Farmers Market Meal Plan: Eggplant and Bacon
I love shopping at the farmers market. Perusing the aisles of cherry tomatoes and patty pan squash, chatting with the farmers, sipping my coffee in the sunshine as I pick up fresh-baked bread and honey and crisp greens. It's a bright spot in my busy week.
But there's nothing worse than purchasing a beautiful carton of baby eggplants, only to forget about them in the crisper until two weeks later and find them turned into wrinkly little balls of mush. Or to get home with a big pile of gorgeous tomatoes for salsa, only to realize you forgot the onion and cilantro. Both of which have happened to me in the past month.
So in order to keep my budget and dinner habits on track, I put together a handy little shopping list and meal plan featuring simple and quick recipes, and I thought you might enjoy testing it out with me. Shop on Saturday, prep on Sunday, and then you've basically got 5 days worth of fresh, 30 minute meals at the ready. Give it a shot!
This meal plan is a guideline, but feel free to adapt recipes as you see fit. The shopping list and recipes here will easily feed two people and could maybe be stretched to four. Most of the meals in this plan don't feature a lot of meat, but for heartier dishes, an additional protein source, such as roasted chicken, could be easily prepared on Sunday and added to most of the recipes throughout the week.
Also, don't forget to sign up for our Central Illinois Eat Local September Challenge to get farmers market meal plans like this one delivered directly to your inbox each week in September.
Farmers Market Shopping List
Local Eggs: $3.50
2 Medium Eggplant: $2
1lb heirloom tomatoes: $2.00
1lb bacon: $7.50
1 bunch basil: $1.50
1 loaf bread: $6.00
1 bunch of greens- kale, lettuce, chard…whatever looks best: $3.50
1 bulb garlic: $1.00
Farmers Market Total = $27.00
Note: prices are based on the Old Capitol Farmers Market in Springfield during the month of August, but will vary according to farmer, location, and season.
Salad Dressing of choice
Sunday Prep Day:
Bake all of except for 3 slices of bacon in the oven. Cooked bacon will be used Monday with the Omelets and Tuesday with the BLTs. Remaining 3 slices will be used Friday with the Pasta Carbonara
Take one of the eggplant and dice into small cubes, sautee in olive oil, salt, and pepper, until golden brown. Keep in closed container in fridge to be used for Monday with the Greek Omelets and Friday with the Pasta Carbonara. Keep remaining eggplant for use on Wednesday.
Use 2/3 of basil bunch to create basil pesto with parmesan cheese, olive oil, almonds, and lemon juice. Set aside for Tuesday BLT’s and Wednesday’s Eggplant Stacks. Reserve remaining basil for Monday Omelets and Friday Pasta Carbonara.
Monday: Greek omelets with a side of bacon
Use all but two eggs to create omelets. Add half of the reserved eggplant, some basil sprigs, one diced tomato, and feta cheese to the omelet to create Greek Flavors. Serve with a side of bacon and toast if desired.
Tuesday: BLTs with pesto
Use leftover bacon, one tomato, bread, greens, pesto and avocado to create BLT sandwiches.
Wednesday: Eggplant stacks
Cut remaining Eggplant into slices, brush with olive oil, and grill on both sides. Reserve half of the eggplant slices for use tomorrow. Top the remaining slices with pesto, tomato, basil leaves, and a hearty slice of mozzarella. Serve warm with side salad made from farmers market greens.
Thursday: Baba ghanoush, toasted bread, and side salad
Remove skins from reserved eggplant slices and add to blender with tahini, lemon juice, garlic, and olive oil to create baba ganoush. Serve with toasted bread and a salad made from the remaining farmers market greens.
Friday: Pasta carbonara with eggplant and basil
Using the remaining eggs and bacon, garlic and parmesan cheese to create the carbonara sauce. Cook pasta, and toss with sauce and leftover diced eggplant from Sunday. Top with diced basil.