Happy Halloween!  I could get all philosophical about kids and treats tonight…or I could just post some fun Halloween-style recipes…or I could do what I always do on the last night of the month, which is share the new meal plan.  I vote for that. 

See, I talk about kids and treats all the time, and I don’t have many real “Halloween” recipes, because I sort of think – as tempting as it is – making special Halloween sweets and treats is adding unnecessary madness to an already sugar-hyped event.  I think Halloween is fine, truthfully, and my kids have already happily dug into their trick-or-treat stashes with not much discussion or coaching from me and J. about what to eat, or how much, or when.  It’s a holiday devoted to candy, for heaven’s sake, and I can’t pretend it’s anything else.  So we’re kinda DONE with the Halloween thing, if you know what I mean.

But a bright, shiny, new meal plan?  That’s worth posting!  I approached November’s plan with a goal in mind: Reduce the meat.  We try not to eat meat every night anyway, but I have felt lately that October got a little heavier on the animal products than I wanted it to be; besides which, during the fall and winter, it’s far too easy to fall back on heavy braises and stews and comfort foods, most of which are traditionally meat-heavy.  So I vowed that we’d eat either low-meat or no-meat more than fifty percent of the time at our family dinner table this month.  As I developed my plan, I kept in mind Thomas Jefferson’s dietary advice: that meat should mainly be eaten as a condiment for the vegetables.  I think it’s especially important, too, with the holiday season fast approaching; knowing that we’ll probably end up indulging ourselves more than usual in many ways, I think it’s only appropriate to take my best shot at balancing the potential excesses with healthier fare.

Tuesday, 11/1: Slow cooker – pot roast with vegetables (Okay, okay, it’s a meaty dish.  Once a season!)
Wednesday, 11/2: Whole wheat pasta with beets and goat cheese, salad, fresh fruit (that’s better!)
Thursday, 11/3: Spanikopita casserole and roasted vegetables
Friday, 11/4: Fend night
Saturday, 11/5: Fish supper – our farmer’s market has recently acquired a fish vendor!  I’m so excited!  Now I can pick up something great from him at the market, and just grab veggie sides from all the stalls around him.
Sunday, 11/6: Eggplant parmigiana and salad
Monday, 11/7: No-fuss chicken, brown rice, roasted vegetables
Tuesday, 11/8: Slow cooker – broccoli soup and crusty bread
Wednesday, 11/9: Sloppy joes, fresh fruit, sweet potato fries
Thursday, 11/10: Whole-wheat spaghetti marinara, garlicky sautéed greens
Friday, 11/11: Fend night
Saturday, 11/12: Seasonal vegetable panzanella and baked fruit
Sunday, 11/13: Sunday Roast Chicken, sweet potato casserole, greens
Monday, 11/14: Potato pancakes with smoked salmon, salad, roasted vegetables
Tuesday, 11/15: Slow cooker – lentil stew with kielbasa, vegetable platter, bread
Wednesday, 11/16: Vegetable stir-fry with cashews over brown rice
Thursday, 11/17: Honey-mustard chicken subs, sautéed vegetables
Friday, 11/18: Fend night
Saturday, 11/19: Fish supper (again) – I can’t help it.  Fresh fish right at my farmer’s market is too good to pass up.
Sunday, 11/20: Scalloped potato and ham casserole, sautéed greens
Monday, 11/21: Sweet potato bisque and panini
Tuesday, 11/22: Slow cooker – chicken soft tacos, corn, cabbage slaw and avocados
Wednesday, 11/23: Fend night!  No need to eat big before Thanksgiving!
Thursday, 11/24: Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
Friday, 11/25: Asian-style sesame noodles with vegetables
Saturday, 11/26: We’ll likely be having a family dinner at J.’s brother’s house, so I’m off the hook
Sunday, 11/27: Butternut squash lasagna, salad
Monday, 11/28: Eggplant burgers and roasted vegetables
Tuesday, 11/29: Slow cooker – “Midwest” lentil soup, whole-wheat cornbread
Wednesday, 11/30: Whole-wheat pasta with sweet potatoes and red peppers, salad, fruit
As always, leave a comment to ask questions, request recipes, etc.  I love hearing from RRG readers!