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Solar Eclipse Inspired Dining!

If you've been nerding out on the solar eclipse that happened earlier this week, meal planning might've not been your top priority for the week (and that's OK!). Or maybe you're coming back from a trip after spring break or had a stay-cation and are just adjusting back after some time off for you and/or your children, and need some extra help with meal planning this week. The beauty of being more flexible with meal planning is that it can ebb and flow during busier days or weeks or even entire seasons of life, and you can still think about what would be most helpful for you and your household. So, in the spirit of the solar eclipse, this post is going to feature some local fare from the spots that were in the path of totality for the event on 4/8/24. Feel free to utilize any to try something new this week and feel inspired!

Dallas, Texas

  • Chili - "The official state dish of Texas since 1977 and known locally as a Texas Red, it's more a hearty beef stew than a tomato-based, bean-studded dish"

  • Other popular options include: tacos and brisket

Little Rock, Arkansas

  • Cheese dip and fried pickles are both said to have originated from Arkansas. This week could you have an appetizer themed night and offer some different options such as cheese dip, fried pickles, and other accoutrements to make it a complete meal?

Cleveland, Ohio

  • Due to this city’s Irish, German, Polish and Italian settlers there are a number of foods known as local fare to Cleveland

  • Some options to consider putting into your meal plan this week: pierogies and bratwurst served with sauerkraut or chicken paprika

Rochester, New York

  • Likely the most famous option originating from Rochester is a garbage plate. Not sure what that is? A garbage plate typically consists of a protein offering such as cheese/hamburgers, hot dogs served over a combo of home fries, mac salad, or baked beans and topped with a meat hot sauce, onions and condiments such as ketchup and mustard. Basically think of some of your favorite picnic foods and those could be worked into your meal plan or try to create the famous garbage plate at home!

  • A lesser known option is Chicken French, which is an "Italian-American dish with origins in Rochester, New York". The dish features chicken cutlets coated in a light batter of flour and egg and cooked in a lemon, butter sauce. This method and recipe is also used to make other offerings such veal French, haddock French or artichoke French - so feel free to try something new in your meal plan for this week (recipe below for this one)!

Burlington, Vermont

  • When thinking of Vermont, we might first think of maple syrup, but there are other foods that this region is known for including cheese and a dish known as boiled dinner

  • Through the lens of maple syrup, how about trying a sheet pan meal with a protein, carbohydrate and veggies of your choice served with a maple sauce such as maple mustard dressing?

  • For cheese, consider mac and cheese in your rotation

  • A boiled dinner is one-pot meal comprised of various root vegetables (such as potatoes, carrots, turnips, and onions) plus cabbage and a cut of meat (such as corned beef or ham), which is then served with the broth as a soup course and the meat and vegetables as the main course

Lots of ideas from spots that were in the path of totality for this once in a lifetime event earlier this week. Hoping this inspires some so(lar) delicious meal ideas!



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