Seasonal Meal Plans

Announcing Seasonal Meal Plans

Seasonal Meal Plans are now available on Lista. You can now save time planning your meals and focus on getting the best ingredients from your favorite farm and cooking delicious and healthy every day!

We love planning our meals around the season because it just makes sense: you cook with the best and freshest ingredients right when nature makes them available to you. Cooking seasonally is something we really started to think about when we started receiving our local box and we have enjoyed doing it since. However we have to admit that it changed the way we think when doing our meal planning. We used to start by picking the recipes we liked or craved the most. Now it’s the reverse, we start by choosing ingredients that are in harvest and local to us, so we get the best flavors and know where they are coming from. It’s also a great way to prop up the local economy.

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Baba Ghanoush with Flatbread & Melon-Kale Salad, from “Beat the Heat” Meal Plan

What’s in a Seasonal Meal Plan?

Seasonal Meal Plans include 4 Week Night Meal Recipes. These recipes are originally created by us at Lista, inspired by the flavors of the season in combination with traditional culinary techniques and what we have learned as home cooks for the last 7 years (since being married!). “Meal Recipes” also means that each recipe is designed as a whole meal, including side dishes.

To make the most of the available produce and to encourage your inner “homesteader” we are also including: 3 Bonus Recipes that will show you how to prepare staples from simple smoothies to your own fresh pasta.

A meal plans also includes a Grocery List that you can print or use right from your mobile phone and best of all a Cooking Plan to tackle make ahead dishes and organize your entire cooking week which we know is no a small task.

Millet Stuffed Squash with Mango Sauce and Summer Salad

Millet Stuffed Squash with Mango Sauce and Summer Salad, from “Welcome Summer!” Meal Plan

Why Cook Seasonally?

1. Because it’s delicious and healthy!

We have been amazed how much produce we are including in our meal plans just by following two simple principles:

  • 2 week night meal recipes must be entirely meatless
  • 8 base ingredients need to be produce
Produce Included in a Seasonal Meal Plan

Produce used in “Beat the Heat” Meal Plans

As a result, on average around 15 different kinds of produce are included in our meal plans. To balance out we include whole grains, protein from some meats, seasonings from dried herbs, and dairy products, such as cheeses, and yogurt.

 2. To contribute to a better food system.

Cooking seasonally is also about supporting local agriculture. Small local farms are the ones growing a variety of crops according to the season and to their location. These practices promote biodiversity and sustainable farming. Besides local production you support local distribution and local markets which help prop up your local economy.

Opting to cook what’s available in the season requires creativity and good planning, and that’s what we are aiming for. It also requires flexibility as far as ingredients are concerned, as the fresh produce available will vary according to the weather. So thinking about this we include as well with each of our meal plans a listing of the ingredients with possible substitutions so you can use the contents of your CSA box, or whatever is available at the Farmers Market when you visit.

Get Cooking Seasonally!

For the price of a latte you can get a complete seasonal meal plan and start enjoying the best of the season while saving planning time. So head over to Meal Plans on Lista an check our latest menus:

View Seasonal Meal Plans

Interview with Faith Gorsky from An Edible Mosaic

An Edible Mosaic, Everyday Recipes with Extraordinary Flair

We start the month of July featuring An Edible Mosaic, a blog that gathers international recipes and american classics with an emphasis in seasonal dishes.

Faith Gorsky, author of An Edible Mosaic, shared with us her passion about food and culture and her experiences of writing about food while living in the Middle East.

Live Experiences as an Inspiration for Writing and Cooking

LIVE LISTA: Tell us bit about you.

FAITH GORSKY: My favorite thing to do is go into the kitchen hungry, open the fridge, and start creating. (And when my husband, Michael, cooks with me, it’s just icing on the cake.)

I was born, raised, and spent most of my life in Upstate New York, but I’ve also lived in Florida, Syria, Jordan, and Kuwait. I love to travel, especially to places steeped in rich culture and history. One of my favorite cities is Damascus, Syria…it’s scented of jasmine, spices, and apple tobacco, tastes sweet like toot (berry juice) and salty like bizzer (roasted seeds and nuts), and feels like another world.

I enjoy reading (cookbooks mostly), vintage shopping (especially in old markets), watching movies (of all genres), and am enamored with ancient cultures (especially Rome and Egypt).

My favorite foods are apples, grapes, spinach, and Indian butter chicken, and my vice is Swiss dark chocolate.

Photos of Faith's Trip to Damascus, Syria

Photos of Faith’s Trip to Damascus, Syria

 

One of my favorite cities is Damascus, Syria…it’s scented of jasmine, spices, and apple tobacco, tastes sweet like toot (berry juice) and salty like bizzer (roasted seeds and nuts), and feels like another world.

 

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Molokhia Waraq

L.L: How did the idea of blogging about food started?

F.G: I started my blog the day after Mother’s Day in 2009 to share the Mother’s Day meal that my family and I made for my mom. I wanted to show that someone like me – who is by no means a professional chef – can make a decent meal to share with loved Continue reading

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Addictive Crunchy Quinoa Granola Clusters

“Addictive” is really the best way to describe this granola. We can’t stop eating it! The great news is that it’s a great way to snack or even better as your breakfast.

Like many other things granola is one of those that homemade is best and it’s really not that difficult. Plus you can play with the toppings and incorporate any nuts, dry fruit (and even chocolate!) you crave or is available to you.

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2 ounce Pilloncillos. You can buy a bag of them, or buy them separate in bigger blocks.

