If you want to join in on the fun & enter to win an awesome Vermont Farm Table Cookbook, sign up for the Eat Local Challenge here.
For a successful week, preparation is key. On the weekends, I take time to meal plan, grocery shop, and prep for the week. It’s a few hours of time for so much time saved on the weekends. Lindsay at the Lean Green Bean is a fellow new RD has some great posts and does weekly food prep updates! Meal planning is great for eating on a budget and saving time. Running to the store a few times a week always leads to throwing in extra goodies in my cart.
I loosely plan my meals by choosing a few recipes each week I want to make, and filling out each day of the week. During the workweek, I rely a lot on leftovers, and I’ll usually plan a quick veggie side dish that night. I don’t plan out my breakfasts or lunches because I usually rotate through the same breakfasts and bring a packed salad or leftovers for lunch.
Once I have a loose meal plan, I write out a grocery list. Lately, I’ve just been going with whatever looks good at the farmer’s market for produce and filling in at the grocery store for other goodies (nuts, fruit, snacks, and more). You can even keep an inventory of your cabinets, so you know when to stock up on staples.
To get ready, here are some yummy-looking recipes that focus on local, seasonal food. Obviously, these recipes are more focused on what is local to me in Vermont, so adjust based on what’s local to you!
Veggies & Side Dishes
- Grilled Zucchini with Mint & Feta (or any local cheese you like)
- Roasted Squash Spinach Salad (minus the pistachios + a simple dressing)
- Kale Chips
- Tomato Basil Soup
- Watermelon Gazpacho
- Watermelon Goat Cheese Salad
- Maple Roasted Carrots (or other root veggies) – Roast chopped veggies in oil & a little maple syrup
- Butternut Squash Soup with Apple & Cheddar
- Veggie Baked Eggs – use whatever veggies you like + local eggs! Love this for breakfast.
- Vegetable Beef Stuffed Winter Squash
- Roasted Whole Chicken with Herbs
- Red Wine Braised Lamb – Shelburne Vineyard makes some delicious, sustainable wine.
Snacks & Smoothies
- Berry Kefir or Yogurt Smoothie – Mix up local berries with locally found kefir or yogurt.
- Apple slices + cheddar cheese
- Chopped cucumber + carrot slices
- Berries + yogurt + drizzle of maple syrup
- Locally made ice cream
If you’re looking for local food around you, here are some great resources to check out.
- Local Harvest – Find your local farmer’s market.
- Eat Wild – Find local pasture-raised farms.
- Vermont Farmer’s Markets
- Eat Well Guide
- Burlington Farmer’s Market – my favorite!
- Slow Food