Making a pasta salad at the beginning of the week is one strategy that has worked well for me. Because the salad is only for me, I can use whole wheat pasta and throw in all kinds of ingredients like beans and funky veggies that my kids or my husband won’t eat.
This year, I’m determined to make green salads my lunchtime meal. We don’t eat enough greens as a family and yet, I’m always able to grow lots of greens in our vegetable garden. I also want to get the kids into the habit of eating crudite as a snack.
When we had our Nebraska relatives join us for New Year’s Eve, I took advantage of the need for gluten-free items for dinner to cut up a lot of fresh veggies, and then bagged them and stored them in the frig. I also picked up a bag of fresh, prepared spinach from Price Rite. The bag cost $1.29 and will last about two weeks if only I use it.
Lunch is still a bit stressful since I do need to pull out the individual salad ingredients and assemble the salad, but I’ve cut my prep time in half. I also feel obligated to make the salad, knowing that the ingredients will go bad if I don’t use them.
Since I need to have a little fat on my salad or I find myself snacking on sugary stuff within an hour of lunch, I’m also including things like cheese and the sauteed portobello mushrooms featured above. The cheese was left over from New Year’s Eve, but I’m going to include it in my weekly shopping list from time to time. The portobello mushrooms were part of a bag of mushrooms in the reduced section at my local produce place.
In order to have salad at dinner for myself and my husband, I’ve elected my five year old as salad maker. He loves making salads and with all the ingredients ready to go, I can let him have at it while I work on other parts of dinner.