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Meal Planning and Prep in Less Than Ideal Conditions

Updated: Jan 8, 2021

Over the past few weeks, I have discovered some tips that have served me well. I figured I would send them along to you, in hopes that they may be of some benefit.

  • Meal planning and prep will reduce your stress and will also help avoid stress eating.

  • Make meals that can be made in bulk and frozen, like chili, soups, stews, meatballs, lasagna. This will help cut down on time in the kitchen and helpful if you can’t get to the store.

  • Go to the store with a plan, but an open mind as well. You may go to the store with the intention of getting chicken breast, only to find there is none to buy. Instead, play around with the category and try chicken in another way (the thighs, tenders, or chicken wings, etc.)

  • I am sure you have been to the store and saw shelves empty of certain things...bread, pasta, rice, chicken, but we are not in a food supply shortage. It is mainly due to everyone utilizing food in a different way. More people are having to cook at home and there is more panic driven shopping. You may find this Podcast informative on our Food Supply, by Freakonomics.

  • With that in mind this is a good time to try new things, like cooking seafood or fish at home. Seafood is most often eaten in restaurants, so try a new recipe, like my Garlic Grilled Shrimp or Glazed Salmon.

  • Buy some immune supportive herbs like cilantro and parsley, which are high in Vitamin C - buy them fresh and put in a cup of water on your windowsill, they will last longer this way. Add them as a garish, or use them to make a marinade like in my Haddock in Charmoula Sauce. Many other herbs are also immune boosting, so keep your spice rack filled and use them!

  • Garlic also known for its immune boosting properties is antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal. So versatile in the kitchen and can be added to dishes daily! Garlic is most beneficial in its raw state so make sure you add it to homemade dressings and marinades (Chicken Fajitas). If you do cook with it, researchers have found that crushing garlic and letting it stand for 10 minutes before cooking allows time for alliinase to work before heat inactivates it. So, the next time you’re making something with garlic, crush it first and add it to the dish toward the end of the cooking time.

  • Root vegetables are always good to keep around. They last longer and they can be used in many different ways - roasted, soups, stews, chili, etc. This would be a good time to try something new...parsnips, beets, jicama, kohlrabi, radishes, turnips. And others you probably are eating like carrots, onions, garlic, and sweet potato.

  • Now is a good time to support your local farm store. Two that are close to me are Meadowbrook in South Hamilton and Tendercrop in Wenham and Newbury. Check websites to see how the farm store is handling business right now.

  • When going to the grocery store limit what you take in. I have been wearing gloves and a mask. I bring in one credit card instead of my wallet. Keep it simple.

Finally, make sure you do what you need to do for your peace of mind. Perfectionism is not going to serve you well right now. Instead, try to be flexible and get creative.


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