Sometimes we fall into the trap of thinking our pockets aren’t deep enough to eat farm-fresh meals every day of the week. Sure, the farmers’ market can be more expensive. But if we collectively choose to buy more from farmers who take care of the earth and less from other deceivingly inexpensive sources, it won’t be long before we start moving the needle. Until then, if we eat simply and have a clear purpose for everything we bring home, both bellies and budgets can be happy.
Since the flavor and nutrients found in organically-grown, local produce are much better than what you’ll find at the supermarket, keeping it simple is best anyway. We’ve hand-picked an entire week’s worth of meals that take advantage of wintertime’s produce variety. Here’s how to eat incredibly well for under $120 (and we overestimated a bit too):
Dinners (and leftovers for lunch):
M: Butternut Squash Bucatini
Tu: Chicken Piccata with Roasted Carrots
W: Beet, Thyme, & Roasted Garlic Hummus with Arugula Salad
Th: Brussels Sprouts & Onion Hash with Eggs
F: Sautéed Cabbage with Farmers’ Market Sausage & Mustard
Sa: BBQ Chicken with Celery Root Slaw (recipe below)
Su: White Beans and Winter Greens Soup
This is a taste of the types of recipes you’ll find each week in the Dinner Plan, with its accompanying shopping list. Try it out for a month on us with code DINNERPLAN1. Or if you’re a Weekend Plan subscriber, create a plan from scratch with these options from the database.
Celeriac Slaw with Parsley, Chives & Capers
1 celery root, large, peeled
½ lemon, juiced
1 tbsp pickle brine, plus more to taste
2 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup pickles, minced
2 tbsp capers
¼ cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
¼ cup fresh chives, chopped
— sea salt
— black pepper
- Slice the peeled celery root into noodle-like strips using a mandoline. Place into a medium bowl, squeeze in lemon juice, sprinkle with a pinch of salt, and toss to prevent oxidation while you prepare the dressing.
- In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together pickle brine, mustard, oil, a few healthy pinches of salt and freshly-ground pepper. Set aside.
- Toss celery root with pickles, capers, and dressing. Gently mix in the chives and parsley. Taste for acidity and seasoning. Add more pickle brine, salt, or pepper if needed.
. . . . . . . . . . . . .
Pulled BBQ Chicken Sandwiches
3 lb chicken thighs
— sea salt
— black pepper
— vegetable oil, for pan
18 oz barbecue sauce, homemade or store-bought
8 brioche buns
Note: The amount of barbecue sauce is flexible here — you just want enough to cover or almost cover the chicken. The fat will release from the chicken to contribute to the braising liquid too.
- Dust off your slow cooker (or a dutch oven and preheat your oven to 325°F).
- Heat a glug of oil in a heavy-bottomed pan over medium-high heat. Generously salt and pepper chicken thighs.
- In batches, sear chicken for a minute or two on both sides. You still want them to be raw — you’re just going for a bit of color and flavor.
- Nestle chicken thighs as closely as possible in the slow cooker and pour bbq sauce over them (see note).
- Cook on low slow cooker setting for 4 – 4 ½ hours (or about 1 ½ hours in the oven) until chicken pulls apart very easily with two forks. Then pull all of it apart in a serving dish and spoon over some bbq sauce to taste.
- Serve with buns and slaw.