Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Weekly Eats: Cracking the Salad Code

A weekly round up: eats, watches, and reads.  In this week's edition, I cracked the salad code, celebrated a new state law, "helped" my stepson with his homework, and went on a book binge.

I think I've finally cracked the salad code!  Eating salads for lunch has been a fail for me in the past.  I haven't found the happy medium between eating a few leaves of lettuce and ending up starving all afternoon, or eating a few leaves of lettuce with a mountain of toppings and dressings only to end up stuffed to the gills.

I'm not sure where I got this idea but I picked up a salad kit from Costco, air fried a pound of shrimp, and mixed in leftover rice, roasted sweet potatoes, and avocado.  The dressing, corn and corn chips are from the salad kit.  And high 5, we have a winner here!  Filling without being a calorie bomb, a reasonable balance of nutrition and yummy tasting stuff.  Stay tuned to see where this goes.

On my running days, I've started to go for the convenience/sure fueling of Cliff bars and coffee.  On non running days, avocado toast and a homemade Egg McMuffin showed up.

In addition to my new beloved salad, there were also a few instances of salad/pizza/side of kalamata olives.

On Saturday I made refried rice ala Gwen Jorgensen (heads up the recipe link is a YouTube video).  8 oz of mushrooms, a few cups of Costco stir fry veggie mix, and everything mixed together b/c that's how I roll.

Monday: This is an example of a very typical menu for family dinner nights when I first met my husband, picky kid proof/single dad low stress.  My stepsons and I both like to tease my husband for what we call "Dad Food", except that he wasn't the one to suggest it this time so I guess this meal is now "Stepmom Food".

Tuesday: Pitching my A game with Jo Cooks Hunan Chicken and Costco egg rolls.  The sauce was a miss for all of us, nothing wrong with it, just not to any of our tastes.  Why am I linking to the recipe then?  Because of the chicken cooking technique.  It was 100% spot on so we'll repeat that part of the recipe and use a different sauce next time.

Wednesday: steak night!

Thursday: leftover night!  Hubs had steak and mashed potatoes and the kids were let loose with hot dogs and leftover mac & cheese and rice.  I had a salmon bowl (air fried salmon, rice, Costco stir fry veggies, avocado, sushi ginger, and the dressing from Skinny Taste's Seattle Salmon bowls (with the wasabi on the side where I can see it and know what I'm getting into.  I love spice but the wasabi that I have is really hot and I just can't get it to mix in evenly with the dressing)

Friday: mandatory take out night!  We went back to the Mexican place.

Wait, here is a more accurate representation: the temporary bill that allowed restaurants to sell alcohol to-go during the pandemic just became a permanent part of state law.  I'm becoming quite a fan of our state government.

Saturday: mandatory burger night.  The kids had beef burgers and the adults mixed it up and had chicken burgers.

Sunday: and now for something completely different with homemade hamburger helper.   If you're looking for a tasty home cooked meal that's on the table in 15 minutes, this is for you.  If you're looking for something that the kids in our house adore...look elsewhere.  They love ground beef, they love pasta, they love cheese...but they didn't buy the combination of all of it in the same bowl.  The adults loved it though.

I made a batch of chocolate chip banana bread muffins earlier in the week.

And something a little naughtier for the weekend...cream cheese brownies.

Hubs and I finished Jungletown ((here's a link to the series playlist on Youtube).  I saw the first episode of season 2 of Dead to Me and am looking forward to more.

Friday was the last day of school with the final timestamp of midnight for assignments and both of our guys were up late.  After dinner stepson #1 and I were in the back room and he was hunched over his school computer watching some lame documentary for health class.  He had the volume as low as it could go and I caught a few strains of music that sounded familiar.  He clicked the volume up one notch...

Me: "OMG are you watching SuperSize Me???????!!!!!!!"
Him: "You scared me".

Yes!  One of my favorite documentaries!  We plugged his computer into the backroom TV and finished it up on the big screen.  Man, I wish I'd had this kind of homework when I was in school.

Normally I read a chapter or two right before bed, so sometimes it takes me a while to get through a book.  Not this week!  I found not one but two good books.
  • Time After Time by Lisa Grunwald.  I think that this is the first time I've read a book that was described as a "Satisfying Supernatural Romance" and it looks like I need to read more in this genre.  I binged this sucker down in 24 hours, could not put it down. 
  • The Passenger by Lisa Lutz, we're back in thriller/suspense territory and I downed a big chunk of the book in my first sitting.
P.S. I avoid email lists like the plague, but one that I've found it very useful to be on is Modern Mrs. Darcy's E-book Deals.  I scan the emails for books that look interesting and if I'm lucky I can get them from my library (Time After Time) and if I'm not (The Passenger) the ebooks are in the $1-$3 range so I'm happy to take a chance for that price.


  1. Love your salads!
    I am currently Jim Gaffigan's book "Food" and he has a chapter on salads. He hates eating "rabbit food" but I think he would agree with your delicious composition.
    Great that schools are teaching the kids something about nutrition! "SuperSize Me" is impressive.

    1. Thanks for the tip, I will have to check that book out. I need a happy place between rabbit food and giving my runger full reign.

  2. Those breakfast sandwiches look really good! I suck at making breakfasts. I always intend to but then I get distracted and by the time I go to make something I'm so hungry I usually end up eating cereal or a pop tart just because I want something fast and easy.

    1. Believe me, I'm totally starting to just grab a Cliff bar and call it good on running days. I'll treat myself to taking a few minutes to fry up an egg on the non running days.

  3. Why am I always hungry after I read your posts? :) Your salad looks yummy! I love salads but I hate making them. Salad kits or even just pre-washing and tearing up the lettuce ahead of time has made salads much more do-able for me.

    1. Amen! It just takes too long to put together a salad from scratch. I'm 100% salad kits and frozen veggies.

  4. That looks like a great salad! I can go for months with a big salad for lunch but then I fall out of the practice...like now. Mmmm and now I want take out from our fave Mexican place tonight...except we had tacos last night. Whoops!

  5. I love a good salad, but yeah, I get what you're saying about it being "not enough" or "too much".... I am glad you found the right balance.

  6. Ooh that sald sounds good! I have cracked that salad code and it's called protein... I eat a lot of salads for lunch now.

  7. As always, everything looks great...especially those brownies ;-)

  8. You all had a nice variety of meals! We did a little too much take out this week

  9. I make huge salads "with all the things" for lunch most days and have to be so careful that I don't make the too big. Growing up, on Saturday nights we always had hamburgers and on Sunday mornings we always had French toast. Yum!

    I've never seen Supersize Me, but it's been on my list of things I want to watch forever.

  10. As always, delicious looking cuisine! Glad to see you are eating healthy and tasty foods. Thank you for sharing!