- Michele Boutin
Salad Bar Fridge
Keep it Simple; Make it Delicious
Monday - Friday, I head out the door for work between 6:15am & 7:00am, and the extra task of opening, draining, and then storing the remaining unused can of chickpeas that I want on my lunch salad can feel time sucking in addition to the other morning to-do's! My on site, full-time work as a Nanny does not lend to simply running out to grab breakfast and lunch; not even a coffee, so being prepared with good food for a long day is a must; besides, having control over ingredients is all around healthier in mind, body, and the wallet. On the other end of the day, I usually land back home around 6:30pm, and if I sit down before starting dinner... welp, dinner probably won't happen, so having at least some already prepped food in the fridge is of great help for dinner and for the next morning.
When I am not wearing my Mary Poppins hat, I help women discover and live a style of wellness tailor made just for them, and one of the many items we discuss during our Strategy Sessions is how to incorporate foods that work best for their body and their busy schedule. Because I do LOVE a good (healthy) salad bar, I make my own that lives conveniently at home in my fridge, and when I offer the at home salad bar suggestion to my clients, they embrace the ease and simplicity of this idea.
Salad bars can offer healthy options along with no fuss assembly (and more so when you have control), and once the plethora of food ideas start, the rest just requires a shopping list, trip to the store or farmer's market, and a bit of prep like opening a can of chickpeas into a jar to roasting some veggies, and then storing them so you can assemble them later, all ready straight from you fridge for the taking to a bowl at home or a container to go! Ideally, prep most items for 3 to 5 days of easy, healthy grab meals; I promise that you will be grateful for the upfront prep! Hell, pop on some music, pour a glass, and have fun with it!
In this pic, I added leftover roasted veggies, a handful of slaw mix, and greens to my socca for a quick & quite delicious dinner.
Some Ideas to Get The Wheels Whirling
Leftover fish: salmon, cod, halibut...
Leftover chicken, turkey, lamb, beef...
Opened can of tuna, salmon, sardines, drained & put into a container
Chickpeas, black beans, pinto... oh my (you get the idea) ! Drained & put into a container
Hard boiled eggs: whole, halved, sliced, smashed...
Raw: broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, cabbage/slaw, peppers, carrots, celery, bok choy, shredded beets, sliced fennel, zucchini
Roasted: sweet potatoes, butternut squash, honey nut, sliced delicata, parsnips, beets, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, cabbage/slaw, peppers, carrots, celery, bok choy, fennel, zucchini
Raw fermented: carrots, beets, kimchi
Frozen peas (easily thawed under hot water)
Tomato (variety): halved, roasted, sundried
Avocado: halved, sliced, smashed
Berries: strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries....
Slices: pear, apple, mango, papaya, grapes, kiwi, oranges, grapefruit
Variety of Leafies
Bagged or Container or Whole: romaine, spinach, arugula, kale, swiss chard, collards, dandelion, radicchio, endive...
Nuts: almonds, pecans, walnuts, pistachios
Seeds: sunflower, pumpkin, pinenuts, hemp
Cashews & peanuts
Plain, unsweetened yogurt: plant based or dairy
Fat & Acid
Extra virgin olive oil
Nut & seed oils
Squeeze of lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit
Raw apple cider vinegar
Mix up: olive oil, apple cider vinegar, chopped garlic, raw honey, s & p - according to your taste
Any green or combo of greens
A mix of veggies (raw, steamed, roasted)
Brown rice, black rice, red rice, quinoa, socca
Toast of quality bread (sourdough, gluten free, grain free)
Herbs (torn or chopped)
Think and plan ahead
To go containers
Ideally, you want to shoot for healthy versions of what you love and that work best for YOUR body at this particular time in your life, and with upfront prep, eating well can absolutely be grab and go... from your fridge :)