We have been receiving a steady supply of butternut squash since the fall and roasting it is one of the easiest ways to prepare it . I like to roast up some squash over the weekend so it is ready to use during the week. It can be made ahead of time and kept in the fridge. You can eat it as is, or add it as a component to other recipes, I have even thrown it in a smoothie! YUM!

Meal Plan Week of 1/12-1/18

So, how's everyone doing with their meal planning? Are you new to meal planning or have you been meal planning consistently for a while? Either way, I hope you find a helpful recipe or idea in my weekly meal plans! I will do my best to post my weekly meal plans on Fridays/Saturdays, so you have plenty of time to shop for ingredients. Once you get in the habit,

Crockpot Sausage White Bean and Kale soup

Hi everyone! This recipe was a big hit for dinner a few weeks ago and I'm really excited to share it with you.  Like most families, we are always looking for new ways to get a quick and easy meal on the table. My kids have afternoon activities that often makes it difficult or impossible for me to set aside even a half hour to cook a meal from scratch. This was one of those nights -- my 7 year old has swim practice and we don't get home until at least 6pm. So to walk into the house and have my boys say "what smells so good?" had me hoping dinner would be complaint-free! I served up the soup with some quick grilled cheese on whole grain bread and the kids gobbled it up. Happy kids=happy mom! (and the hub loved it, too!)

Caramelized Onion and Swiss Chard Quiche

Did I have you at "caramelized onion"??? I know I'm a sucker for any recipe that starts with "caramelized onion"! There is nothing like the smell of onions slowly caramelizing in the skillet -- it pretty much guarantees whatever you are making will be delicious, and this quiche is absolutely mouthwatering! This recipe makes 2 quiches,

Meal Plan Week of 1/5-1/11

Hi everyone, this past week has been amazing for this little blog. I can't believe how many of you are "liking" my facebook page, viewing the blog, pinning my recipes on Pinterest, emailing me and giving so much amazing and positive feedback. So thank you! I have some very exciting things in the works and I can't wait to share them with all of you once they become a reality! What was once a tiny little idea has now become this blog and I truly hope you are finding my recipes easy to incorporate into your family's lives.

FMCC: Homemade Instant Oatmeal, Homemade Hot Cocoa, Carrot-Raisin Whole Grain Muffins

Welcome to FMCC week 6 -- another productive and fun time with the FMCC ladies! This week we made some pantry basics and used CSA carrots for some yummy Carrot-Raisin Muffins.

This weeks FMCC ladies: Erin, Preeti, Holly, Me, Janine, Dawn
 
The instant oatmeal has been a staple in my house for a while now. Evan doesn't like store-bought oatmeal packets, but he loves the homemade. Colin likes any kind of oatmeal, so this works out well for everyone. I like that I know exactly what is in it and you can add whatever extras you would like (dried apple, raisins, mango, fresh berries) and it is so much less expensive than store-bought. The hot cocoa was also an instant hit with the kids. To quote "Mom, it is sooo chocolatey!"
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