My Perfect Week: A Busy, Vegetarian Family Gets Creative With Their Weekly Meal Plan
Today in My Perfect Week, our series of weekly food diaries, we asked Kitchn’s brand partnerships director, Grace, to tell us how she and her family get through a busy schedule on a vegetarian meal plan. Grace lives with her partner Patrick, 8-month-old baby Finn, and sweet pup Moxie, and everything they eat (even Moxie’s food!) is made from scratch with carefully sourced whole foods, with a definite emphasis on fresh fruits and veggies. (It’s a busy week.)
In addition to healthy eating, Grace’s family is also focused on sustainability. They compost all of their food scraps, reuse every glass jar, and recycle just about everything else. So naturally, Grace (and amateur taste-tester Finn) were pretty excited to try out Imperfect Foods’ selection of mindfully sourced produce, pantry staples, and other groceries for the first time. Having everything delivered helps them enjoy mealtime that much more, and the affordable prices are always appreciated. Let’s see what they ate this week!
Starting the week off with a brand new food for Finn: dates! I was excited to introduce dates to his diet since they’re a natural sweetener, good for digestion, and big enough to nibble on whole and get him used to chewing and feeding himself. I add dates to Finn’s meal: one date with the pit removed, one carrot, half of a roasted sweet potato, and half of a pear, all fresh from Imperfect Foods. I blended everything together until not too smooth (aiming for texture now that Finn is 8 months so he can hone his chewing skills). The recipe works out, and I jar up the leftovers to add to cottage cheese, grains, and yogurts for later. I also give Finn a whole date, which he nibbles on and marvels at for almost 10 minutes. Success!
Using some leftovers from yesterday’s breakfast for Finn, I cook up some Imperfect Foods quinoa to add to the mix. I make enough for myself and Patrick, served with fried eggs and leftover roasted veggies. The texture of the quinoa was fascinating for Finn — he was concentrating very hard on his chewing. I added a little bit to his veggies to start and had him try a couple of spoonfuls of quinoa on its own to see how he liked it plain. Verdict is: needs a bit of eggs, fruit, or veggies in there. Funny faces all around. Leftovers from everyone’s breakfast get jarred up. Some Finn scraps (thrown all around the room at this point) are snatched up by the tiny little canine opportunist known as Moxie. Anything else gets composted.
I snack on some delicious almond and chocolate Imperfect Foods granola this morning since I’m rushing around. This stuff is so good! Finn has the rest of his leftovers from yesterday, plus a bit more quinoa, and some pear slices. I make a batch of Moxie food to keep on hand for the rest of the week. We feed Moxie a rotation of organic frozen raw chicken or fish and organic dry food. Today I mix together some chopped and cooked peas, carrots, spinach, and sweet potato. I jar some up for later in the week and add a portion to her dry food for today. She can be randomly picky, but she eats every last bit today!
Finn is fussy this morning, and he refuses food so we feed him a bottle and get him down for an earlier than usual morning nap. While he naps and before I start work, Patrick cleans up the kitchen while I reorganize the fridge and plan for upcoming Finn meals, and think about what to do for dinner. We decide on making the penne pasta with roasted tomatoes and chopped onions, all from my Imperfect Foods order. When Finn wakes up, I can tell his mood is still teeth-related, so I sit him in his high chair, peel and wash a carrot and give him the whole thing to munch on. One of my close friends recently gave me this tip and the combination of the cool carrot and the hard texture gives his gums some much-needed relief. Moxie knows this usually ends in her getting hit in the head with a carrot, so she retreats under the coffee table for safety.
I get up early for work but first cut up a whole bunch of oranges and lemons and jar them all up. I think citrus might be Finn’s favorite thing so far. He makes funny faces with the lemons but still goes back for more. [Ed.: We fact-checked this, and yes, Finn enjoys raw lemons.] Oranges get him the most excited. I give him a couple after feeding him his usual bottle and some sweet potato and banana slices. We add some of his homemade baby cereal to the mix today too. Patrick makes the cereal from scratch once a week, by grounding down a whole slew of different good-for-you grains like barley and farro into flour and combining with boiled water. The variety of grains we got from Imperfect Foods is hugely helpful in this effort because we want him to get a little bit of everything. Patrick and I have scrambled eggs topped with Imperfect Foods’ “Seasoning for All of the Things.” Delish.
Sound like a good week of healthy eating?
Note: Grace’s food diary has been edited for brevity and clarity.