Lunch prep for the week

Sunday afternoon and evening is my time to prep for the week. We are doing a pantry challenge as a family so we are not going to the store. We are blessed to have a full root cellar and freezers from our years harvest. On Sundays, I turn those ingredients into lunch ready meals. This week I am prepping homemade apple sauce, chicken salad, hard boiled eggs, sausage kale soup and lemon blueberry muffins.

The apples from the orchard are starting to get soft. We are entering apple sauce, pie and cake season. We will be having an apple something for lunch every week till they are gone. Very rarely do I end up canning apple sauce. We normally eat them right up till strawberry season. Then we eat the fruit that is in season till apple season again. I mentioned that we limited our kitchen gadgets, however the instapot makes all this prepping possible. 8-10 apples, peeled and cored in the instapot. Warning stay below the fill line or it will squirt out when you release the pressure. Put in 1/4 cup of water to cover the bottom so it will not scald. I set the to 5 minutes. Most of the time I dont even need to puree, it is ready for jars straight from the instapot.

The chicken also goes into an instapot. I take the whole chickens from the freezer with the oldest date on them. Add chopped onion, chopped carrots and whatever other veggie scraps I have. These help favor the chicken a little, but they really are for the broth. Every week during the winter we have soup for dinner at least one night. This week will be potato soup. I will make extra and freeze it for lunches the week after that!

One of the things I love about our life is everything is connected. There is very little waste. The veggie trimmings and bones become stock. The stock becomes soup. The apple peels become pig feed or apple cider vinegar. Lemon peels become lemon zest for muffins. This connection challenges my creativity and makes me appreciate everything we have been given.

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