Note: This post is by Featured Contributor, Liza.
So a few months ago there was an article in the Star Tribune about meal swapping here.
My good friend Heather Clark emailed me and said we should get a group together to do this.
I thought it was a great idea but had numerous questions. My family tries to eat consciously. We shop at the coop, we buy organic produce and dairy when possible, and most importantly my son has a peanut allergy. Would I be a diva to ask the group to respect some of my food priorities? Heather came up with the great idea of surveying everyone interested to see if our priorities aligned and they did!
There are seven of us in the group, most of us have small children or travel a lot for work which means having several meals ready to thaw in the freezer is awesome. Basically we cook one dish for six people and get six meals in return.
We met for the first time in November to discuss how we should structure the group, how often we should meet, discussing menu ideas, spice tolerances, etc. We settled on meeting every other month and agreed that about three weeks before a swap we would email our meal suggestion to the group so we would make sure we didn’t have seven pasta dishes or too many repeats. I had suggested that we all purchase the same dishes to prepare our meals in so we wouldn’t have to keep track of whose containers were whose.
We agreed to meet in December and would be swapping soup and ½ dozen Christmas cookies. Due to a snowstorm (shocker this winter right?) we were unable to meet but ended up dividing and conquering our deliveries and the goods received were great!
In February, on Super Bowl Sunday, we met again (well in advance of the game). This time the menu included; Indian Curry, Empanadas, Egg Bake, Squash and Sage Ravioli, Meatballs, Stuffed Shells and Chicken Pesto Calzones.
So far it has been wildly successful! We are all loving trying different dishes and having ready to thaw meals at our fingertips. As we move into warmer months we have talked about having one person make something that is fresh and ready to eat like a pasta or tuna salad that we can consume right away just to add some variety.
So do any of you swap? What are your favorite meals to make ahead and freeze?
I promise next time we meet as a group to snap a picture so you can see all of these lovely ladies.