Menu Exploration

Whenever Tim and I sit down to plan our weekly meals it quickly becomes obvious that we have a knack for repeating our favorites – a lot. For example, nutritionally balanced pizza (topped with homemade pesto, mushrooms, olives, spinach, and marinara sauce):

And BBQ tacos (filled with homemade BBQ sauce, soy curls, caramelized onions, and black beans):

And yummy veggie burgers, like this beet burger:

Tuesday is grocery shopping day and I have a handful of new and exciting meals planned for the upcoming week:

1. Summer Squash Soup (from Color Me Vegan)
2. Sesame Lime Soba Noodles with Shiitakes and Snap Peas (from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan)
3. Cashew & Red Lentil Burgers (from Color Me Vegan)
4. Peanut Butter Pancakes (from Color Me Vegan)
5. Couscous & Veggie Medley (from Color Me Vegan)

I always insist on including recipes we’ve never tried into our meal plans, but laziness can sometimes foil that plan. Despite having two shelves stuffed with cookbooks (and a fat binder overflowing with recipes printed from food blogs), I never seem to use them to their potential. There’s simply no excuse!

Summertime is the ultimate season for menu exploration because the bounty of fresh produce is unbelievably exciting. I am twirling with glee for pea tendrils, basil, golden beets, squash, peaches, and fingerling potatoes. This weekend I am hoping to buy some pickling cucumbers and can a bunch of dill pickles (not that pickles are a meal by themselves, but they are a nice accompaniment to vegan burgers and sammies!). I made them a few years ago and they were a lot of work, but so worth the effort (especially since I had a pickle canning companion)!

The best part about trying lots of new recipes is the potential to create more and more favorites! If I was capable, I’d challenge myself to try a new recipe every day for an entire year, but that would require some serious commitment! How do you avoid repeating favorites?







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15 thoughts on “Menu Exploration

  1. Your photographs are always beautiful. I have the same problem as you do with cookbooks, I have a ton of them, but laziness seems to prevail, even when I intend to cook from the books.

    • I don’t have a separate folder in my e-mail for online recipes. I probably should considering the number of recipes I cannot keep track of or find anymore!

  2. Yum, everything looks amazing. I think I’d find it difficult to try new recipes if all I made such a good cook! I love trying new recipes so it’s not really hard for me. I like to tick recipes off in my books too :) so it’s fun to get lots of ticks!

  3. I’m guilty of repeating my favorite meals, too. I try to add at least two new recipes to my weekly meal plan. Color Me Vegan is an absolute favorite cookbook right now. I also like to check recipes off in my cookbooks to help keep myself on the “try new things” track.

  4. Oy, I DO repeat favorites – and not even favorites from cookbooks, so there’s no excuse for the amount of books I buy – so I’m no help there. But I did a cookbook club a while back that forced me to use them; that was fun.
    I love the look of the beet burger – is that one from Color Me Vegan too?

    • Yes, the beet burger is from Color Me Vegan. I cannot stop making them. They freeze well and they don’t fall apart while cooking or eating. Plus, they are super healthy and pretty :)

  5. Pingback: Cashew Red Lentil Burgers | Sweet and Savory Vegan

  6. I’m kind of the opposite. I try and make something new almost everytime I cook, because I am trying to cook through too many books. It’s fun, but the downside is you don’t often get to revisit old favourites (and in fact, things never really get a chance to become favourites) and also sometimes I do feel a bit overwhelmed trying to pick out recipes from so many to choose from! I do have a few favourites that I will normally make at least once a year at some point.

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