(I know, not a very creative title to this post) I've recently been making an effort to reduce the amount of prepared/processed food I purchase. In general, we don't buy much "snack" food- chips and such- unless we're having people over because I really want Munch to have better snacking choices- nuts, cheese, yogurt, and fruit (and I have to admit, when I see other carts loaded up with sodas, chips, cookies, lunchables-ugh! I wonder where the "real" food is...) I'm also trying really hard to eat more protein throughout the day and improve my blood sugar numbers. It's definitely taken more time and planning to get meals on the table and "mini-meals" into the lunch bag, especially after a day at work (and I sometimes can't resist some of the delicious meals Trader Joe's carries in their freezer section-right now, the strategy is just avoidance).
So, my game plan over the last few weeks has been to minimize waste and leftovers that linger uneaten in the fridge by shopping for and preparing fewer meals during the week. Now I plan for only 3-4 meals a week, building in time to have leftovers and one dinner out. Next, I decided to always make a big batch of soup or a stew every week- usually we can have this for a couple of nights and I put some away in the freezer. I've also been trying to introduce "new" vegetables to the family. AudioDad used to be such a meat and potatoes kind of guy, but over time (12 years!) he's really become more open to new things. And once Munch was born, he decided to cut out fast food because he didn't want her eating it either. I've been especially glad when he's expressed an interest in ingredients I've "introduced" to them- beet salads, turnips, parsnips, and other root vegetables in my soups and stews.
Last night's success was an easy Greek-style shepherd's salad with radishes- I found the recipe in Wondertime magazine. It's so refreshing and would make a great potluck salad! (Sorry, no pics- we ate it all before I remembered to grab a camera!) And my weekly grocery shopping trips now consist of lots of fresh vegetables, some dairy, and just a bit of meat or chicken, depending on what's on the week's menu. More wholesome food, less waste, and a better value for my dollar.