Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve been really really tempted to try one of those home delivery meal prep programs. I do love to cook but when I’m the only adult here with three little two and under, there are only so many minutes in the kitchen I can get away with before all hell breaks loose. Someday we will expand and be able to look out over our living room from our kitchen. For now, it’s a room, a hallway and two baby gates away. Which is a room, a hallway and two baby gates too far.
So a thirty minute prep and cook with all the ingredients packed in one box sounds awesome. But, when you have one income feeding five people, as well as paying all the bills, you begin to take a closer look at unnecessary expenses. And with the way I food shop, I could get SO MUCH MORE food for the price of just one of those meals. And I don’t mean fancy salmon steaks and perfectly portioned veggies. I mean one dollar pasta sides, five pounds of potatoes, mac and cheese, a giant package of chicken, yogurt and milk. I can get all that for the price of one delivery meal.
So this just means I need to be a little more creative with my food shopping money and with my time. This past Sunday my sister was over. She watched the girls while I spent an hour or so with six pounds of ground beef and sausage making a giant batch of meatballs and meatloaf. I was left with three meals for the week and two for the freezer. A little planning and moderate prep definitely goes a long way.
What’s really awesome about those home delivered meals though are the veggie sides. I’ll be the first to admit that we do not eat enough veggies. It’s hard to strike the balance of buying enough of a variety to not get bored yet not enough where they would go bad in the fridge.
In a perfect world, we would eat veggies from our own garden. But I definitely don’t have the time to commit to a garden this year. So this year we decided to join a farm share. For our chaotic household, this is the best of both worlds. We pick up our share every Tuesday night and what we will be getting is a complete mystery. Fresh, local, organic produce every week plus the surprise of getting to cook veggies we’ve never made before. This week we got A LOT of lettuce, asparagus, radishes, turnips, mint and two types of peas. Last week was the first time we cooked radishes we sautéed them with sausage, pasta and a creamy pesto sauce. Now that we have all this lettuce I’m thinking we just eat them raw and sliced in some chicken salads.
We won’t know until the end of the season the real value of our share. There are no guarantees on what or how much we will get. But so far it’s been a real treat. It may end up being slightly pricier than similar food purchased from the supermarket. But the chance that I would’ve purchased radishes from the market are pretty slim. But now I can add them to my cooking repertoire. As a former picky eater who hopes like he’ll her kids don’t no up the same way, I think this farm share is going to be a really good thing for us.
Now for cooking the turnips? Not quite sure yet. But I will take suggestions. 😀