Eating delicious and nutritious doesn’t have to be expensive, thanks to your local farmers’ market
By shopping what’s in season and doing some simple meal planning, you’ll get the freshest fruits and vegetables, cut down on food waste and save money too—all while helping local farmers. A win-win-win-win, really.
But if you’re feeling stuck on what to do with all of that delicious in-season produce, we’ve put together a menu plan.
Before we get started, here’s a look at just some of what’s in season in Canada in the month of June: asparagus, beets, cucumbers, carrots, celery, garlic, lettuce, spinach, mustard greens, green onions, peppers, potatoes, radish, rhubarb, early strawberries, summer squash, swiss chard, tomatoes, turnips, zucchini.
That’s not to mention the fresh staples we have come to love at our local markets: farm-fresh eggs, cheese (cow and goat), fresh bread, local meats, herbs and dried beans and legumes.
Here’s how to have five weeknight’s worth of meals for just $50. This list is primarily dinners, with leftovers enough for lunch the next day, plus a dessert thrown in for good measure. (This meal plan assumes you already have pantry staples like sugar, flour, salt and pepper and spices.)
What to buyPhoto by Rebekah Howell on UnsplashDAIRY & MEAT
- A dozen eggs = $4
- Goat cheese = $4
- Cream = $2
- Sausages = $6
- Asparagus = $4
- Spinach = $2
- Strawberries = $5
- Fennel bulb = $3
- Mushrooms = $5
- Tomatoes = $3
- Kale = $2
- Potatoes = $3
- Garlic = $1
- White beans = $3
- Fresh bread = $4
GRAND TOTAL: $51
Ingredients: 6 eggs, cream, asparagus, kale, mushrooms and goat cheese
Start your week off with a crustless frittata packed with fresh asparagus, kale and mushrooms. This one-pan wonder is made on the stovetop with your cast-iron skillet and finished in the oven until the goat cheese is toasty and brown. Makes great leftovers for breakfasts and lunches.
Recipe: The beauty of a frittata is the endless variety of veggies you can pack into it. Asparagus and mushrooms make this the perfect springy dish.
Ingredients: Spinach, strawberries and 4 eggs
Recipe: While we usually think of berries for breakfast or a snack, in this light and refreshing summer salad they make the perfect topper, and can even be macerated to be incorporated into the homemade berry vinaigrette.
Ingredients: Sausage, garlic, tomatoes, kale and white beans
This is hearty stew made on the stovetop or in the slow cooker, and leftovers freeze exceptionally well.
Recipe: Combining two Portuguese favourites—kale-and-sausage soup and a bean, sausage and tomato stew—makes a simple, sensational one-pot meal with the addition of farmers’ sausage.
Ingredients: Bread, goat cheese, mushrooms, garlic, heavy cream and fennel
Slice your bread thick to enjoy a rustic bruschetta-style dinner, with a side of shaved fennel tossed with a little red wine vinegar or balsamic to act as a counterbalance to the creamy goat cheese.
Recipe: With a splash of heavy cream to finish, this mushroom medley made in your cast iron skillet is a perfect accompaniment to freshly-baked bread.
Ingredients: Potatoes, white beans, egg, onion, garlic, bread for breadcrumbs and buns
Dessert: Strawberries with heavy cream
Simple and refreshing, cut your leftover strawberries into a bowl and top with heavy cream. Craving something sweet? Top with a little spoonful of sugar.