by Joe Cowan
Director of Operations
New for 2021: Weekly Meal Plans, including weekly prep and shopping lists! Beginning in January, our email subscribers will receive a weekly meal plan at the end of the week, in time for weekend shopping and meal prep for the week ahead. Planning family meals just got a whole lot easier!
I have a pretty busy life; my wife is a full time physician, we have a 20 month old son, and I have a full time job. The food that we eat is something very important to us. We do not wish to compromise on the quality and composition of it, regardless of time restrictions.
So, in the past, we have had to be creative. It simply isn’t feasible to cook a complex and difficult recipe on its own. A chicken pot pie is a good example of a dish that I don’t have time to make. Baking or frying chicken, sautéing vegetables and adding flavors to it. Making bone broth, as well as making a buttermilk crust, which all needs to come together and sit in an oven for an hour or so before cooling and finally eating. This is not possible to execute in one day; however, if I plan and prep this meal in conjunction with other meals during the week, then it becomes possible.
In using meal plans for our family, we have become relatively adept at creating some pretty advanced and ambitious dinners, while simultaneously maintaining our busy schedules. Admittedly, I work from home and have experience in the kitchen. So, if something in our weekly meal plan seems too complex, simply modify the recipe with an easier ingredient or process, or something different altogether.
Please feel free to send me questions regarding meal planning directly at firstname.lastname@example.org, and follow me on Instagram @joecowan83, where you will find behind-the-scenes photos, prep photos, and additional recipes, with the occasional picture of my son, George.
In writing these meal plans, my goal is that I learn from your feedback, as we journey together on this culinary adventure.. This is also meant to make your food prep experience easier, less time consuming, more efficient, and less expensive, while simultaneously more delicious. If these objectives are not being met, I welcome feedback on how I could improve this program.
I find one of the biggest blessings of summer is the availability of fresh fruit and vegetables. Whether perusing a farmer’s market, local farm stand or nearby orchard, it’s inspiring to see what’s growing locally, and then deciding what I’m going to preserve. The month of July is a bountiful one, with gardens growing a plethora of veggies, and orchards offering their first fruits. Here in Michigan, we grow some of the highest quality cherries available, and this blog will be focused on what to do with the cherries that we’ve picked.
We are all accustomed to the idea of preparing food in advance. My freezer is stuffed with bones for making bone broth, already prepared meals that I’ve forgotten about, and dubious looking ice cubes. Other less suspicious items include frozen trays of butter balls, made with ashitaba, wild ramp, and salt and pepper. The seasoning changes slightly depending on what I’m cooking, but on the whole, it’s a basic seasoning I use for simple dishes like rice or scrambled eggs.