When you normally plan out a menu, you figure out what you want to have for the week and go shopping based on those meals. When you’re planning a menu with a CSA box, you work backward. Here’s how I do it:
1) Planning is key! I take a look at what will be arriving in my box that week. Then, I set to work. Using a meal planning worksheet helps me out. I also jot down at the end of the week what we actually made. Saving these ideas helps you out with meal planning for next year’s CSA shares. Next, I write out my shopping list.
2) Prioritize which vegetables need to be used up first: salad greens, basil, sugar snap peas, berries, very ripe tomatoes, delicate herbs like basil or cilantro.
2) Keep it simple. Don’t plan out complex meals and new recipes for every night. I try to make a new recipe once a week, but I also realize that I need to keep things simple for the rest of the week. You don’t have to treat your menu as written in stone either. Be flexible.
3) Think about having a set menu plan for every week. Meatless Monday, Taco Tuesday, Pasta Wednesday, Pizza Friday. The day before you pick up your bin, make sure the meal you plan is something like soup or stirfry so you can throw all the odds and ends in. Having a menu plan like this gives you some structure, which ends up making a meal plan easier.