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February 23 – Weekly Menu

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This weekly menu is mostly a look back at the week.  My week got away from me.  I’m the volunteer coordinator for my local Azure Standard co-op.  This Monday was our scheduled drop, but due to weather along the route everything was rescheduled for Tuesday.  That means lots of busy phone calls and emails for me.  The rest of the week was full of illness in the house and doctor related incidents, but no time on the computer.  Now finally, I’m here typing.  Whew!  Now they’re predicting freezing rain for Forgiveness Sunday.  I can feel the coming of Lent in all the little things trying to distract from the prayerful silence that is our goal.

This week has been a week of limited fasting.  Meatfare was on Sunday; the last day of eating meat before Pascha.  On that day I fixed a pot of salted ground beef sauteed with garlic, onion, and ginger.  Then I added about a quart of chicken broth and a California blend (cauliflower, broccoli, and carrots) of fresh vegetables.  (This week I split a California Blend pack of produce from Bountiful Baskets with my mom and sister.)  Then I added softened rice noodles and coconut aminos.  It has no written recipe.  This meal is reminiscent of one my mom used to fix when I was growing up.  She made it with frozen vegetables and mushroom flavored ramen noodles.  Back then we served it with cheese over the top, but my children have never known it that way.  It’s fast and easy, but filled with nostalgic goodness.  I took the pot to church for our potluck, but we had enough left for dinner.  Normally we don’t eat the same thing for lunch and dinner, but we didn’t want to leave any meat leftovers for the week.

The rest of our week was a wholehearted attempt to make the meals not seem fully lenten during what other bloggers have termed “cheese week” or “pizza week.”  Traditionally dairy and fish are allowed this week, and our full Lenten journey starts next week.  This is to ease us into the fasting mindset with babysteps.  Our family however, is always fish and dairy free.  So how do we approach cheese week with no cheese?  We decided to have several shrimp meals this week amidst our Lenten fare.  The children also decided to take their chore money to the grocery store this week for a few extra snacks before Lent.  Snuggle Bunny left proclaiming she needed to find raisins and came home with tortilla chips.  Buster left hoping to buy nails for a woodworking project but rather came home with potato chips so that Little Man wouldn’t be left out of the snacking.  Such sweetness in the simple things.

Bountiful Basket fruits for snacks this week: pears, apples, oranges, and bananas.

The rest of the week I planned using my Bountiful Basket vegetables.  I still had snow peas, lemongrass, and bok choy from my Asian pack the week before, so they were the first to be planned.  I’ll put the new items from my basket in bold.

Bok choy – stir fry with mushrooms and shrimp
Snow peas and lemon grass – Tom Kha soup with shrimp
Lettuce, English cucumber, grape tomatoes (for John), and carrots (California pack) – Dinner salad with lima beans and other veggies
Acorn squash, spinach, and pears – Vegan stuffed acorn squash with walnuts (kind of like this one)
AsparagusAsparagus Miso Soup
Broccoli – Pasta with Cashew Sauce and shrimp

And the only meal left to cook for the week:
Cucumber and carrotsMy Kind of California Rolls  – This one will probably be our easy meal to pack along to feed the kids before Sunday’s Forgiveness Vespers.

My fridge is looking pretty bare now.  I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s new basket of produce and planning our first week of Lenten meals.  Blessed Fast!

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