This March Seasonal Eating Meal Plan straddled the seasons. Using what’s left from winter stores and incorporating early spring ingredients is how we keep it fresh and local as winter turns the broad corner into spring.
We’re emptying the pantry and using up the perishables. Wild greens are steadily rolling into our meals. Farmers markets are beginning to offer the earliest of spring salad and cooking greens. Let’s keep meals fresh and local this March.
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March Seasonal Eating Meal Plan for the First Week of Spring
You can find meal plans for the first two weeks of March here, but this is the first week of spring and I’m eager to shake my menu up a bit.
To do this, I got myself a copy of the ever-popular Thug Kitchen. It’s a vegan cookbook with broad appeal. We’re not vegan, but we do love plant-centric meals, and I thought this raucous and crass cookbook would give my seasonal kitchen the jolt it needs to step fully into the new season and its unique flavors.
Clean the Fridge on Saturday
When you are creating primarily plant-based meals, you need to be forever clearing out the fridge. Saturday is a great day to pull out all of the vegetables purchased or harvested the week before, clean the refrigerator, and plan ways to use up these veggies before they go bad.
It’s Saturday as I’m writing, and I took on this weekly chore early this morning. It turns out, I had all the ingredients for a colorful and flavorful coleslaw.
The dressing was very simple: mayo, apple cider vinegar, poppy seeds and salt. We both had it for lunch!
A shelf for must-use items
The coleslaw went on the shelf we dedicate to perishables that have to be used first. Just now, the shelf is crammed with a small bunch of celery, kale and cabbages from the garden, cauliflower, a single fresh egg, and a quarter-pound of bacon. Oh, and citrus: mandarins, lemons, and grapefruit.
Create your meal plan and shopping list
Once that was done, I sat down with my cookbook and laptop and began sketching out the week ahead. All out meat products are coming from Butcher Box these days and you can read more about that here.
Because we have decided to shelter in place, I wanted to create March seasonal eating meal plans that are good for 2 weeks, and do the shopping around that goal. So, I called the local farm to table grocery store and asked what they had available. This list of local produce, combined with the meats from Butcher Box, and the recipes from Thug Kitchen helped me create that meal plan.
Mornings are my absolute best time of day!
You’ll often find me up by 4 am and at my desk by 5. You can read more about my morning routine here. Everyone should have one! (I think this is especially important if you are new to working from home. Daily plans are sanity savers and productivity boosters!)
When I’m feeling like a sit-down meal for breakfast, it is usually a tossed salad with a fried egg plopped on top.
Every once in awhile, I’ll cook for myself in the morning, that’s usually braised cooking greens with onions and herbs, and an egg poached into the middle of the greens.
If there’s a meal that catches me short and tempts me to eat poorly, it’s lunch. On the go and hungry is not the way to eat for optimal health. It’s a lifelong lousy habit that very hard to break.
If you struggle with this problem of snacking through lunch, I’d appreciate hearing your strategies and remedies in the comments thread below.
For me, the best lunches are leftovers. I try to make enough dinner to be sure to have left-overs for lunch the next day. Of course, a quick smoothie is also a trusted option to keep me healthy and honest.
Dinners | Every night is date night
Bob and I struggled for a decade to set healthy boundaries around our time since we both work from home. A few years back, we settled on a rhythm of quick morning check-in and a longer, late afternoon check-in we call cocktail hour.
Cocktail hour is often just what it sounds. We put on a cocktail jazz playlist on Spotify and turn off the news. All social media is put away and we simply check in with each other about our day.
After about an hour, we make dinner. The ingredients are usually gathered in the morning. So, cooking is quick and easy. Meals are both tasty and nutritious. Most of our dinners have a meat portion.
Eating fresh and local is easy and makes for very satisfying meals.
I’ve not addressed snacks in previous meal plans, but they are also a struggle. Both Bob and I snack too much. We love the roasted nut mix from Aldi’s and I’m guilty of grabbing a chunk of cheese if it’s in the house.
Our snacks are never planned and they should be!
Any Gen-Xers out there grow up on this questionable advice:
Learn how to shop for 2 weeks while we’re battling the pandemic!
Creating a meal plan in March, or anytime of year, will help you get more from your shopping dollar.
And, these days, when we are all sheltering in place, it is good to have at least 2 weeks of fresh food readily available at any given time. The pantry and the garden can help with this, but we all need to supplement with groceries.
By planning shopping to gather groceries for 2 weeks at a time, you limit your exposure to potential threats. It is one sure way to protect yourself and your family from contagion.
Shopping for 2 adults, my grocery list for the local farm store looked like this:
- 1 fennell
- 2 celery
- 1 large fresh ginger root
- 1 pound shiitake
- 1/2 pound crimini
- 6 beet root
- 6 large carrots
- 1 head broccoli
- Sweet potatoes
- 1 head lettuce
- 2 head garlic
- 6 apples
Avocados were sold out…we’ll survive, I guess.
The garden is beginning to provide, too! We have easy access to kale, chives, arugula, cabbage, and even a little Swiss chard.
My March Seasonal Eating Meal Plan for the First Week of Spring
Now for the details of my March Seasonal Eating Meal Plan. It’s fresh and local, tasty and nutritious!
The Sunday Kitchen
Preparing meals ahead is the best way to stretch your meals and your food budget. Here’s how I used my Sunday kitchen time this to prepare meals for the first full week of Spring.
When I asked friends what’s the best recipe in Thug Kitchen, and this Minestrone was the resounding favorite. Luckily I have just about everything on hand to create this vegan favorite. I’m not eating wheat, so we added quinoa, but otherwise followed the recipe fairly closely.
Pantry items used for the soup included cherry tomatoes, vegetable broth and parsley from the freezer, and the last of my preserved garlic (OMG, this stuff is the bomb!).
Garden harvests gave plenty of cabbage and kale.
To help us with our snack issue, I also prepared:
- 6 hard-boiled eggs
- Cashew dip using this base recipe.
- Celery and carrot sticks.
- More coleslaw with the remainder of the cabbage from the garden.
- Paleo bread for me.
The March Seasonal Eating Meal Plan for the First Week of Spring
Use this download to create your own March Seasonal Eating Meal Plan. Here’s what mine looked like:
- Roasted Sriracha Cauliflower Bites with Peanut Dipping Sauce
- Roasted Grapefruit (sugar-free option, use Swerve brown sugar)
- Cremini Gravy
- Lemony Red Lentil Soup
So, there you have a good framework to create your March Seasonal Eating Meal Plan for the first week of spring. Do all you can to keep it fresh and local!
52 Weeks of Seasonal Eating
This year, I’ve committed to 52 weeks of seasonal eating. It’s a health journey and a values journey. Follow along by beginning with the Seasonal Living Framework Workbook.
You’ll receive the weekly meal plans by email, and watch me move from aspirational eating to a master of seasonal flavors and ingredients. All the while you’ll gain the skills you need to create your seasonal life in the garden and kitchen, and with personal wellness practices.
There’s a party happening and we’re waiting for you to arrive!
We also gather over email once a week to focus on one specific garden, kitchen, or wellness topic in-depth, with lots of step-by-step how-to’s. The best way to jump into the email conversation is with the Seasonal Living Workbook, you can download it here and explore the seasonal living framework with an email course!
So much love and free information in one place, but it’s not the same without YOU!
WANT TO REMEMBER THIS SEASONAL EATING MEAL PLAN FOR THE FIRST WEEK OF SPRING? SAVE IT TO YOUR FAVORITE PINTEREST BOARD!