This salad literally took 5 minutes to assemble because I had plan ahead items in my refrigerator. Here is a couple of things I always try to keep in my refrigerator when I am on a time crunch to get a meal on the table.
Herb Roasted Chicken Breasts – I make up a sheet pan of boneless skinless chicken breasts for my initial meal. Then I will use one or two for my Cranberry Chicken Salad. I will use another chicken breast to put in as the protein in garden salads. Then the remaining chicken breasts I will put into a “pasta” dish or make quesadillas. By roasting the chicken in the beginning I have multiple meals started for the week. Because I have used the chicken in different ways it does not feel like I am eating chicken all the time.
Greens – I usually keep romaine hearts, baby spinach or baby kale in the refrigerator. Sometimes I will grab a “bag of mixed greens” to have on hand. Having the greens on hand really helps put a nutritious salad together in no time. I like to cut baby spinach or kale into strips and add to pasta dishes. Once again I am adding a nutritious boost to my pasta.
Carrots – I like to keep baby carrots and shredded carrots on hand. I will roast the baby carrots in the oven with herbs and then drizzle a little honey on them at the end. If I have any leftover I turn these into some kind of soup. It could be a creamy roasted vegetable soup, or chicken “noodle”. I like shredded carrots to put in salads for a pop of color.
Fruit – I like to have seasonal fresh fruit handy. Chopping up a peach or throwing in some blackberries in a salad is an expected treat in what is usually just veggies in your salads.
These ingredients inspired this salad that I made for our lunch. I was able to assemble ahead of time, cover and refrigerate for a quick grab and eat meal.
With a little forethought you can have a nutritious, beautifully appealing meal on the table in minutes.