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Menu Planning – Chopped Vegetable Salad Recipe

This month I’ve set a goal to improve my menu planning skills. Does this never-ending task cause you stress too?  No more 5 o’clock hussle at my house.

Look for tools (tech and otherwise), tips and menu planning ideas.  Share your ideas too!  Plus, a weekly recipe so  by month’s end, we will all have a lovely brunch menu planned.

Tip 1: Pick a shopping day and plan your meals and shopping list BEFORE you go.  I know, sounds basic, but why do I skip this essential step?

Tip 2: Be honest. I know I don’t cook every night so I’ve already cut my to-do list down by planning 4 dinners not 7!

Tip 3: Try one new recipe a week. I have to balance my curiosity for the new prize-winning recipe with my family’s love of favorites.

Tip 4: Have your recipes organized! My recipes are everywhere, so I’ve started a binder of [gasp!] PRINTED recipes. If it’s Pinned, I click the link and save the recipe so i can really try it.  Something about ‘a place for everything’ and then I know where to start with Tip 1.

Maybe I should rename these Goals?

Here’s your first brunch menu idea – Chopped Vegetable Salad.  This recipe makes the perfect lunch, can be made with fresh summer veggies or enjoyed all year. It’s colorful and tasty and I can eat an entire recipe by myself.

Ingredients

1/2 cup diced artichoke hearts
1/2 cup diced carrots
1/2 cup diced green beans
1/2 cup diced red onions
1/2 cup corn kernels
1/2 cup celery
1 package small tomatoes
1 small avocado
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
1 cup mixed greens
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

In a large pot, bring 6 cups of salted water to boil. Blanche the carrots and green beans for 3 minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water. Toss together artichoke hearts, carrots, green beans, red onion, corn and celery. Add tomatoes. Drizzle with olive oil, then add salt and pepper to taste. Pour into a salad bowl lined with mixed greens. Top with cheese and avocado. For variation: Add edemame, blanched asparagus, green onions or use fresh corn kernels. If you really love a dressing, try this basic Honey Dijon Dressing.

Honey Dijon Dressing
1 tablespoon honey Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons sherry wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup almond or safflower oil
salt
pepper

Adapted from a Wolfgang Puck recipe.

More Salads for your Brunch

Spinach Salad Recipe
Easy Southwestern Salad
Citrus Coleslaw Salad

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Comments (3)

  1. Raejean 03/08/2012 at 10:49 am

    I got tired of choosing the meals all the time (and the complaining from those who didn’t like what I chose). We have a menu board where everyone chooses a dinner. We use that to make our shopping list. All I have to do is decide which day to make which dinner – and cook the dinner. My next step is to turn the cooking over to the kids… insert evil laugh here.

  2. jeszica 03/08/2012 at 10:10 am

    I need to get better about planning meals for the week as well we tend to go to the store way to much to pick up ingredients.
    If u haven’t tried quinoa, you must. This is a bersitile healthy grain. Cook it for the 15 mins it takes the night before, then add ingredients the next day for dinner. There are a TON of recipes out there.
    I make extra quinoa, so I can have it the next day scramble with an egg, maybe some beans and avaocado and a splash of lime topped with some cheese. Or this morning I. Put some veggie stock on oven top, thres some brocoli in until tender, tossed some almonds, avocado, and cheese on top. Oh and of course Siracha sauce!

    • Amy Allen Johnson 03/08/2012 at 10:20 am

      Hi Jeszica- great ideas! I’ve seen a few quinoa recipes and will definitely have to try. I’ve eaten it and enjoyed it, just need to cook with it too!