If you’re like me, you often find yourself wishing you could wave a magic wand and have a delicious and nutritious meal sitting in front of you. Poof! Alas, that’s not how this works. Sure there’s convenience food that you can buy that will satisfy any taste, but really that just ends up being a waste of money and a whole lot of added garbage that you don’t need or want in your body. No thank you!
So what to do on those days when time or inspiration is failing us? My solution has been to cook in bulk and save ingredients or whole dishes for future use (have I mentioned how much I LOVE my chest freezer!). This can be as straightforward as doubling the spaghetti sauce recipe and then freezing half in large jars for future dinners. Or, one of my favorite techniques is to cook more of any variety of ingredients and then make them into something new the next day. What does that mean? Well, for example, I can take leftover roast chicken and chop into a soup, stew or stir-fry. Or cook extra beans for chili one night, tacos the next! I do this regularly with a lot of different foods: veggies, lentils, quinoa, beans, chicken, meat and fish. It may not sound like a lot… but believe me, the time saved while putting together the next meal is noticeable for sure.
One of my favorite meals made with leftover ingredients is my Roasted Chicken and Veggie Salad. This is a salad that could easily be whipped up for lunch but is also hearty and filling enough to be dinner. Even if you’re not a ‘salad person’ you really should give this a try. It’s sooooo much more than just a salad.
And it only takes 5 minutes to make!
- 1 cup arugula (or other salad greens), washed and torn into bite sized pieces
- ½ cup leftover roasted chicken meat, roughly chopped
- 1 cup leftover roasted vegetables (carrots, broccoli, yams, garlic, cauliflower, onion)
- 4-5 marinated artichoke hearts, cut however you want
- ½ avocado, sliced
- ¼ cup feta cheese
- ¼ cup chopped walnuts
- 2 - 4 tablespoons homemade fruity vinaigrette (see recipe below)
Toss all ingredients into a bowl and eat!
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup light fruity vinegar (raspberry, red wine, and orange muscat champagne vinegars are all excellent choices)
- ¼ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon finely ground sea salt
- Fresh ground black pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients into a jar with a tight fitting lid. Make sure lid is well sealed and shake vigorously to combine. Dressing can be stored at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the refrigerator for months.