Why? Well because I have let it slip over the last few weekends and I made it my mission to pull myself together.  I spent a good part of Sunday in the kitchen. The first half of the day was for meal planning and grocery shopping, the other half; prepping, washing and chopping.

Just to be clear. This is not a plan of dinners for the whole family for the week, I’ll save that for another post some other time.

My goal is to get the salads, snacks and lunches I need to for the first part of week prepped on Sunday. I find if fresh food is  ready to eat –  we will eat it.  Obviously!  Otherwise all those pretty veggies I buy end up in the trash before we even consider them again. Nothing is sadder than a wilted and yellow bunch of kale at the bottom of the crisper.

These few dishes will not last me through the entire week, but they will get me through to about Wednesday dinner. At which point, I will have some other leftovers accumulated,and with a bit of prep, I’ll easily make it through to Friday with good food.

First things first…. it is essential to have a good green salad ready to go.

Meal Planning 101 salads meal planning lunch salads kids food healthy food

kitchen sink salad base with kale

I toss up a huge bowl of greens, chopped hard veggies (anything that will not brown or turn to mush – no avocados, cukes or tomatoes). This one has two heads of romaine, 1 head of red leaf lettuce and a small bunch of kale, a fist full of parsley, ¼ head of red cabbage, several carrots and 2 stocks of celery. This makes a versatile base for any salad. We will used this base for Sunday night dinner, my huge lunch salads and a few small kiddie sized lunch salads. When it is time to serve, you can add the other stuff. For dinner I dressed my salad with this dressing, diced apple, red onion, sunflower seeds and pita chips. For lunches I opened a can of chickpeas and tossed in ½ a cup.

Roasted veggies: Roasted veggies make a great lunch on their own, stuffed into a pita or tossed with a salad dressing for a cold roasted veggie salad. Beets, carrots and sweet potatoes in a tangy tahini based dressing. I’ll post the recipe later this week!  Follow this link

Meal Planning 101 salads meal planning lunch salads kids food healthy food

roasted beet and carrot salad

Bean dip or spread: Generally these keep for several days. This week a lentil and olive spread from Julie Danluk’s book. I use this as a dip for veggies, corn chips and pitas, a spread for sandwiches or inside a wrap with some of that salad. It adds protein and this one in particular adds some good fat from the olives. Recipe here

Meal Planning 101 salads meal planning lunch salads kids food healthy food

Olive and lentil tapenade

I also washed and cup up half a dozen carrots and a cucumber into wedges. Is it just me or do baby carrots taste funny? Or rather tasteless? We prefer regular ol’carrots for munching and dipping. These will go into the kid’s lunches too, although not with the olive spread. My kids prefer their raw veggies with ranch dressing or just plain.