52 weeks of seasonal eating meal plans for 2021, based on my personal diet, are detailed below, week-by-week and season by season.
Each week’s meal plan will be released on Saturday with our newsletter. It will include a shopping list and recommended recipes.
Along with the downloadable meal plans, I’ll explain any prep required to eat seasonally with ease each week of the year.
You can also find the weekly meal plans in the Files section of our Facebook community. Click here to join!
This post also contains affiliate links based on my personal experience with products that support a seasonal lifestyle. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. I hope you find them useful.
A Personal Practice of Seasonal Eating
I’ve eaten seasonally for about a decade, but never with this much precision.
2020 was this introvert’s dream come true! All the longing to be home, in the kitchen and the gardens undisturbed, that I felt for years was mine to enjoy. Lockdown gave me the permission I needed to create seasonal meals every day, several times a day!
The months in isolation allowed me to circle around and down into the aspects of my seasonal life that are most sustaining. It was the year my interest truly became my lifestyle.
Before the pandemic began, Bob and I had agreed not to grow our food for the year ahead. We needed to focus on making money and stabilizing our finances. That turned out to be a wise bit of foresight to follow. Who knew?
Seasonal Eating is Mindful Eating
Mindful eating is a practice of bringing awareness to what you are eating and how you are eating. By bringing mindful awareness to every bite of every meal, you begin to intimately know the flavors of foods as they arrive, season by season.
Know your food, where it comes from, and how to prepare it for optimal flavor and nutrition. Then, create plates that welcome that awareness. Being present to our food from sourcing to eating is a core seasonal living practice.
We bought into a local farm share program. That is a service offered by local small farms where you can buy into their annual harvests and get weekly deliveries. We offered a farm share to 50 households for about 8 years from our farm. I have to say, after that, it felt like an indulgence to have our food delivered every Saturday.
I built my weekly meal plans around those deliveries. On Fridays, I cleared out the fridge and prepared any remaining vegetables from the week before. This most often entailed roasting vegetables and making salads. Rich flavorful soups were also a part of getting the most flavor and nutrition of our weekly veggie drop.
I supplement the farm share with sustainable meat products from Butcher Box. It’s a home delivery service with top-notch meat products. We don’t eat much red meat, and the service still works for us. Our delivery generally has portions of chicken, pork, and seafood. Click here to check them out and use my affiliate link for a discount.
Now, we’re beginning the 52 weeks of meal planning all over and bringing you along for the ride! So, heat up the cast iron! We’re eating seasonal in 2021.
Download the Seasonal Eating Weekly Meal Planner
Need a little help staying organized? Use this seasonal eating planner to keep track of ingredients and favorite recipes. It also has a food tracker and, of course, a weekly meal planner.
Your Seasonal Eating Reading List
My seasonal eating journey began with reading Animal Vegetable Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. It’s the story of a family taking the bold move from Arizona to southern Virginia to create a life more aligned with their values. Any homesteader or wannabe homesteader will easily relate to this family’s trials and triumphs as they seek to eat locally and seasonally for a full calendar year.
If you haven’t read the book, please do! And, while you are at it, pick up Kingsolver’s novel about agricultural life in Virginia, Prodigal Summer.
Since I’m recommending seasonal eating reading, you might also enjoy The Dirty Life by Kristin Kimball. It’s a fun romp through a year of micro-farming written by a love-struck city girl gone agricultural!
Cookbooks and other nifty resources for the seasonal kitchen
Seasonal eating is, in essence, a love affair with vegetables. The cuisine of the seasonal plate is vegetable-forward. Meats are often for flavoring, as with broths. They can also be a kind of condiment, like adding bacon to salads or cured meats as a side dish.
It’s good to invest in a couple of cookbook resources to learn the techniques that highlight the fresh vegetables’ flavors. This will save you from ingredient overwhelm during times like zucchini season or when you have the bumper crop of butternut squash!
Here are my four must-have cookbooks for the seasonal kitchen. They are beautiful, well-written, with tried and tested recipes.
The Seasonal Kitchen Pantry Planner
These meal plans will help you create the pantry and garden of your dreams in 2021. Each week’s shopping list can be a prompt to help you think about what you eat, especially in the offseason. Those ingredients…how many of them could come from your pantry with a little planning?
Mindset: the most important part of any goal!
Do you practice the simple yet humbling practice of creating a lifestyle through your daily habits? Tying as many of your choices, including meals, to your long-term goals?
If so, then you practice Atomic Habits! This is a life planning method that relies on regular daily habits to create the desired change in your life over time. I can’t recommend this book enough as you create a personal lifestyle that supports your deepest values.
Creating daily habits steeped in your long-term goals is what we mean when we say lifestyle choices.
These weekly meal plans might just be your ticket to create a seasonal kitchen while enjoying every flavorful and nutritious bite of every meal. All the while moving toward your health and wellness goals with each bite.
