So tonight we had southwestern meatloaf, baked potato, and the BEST salad I have had in a long time. I should probably mention that I don't do all of this stuff on my own. In the last eight months I have found the joy that is Relish a wonderful meal planning site. They provide you with options to pick from every week, and then it will create a PDF file with a categorized shopping list and all the recipes you will need for the week. Sometimes I come up with my own stuff for the night, and sometimes I borrow a recipe here or there from them as a side dish, in tonight's case however it was all Relish.
The salad was a spinach, apple, and golden raisin salad; which in and of itself isn't that unique or different but it was the dressing that made it out of this world. Now the original recipe was WAY too much dressing but it was so good we will surely use it all up in the next week. On a side note something that I am curious about recently is the idea of getting away from as much processed food as possible, I am currently reading Real Food by Nina Planck, as well as I notice it keep coming up in lots of different media (Relish, various Food Network shows). I like the idea that there are things that we have all started buying under a misguided idea of "convenience" when in reality it is really just more expensive and sometimes contain ingredients you can't even pronounce. Why do we really have to buy salad dressing? Or pancake mix, or any of the other things that are "preassembled?" Well now I am just getting off on a tangent but you get my point. I have a Nigella Lawson show on my DVR from months ago because she talks about her own personal recipe for a homemade pancake mix that she always keeps in her pantry. I am thinking, yes, totally why not do that it is way cheaper! Anyway I digress. The key to this dressing I think was it called for a tiny amount of celery salt, yes celery salt in a salad dressing. GENIOUS! Even Molly was happily munching away on her spinach!
Tangy Apple Dressing
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
¼ olive oil
¼ teaspoon celery salt
Pour all ingredients into a little jar (I use leftover baby food containers) and shake vigorously. Use enough to lightly coat salad.
Now I have been looking at these lunches lately that are so fantastic and colorful and look so tasty, they are the bento style lunches for kids. It is Thursday, on Friday Molly takes a little lunch box to daycare. So I thought I would try my hand at a bento inspired lunch for her. Obviously I don't have all the neat little gadgets that are a "prerequisite" the little bento boxes, the seperaters, the mini-cookie cutters to cut out fun shapes and what not, the fun animal tooth picks etc. However I do believe my first attempt was quite good, and we shall see how Molly liked it tomorrow. She has a sandwich, cut with a sandwich cutter that Nana got us. Some blueberries packed with the sandwich. Cheese cut into a flower shape, with some crackers. Carrot coins (cut with ridges on my mandolin) and some Asian dipping sauce (she likes to dip) so I am hoping she will eat these raw carrots due to the dip. She does well with cooked carrots, raw ones not so much yet, and a juice box. Should be good, not that I have a hard time getting her to really eat anything but if I were a kid I would think it was cool. A little mini-adventure to see what mom packed me today. I don't know, maybe I am just a nerd like that!