Raising the salad bar

New Years resolutions.  Hmmm. You can probably tell by this post date alone, it’s not my strength. Two weeks too late. I’m probably like a lot of you. Life is busy. There’s a lot going on. Some are big things and some are not so big, but all together it can be too much on my plate. Literally. My muffin top has changed over the years to a…. well, a small wedding cake. BUT, we’ve come up with a “baby step” program around here that’s been helpful for everyone in the family. It’s a quick way to eat healthy and get your veggies in when your pressed for time, don’t feel like cooking or just need a quick something for OR with your meal.  It’s an instant salad bar.

At the beginning of the week I wash and prepare all the fixins for a yummy salad and put them in various size containers that all fit into one big 9×13 ish size container in my fridge.image

The idea was to give my family an easy to prepare option that was a healthier choice. It was a little love sabotage. We needed something to take the place of the ever so delicious quesadilla. Everybody in the family loves salad but the thought of prep was a downer sometimes.

It’s so easy to pull out the container and personalize a salad that even a teenager can do it. Really. I’ve  seen it done. With my own eyes. I’m a little misty thinking about the first time it occurred. Anyway, I can pull it out every night and make a salad bar in one minute flat. If my dinner is a little on the sub-par side, it’s instantly a better meal. Everything I cut and prepare is good for 5-7 days at least. The only ingredient that has ever gone “man down” on me is an occasional cucumber or a fresh berry.  We use bags of salad and spinach or cut pre-washed lettuce as we need.

These are some of the ingredients we love:

  • tri-colored peppers
  • peas, fresh or thawed
  • jicama
  • craisins
  • cut turkey or ham
  • sunflower or pumpkin seeds
  • almonds
  • raisins
  • croutons
  • bacon pieces
  • cubed cheese
  • beets
  • cherry or grape tomatoes (golden and red)
  • cucumbers
  • carrots (slices or pre-shredded)
  • fresh berries

Eating your greens ✔️

Making healthier choices✔️

Baby step goals✔️

Watching your teenager eat something different than a quesadilla ✔️

Happy Resolutions ya’ll. We believe in you.

Flanky Panky

Flanky Panky?  Yes.  I have a love affair with this cut of meat.  Especially when it’s grilled to perfection.  Mmmm.  It’s an all time family fave.  It only has two ingredients and you have them at home.

Flank.  It doesn’t sound like it would be tender, but it is, and it’s an easy grill on the bbq steak that you can cook for a crowd,

  • flank steak
  • four cloves of minced garlic. (Garlic salt can be substituted.  It’s as good).
  • low sodium soy sauce

You’ll need a 9×13 Pyrex pan.  If you’re cooking for a group and have a jelly roll pan, it will usually hold two flank steaks.  If not, two cookie sheets with an edge will do.  Fill the bottom of the pan with soy sauce, just enough to fill the bottom evenly.  Place the flank steak in the soy sauce, flip it over and spread with minced garlic or sprinkle garlic salt on the steak.  Let it marinate for 20 minutes or so.  After 20 minutes, flip the meat over and sprinkle with the garlic or garlic salt again.  discard marinade.

Get your BBQ nice and hot, then turn down a bit to medium high and cook each side about 7 minutes.  You can cut in to the middle of the meat and check it.  We like it best cooked medium, but you can’t lose.  The edges will cook more quickly so check the middle.  My kids fight over the edges.

Let the meat sit a minute to heat in its own juice and then cut it in thin slices diagonally against the grain.

Fire up your BBQ.  Winter’s over.


Costco Take-N-Bake Makeover

This is what my family ate for dinner tonight.  Gourmet take- out?  No.  It’s a reassembled Costco pepperoni pizza.   For a change of pace we’ll remove the pepperoni on all or part of the pizza.  It tastes completely different (even better) especially when you add some vegetables.  This makes dinner a quick fix and you’re less ridden with the guilt trip that comes with an easy, cheesy dinner.  Costco often has an instant rebate of $3.00,  so it’s even nice for your wallet.  The list below contains the ingredients that make my family “ga-ga”.  Add whatever makes you happy.  It’s perfect for the “too small”  container of left- over vegetables.  So have pizza tonight and give your guilt trip a kick to the curb.





Red Pepper

White or Green Onion

Spinach (place under pepperoni or cheese so it doesn’t crisp up)

Bake according to the directions on the box and enjoy!


Free Printable Weekly Menu


Two of my New Year’s Resolutions this year are to be more mindful of my money and health.  I found this free weekly dinner menu plan and was excited that I could kill two birds with one stone.  I printed it out, and stuck it in an old frame.   now I can use my dry erase makers and change my menu weekly.  Hopefully I will waste less food, spend less in the store, and be more aware of what I am feeding my family.

I am also considering laminating it and sticking inside my pantry door to save space.  You can get your free menu here  courtesy of The Nest Effect.