Like changing the way you approach daily meals and kitchen management, any big endeavor needs to start with your thoughts. Be sure to work on your mindset as you work more and more seasonal meals into your weekly meal plan!
Things to keep in mind
The first week of January is a tough one for seasonal eating, especially if the notion is new to you. Once your heart and mind align with seasonal eating, finding the time to create these meals will be much easier
Consider this meal planning adventure an experiment and create seasonal meals when you can. No pressure, just a spirit of curiosity!
Identifying seasonal foods for the winter months takes effort. No more winter strawberries with this meal planning philosophy unless they come from your pantry! In 2021 we’re syncing the flavors on our plate with Nature’s aesthetic, season by season.
While creating seasonal meal plans, try to buy organic as much as availability and your budget will allow.
This is a healthy choice. It is also an environmental choice that preserves the natural order by minimizing herbicides and pesticides that harm beneficial bugs, birds, and living soil.
Shopping lists, prep recommendations, recipes
Any meal plan requires dedicated attention to acquiring ingredients, advanced prep time, and easy-to-follow recipes. The easier and more straightforward food prep is, the more likely we are to rely on whole food ingredients and eliminate processed and fast foods.
Once you review my meal plan for the week ahead, go ahead and create your own! Then, use this shopping list to organize the ingredients required for your meal prep day.
Seasonal eating is a slow food practice. For me, it is a somewhat spiritual experience where I have time with knife, skillet, and beautiful ingredients to become creative. My seasonal kitchen is the web where all the components of my seasonal life interconnect.
Much of my weekly shopping is done Friday mornings. This allows me time enough to process the veggies in the crisper and make room for Saturday’s farm share delivery.
52 weeks of seasonal eating meal plans will offer a tremendous amount of information. Take what you need and bookmark the rest for future reference.
Simply click on the hotlinks below to find a collection of recipes appropriate for the season. Use the GRocery Shopping List to organize your seasonal ingredients, and get cooking!
The weekly meal plans
Use these hotlinks to get the meal plans for each week of 2020!
- Week 1: Start with holiday leftovers, then keep it simple
- Week 2 Meal Plan | Meals that Heal the Nervous System
- Week 3 – January 19-26 | Inventory the pantry first!
- Week 4 Seasonal Eating Meal Plan | Mid-Winter Produce on Display
- Week 5 Meal Plan | Healthy Smoothies for February
- Week 6 Meal Plan | Braised Pork Butt from Butcher Box
- Week 7 | Simple Meals for February
- Week 8 | The Season’s are Changing!
A word to my moms, and especially single moms…
In a word, I get you!
I was a single mom with a more than full-time job throughout most of my adult life. My meal planning aspirations were often undone by tight finances, exhaustion, someone having a cold, soccer practice…life.
Just pick one meal per week. Let it be YOUR time, your seasonal practice. It’s ok. There will be time to go all-in and create your seasonal life soon enough.
Grow your own as much as possible
For years I maintained a 4-season market garden and provided most of my own winter greens. This year, I let the winter garden rest so I could focus on other things. You’ll see produce from my kitchen garden enter the meal plans as I start indoor winter greens, and of course, begin harvesting from the outdoor beds.
The Seasonal Living Planner
This post complements the worksheets in the 2021 Seasonal Living Planner. It’s a free lifestyle calendar that helps you create a life grounded in seasonal time. You can download it anytime at this link, which will also help you get the most from all the resources it contains. Enjoy!
The Seasonal Living Framework
Want to dig even deeper into the rich soil of seasonal living? Check out the Seasonal Living Framework and download the Workbook! It’s also a free resource to help you create your seasonal life. I hope you find it useful, perhaps healing.
A Supportive Community
Be sure to sign up for our weekly newsletter. It will support you in creating a seasonal lifestyle that places your daily meals in the context of your whole day. It’s a wellness strategy I’ve practiced for years, and I find it healing to body, mind, and soul!
The members of our tribe are knowledgeable and talented! They are eager to share and learn. I think it is just the right place for you, too!
Check out our Facebook Group. It’s a community of gardeners and cooks who are eager to share what they know and get tips from others.
- What is seasonal living?
Seasonal living is a lifestyle grounded in nature's time through gardening, cooking, natural wellness practices, community involvement, and archetypal astrology. It is slow living, sensual living, sustainable living.
- What is seasonal eating?
Seasonal eating is based on meal plans that highlight vegetables, fruits, and proteins that are local, organically grown, and seasonally available. Seasonal eating relies on access to a garden or farmers market, and the cultivation of basic food preservation skills.
Use these 15 Winter Wellness Tips and Download the FREE Winter Wellness Tracker
We’re on a wellness journey in 2020. It’s a seasonal wellness routine built upon daily habits and routines that build wellness in body, mind and spirit day-in and day-out.