For this recipe I used Panela syrup. Panela is unrefined whole cane sugar typical from Central and Latin American countries. You can find it at the store as “Piloncillo” which is the name it’s given in Mexico. Panela is a huge deal to me because is one of the most important products that Colombia (my home country) exports after coffee. It Continue reading

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The Big Chill: The Best Way to Cool Down this Summer in Austin, TX!

Texas is famous for its very hot summers and it’s not for granted! So to celebrate the best of the summer and chill down at the same time enter two win two tickets for the Big Chill priced $130!

big-chill-logoThe Big Chill, an event organized by the Austin Food Blogger Association gathers chilly bites from Austin’s top restaurants in the beautiful Bullock Texas State History Museum. Chefs from top Austin restaurants—including The Carillon, No Va, St. Philip, Dolce Neve, Celtic Seafare, Nada Moo, Soup Peddler, Pleasant Storage Room, Swift’s Attic, Thai Fresh, Trace at the W, and Noble Sandwich Co.—will be creating special menu items for the event, with drink stations sponsored by Good Pop and Chameleon Coffee.

Proceeds from the event will benefit Meals on Wheels and More, a 501(c)3 nonprofit. Meals on Wheels and More has served the Austin area for 42 years, nourishing and enriching the lives of people in need through meal delivery and other programs that promote independent living.

Continue reading

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Connecting Through Food with Judith Fein

A few weeks ago we had the pleasure to chat with Judith Fein, travel journalist and author of the book “The Spoon From Minkowitz, A Bittersweet Roots Journey to Ancestral Lands” about her book and how food has been a constant in her work.

Finding Her Past, An Early Obsession

Since a child, Judith Fein started wondering from her grandmother’s kitchen about her ancestors. She remembers her grandmother cooking a chicken soup and sharing the food she grew up with and knew by heart so well. But she also remembers that she wouldn’t share any information about her past. This puzzled the author who grew obsessed with the idea of learning more about it. As she put it herself “my whole life turned into a detective novel, trying to track down the village, and a finally I went there.” In Continue reading

Happy Sourdough Starter Makes Awesome Bread

Happy Sourdough Starter Makes Awesome Bread, Every Time.

Making bread became an obsession a few months ago after reading Cooked from Michael Pollan. At the time I had already tried making bread with commercial yeast and the results had been… let’s say ok. But, Pollan’s narrative about making bread picked my interest into making it with wild yeast.

It all Starts with the Smell

The smell of freshly baked bread takes me back to onces at my grandmother’s house. Onces are a meal served in the afternoon in many South American countries, and it consists of a hot beverage (like coffee, hot cocoa, or hot sugar cane water) and baked goods. Hot cocoa, pan blandito, (spanish for soft bread), and cheese was the typical food my grandmother would serve. But my grandmother didn’t bake her own bread. Freshly baked bread came from the panaderias (bakeries) that can be found in abundance in Bogotá.

Fast forward twenty years later, finding freshly baked bread here in the US has been a different story. However I do have to say that I’m grateful for having found sourdough bread. It does not resemble whatsoever to pan blandito, but it has a more complex flavor making more versatile. I love with for breakfast with some bulgarian yogurt, a Continue reading

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How to Make Homemade Bulgarian Yogurt Using a Slow Cooker

One of the main reasons we started making our own yogurt was to incorporate more live cultures in our diet. We were already making our own sourdough bread (recipe coming soon!) and figured that making our own yogurt would be fairly easy.

And it was. We’ve been making yogurt of a few months now and it has become part of our weekend routines. The best thing we like about this recipe is that most of the time spent on it is passive, so you can do it while doing something else (like working at the computer, as I’m doing right now).

Why Bulgarian Yogurt

Like with bread, to make yogurt you need a “starter”. In the case of yogurt it can be just plain yogurt from a previous batch or a yogurt starter culture. To make our yogurt for the first time we used Organic Bulgarian Yogurt sold by our local CSA provider, which contains the Bulgaricus strand combined with Acidophilous, Thermophilous and Continue reading

Yes, more please! Featured Food Blog

Yes, More Please! Food Blog, An Extra Serving of Cooking Inspiration

We met a couple of weeks ago with Mariana, food blogger and full time food lover from Yes, more please!, to chat about her blog (a joint venture with her husband), as well as her thoughts on cooking and writing about food.

Since we discovered Mariana and Ian’s blog, we just can’t get enough! And there are really good reasons for this: step-by-step tutorials on each recipe, high quality photography, cultural notes about food, engaging writing, and amazing and unique recipes. So we are sure that you will be delighted with this interview and the many food stories Mariana shared with us.

Passing on the Experience of Cooking

Live Lista: Tell us a little bit about you and how did you get the idea of starting your blog.
Mariana Mcenroe: I used to post cellphone photos on Facebook with our dinner. Our friends would see the photos and always ask for the recipe, until they almost demanded “you should start a cooking blog!” [laughs]. That’s when the idea of creating recipes to inspire people to cook became our motto.

I love the cooking, food, and visuals. Ian Loves photography and food. And we were convinced that the best way to combine our interests was creating a cooking blog.

We want to share not only the recipes, we want to share the cooking process, the music that we listen to when we are cooking, the whole cooking experience, so you can get into the cooking mood and share with family and friends.

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Warm Farro Asparagus and Poached Egg

 

L.L: What gets you inspired to cook and write?
M.M: I get my ideas mainly from ingredients. I love to go to the farmers market and see what’s fresh. This is something that I’ve been doing since I was little, and is the Continue reading