Summer (Cooking) Slump

In my latest "Fresh from the Farm" e-newsletter I talk about this lack of cooking inspiration that has set in. 

Summer heat makes turning on the oven almost unbearable. Vacations and visitors can make grocery shopping planning go haywire. I want easy meals so I can spend more time outside getting Vitamin D. While eating out is tempting it is expensive and the ingredients are almost always brought in from industrial ag sized farms. If I wouldn't purchase that kind of food at the grocery store I don't really want to pay to eat it at a restaurant.

Here are my 3 Summer Slump Tips:

1.) 5 Day Meal Plans Spend 10 minutes each Sunday mapping out the week ahead. You don't have to recreate the wheel here. You can even reuse last week's Meal Plan if you are in a rush. There are TONS of meal plan ideas on the web. Pinterest is one of my favorite places to hunt for recipes!

2.) Have a list on the fridge of 2 Go-To options for each meal. What ingredients do you almost have on hand? You know that feeling. The kids are hungry, you're hungry, and you wish you had a Pizza Delivery option. With this list when I'm exhausted I can still do something with minimal brain drain. I just refer to my list and it guides me. (For Dinner ideas on my list I have: a Kitchen Sink Frittata and a Pasta Carbonara.) Come up with this list with your family. You want it to be easy and something no one complains too much about.

3.) Buy Meat in Bulk. Unlike local produce that I need to have time to preserve if I want to save it, local meat can just be popped in the freezer. If I have nothing for dinner I can always throw a chicken in a slow cooker and pick some greens from the garden. Did you know you can cook frozen cuts of meat in your instapot?! Yea, I love that thing!

Here's my sketch for this week's 5 Day Gluten-Free Meal Plan:

Monday:  AM: Scrambled Eggs, GF buttered toast, Blueberries and plain yogurt

Lunch:Rotisserie Style Whole Chicken in the InstaPot with green salad

Supper: Chicken Tacos and Cumin Cilantro Summer Squash

Tuesday: AM Gluten Free Banana Pancakes with yogurt and wild blueberries

Lunch: Chicken Salad Sandwiches with garlicky greens

Supper: Thai style Chicken and Rice soup and pumpkin bread

Wednesday: AM: Cheese and Spinach Omelettes

Lunch: Meatloaf and Mashed Potatoes

Supper: Salmon with roasted asparagus

Thursday: AM: Migas (Scrambled eggs and corn tortillas) with greens

Lunch: Pesto Gluten Free Noodle Salad

Supper: Asian Meatballs, Rice, and greens

Friday: AM: Pulled Pork Bacon Hash and Eggs

Lunch: InstaPot Buffalo Chicken Veggie Bowls

Supper: Shepherd's Sweet Potato Pie

Desserts: Apple/Berry Cobbler, Frozen Yogurt Popsicles, Extra Dark Chocolate Bar, Maple Custard  

Snacks: Cheese and Rice Crackers, Cut Up Carrots/Celery, Apples, Almonds, Raspberries, Popcorn