Tag Archive | compost

Meal Planning

It’s taken a long time for me to learn to settle into a routine that includes meal planning. Now that I have a regularly scheduled grocery day once a week, and a world of recipes at my fingertips, and time and inclination to eat better than ever, I’ve started saving a few key recipes each week and going through them on Tuesday to make my grocery list. First, and again and again, I’m grateful to my Personal Shoppers who give me this gift each week. Far more than the protective convenience it began as, it’s contributed to my personal transformation. Even if covid ever goes away, or I ever decide I’m game to get back to going out in public, I’ll keep the rhythm this pattern has created. On my list this week was chickpea-mushroom veggie burgers.

Naturally I wanted to make the buns as well. All parts of this meal freeze well for future use, and I gave some away too. These 30-minute buns take a little longer than that, but are quick and easy and really good. Here they are after their warm-oven rise–I don’t have an oven light, and the lowest my oven will go was a little warm for a rise. Next time I’ll just leave them out for awhile before baking, and also use a little less yeast at this altitude than I did this time. I think they didn’t puff enough because the yeast moved too fast. But what do I know? I’m still figuring out this baking world. I’m grateful I’m not attached to the outcomes of the recipes I try out. As long as they’re edible I’m happy; and even if they’re not, I’m grateful I’ve got a compost bin. No waste.

Toasted chickpeas with garlic powder and smoked paprika get mashed with chopped mushrooms, miso, tahini, and a well-cooked grain. I thought I had quinoa in the pantry but did not, so used farro instead. Mixed, mashed, and formed into patties, then frozen until ready to cook.


I’m grateful for compost. I’m no professional, but after years of trying different methods, I’ve found one that works for me. I used old pallets to fashion three side-by-side bins, and place yarden waste in them according to matter and size. At any given time I’ve got one active bin where kitchen scraps, old potting soil, small weeds, cut back flowers, and other smallish plant materials get layered; one for bigger plant matter, and one for whatever is needed, sometimes just an empty bin to turn the active compost into. I’m grateful I had help today to turn the contents of one bin into another and reveal a thick bottom layer of rich, moist soil. Sifted, we got two wheelbarrow loads, which now wait in the garden to be added to the raised beds once I clear them out. In the same way that I marvel at a tiny seed which grows on only air, water and soil into a monstrous tomato plant or giant bean stalk, I also marvel at the way those same huge plants can be coaxed back into a state of nutrient-rich humus with water, air, patience, and just a little work. It is most gratifying to dig down to the black garden gold in the bottom of a compost bin.