September 19, 2014

Weekly Produce Prep and Easy Veggie Salads

We all try to eat more vegetables.  But how easy has it been for you to eat them at home?   For me, not so much.  I realized it takes a little work to get them ready to grab on the go or when searching for a light snack.  If veggies aren't easily available, I find myself leaning towards not so healthy options.

However, I'm proud to say that I haven't bought as much junk food over the past couple of years. And also I try to limit our processed foods to items such as canned beans, tomatoes, condiments and a few others. But for the most part, we eat freshly prepared meals daily.  The meals I try to make consist of a protein with a fresh or frozen vegetable side or maybe just a vegetarian meal once or twice a week.

Anyway, I've been more diligent about purchasing more produce during my weekly grocery shopping.  The issue I came across was that I didn't have (make) time to cut up or prep any for snacking or lunch.  I decided to just pick a day to cut and portion out veggies for the week.  I guess normal people would probably do all the work the day they actually buy the groceries.  Meh.  I'll try but grocery day is usually the day I plan to accomplish a million other things on my to do list.

I recently discovered Sprouts and how many awesome deals they have.  Now I mainly get my produce there.  Wednesdays are awesome because you can get last week's ad prices AND the new week ad prices.  That's great to know so I can compare veggie prices and get everything in one trip.

It seriously only took me about a half hour to get everything washed, cut, portioned, packed. AND I also thought it would be a good idea to make quick lunches such as Caprese salad and pickled cucumber salad while I was at it.  I feel pretty good about myself right now.  Let's see if I can continue this each week.

*I had more veggies and forgot to take photos of those and the salads. Boo.  I took a photo before I used some of the prepped veggies for dinner.  I had cut carrots into sticks for snacking and just diced them up for a dish for dinner.


4 oz mozzarella, balls or cubed
1 medium tomato, sliced
Fresh basil leaves (*I had 4 little leaves. You can use more to your liking but that's all my little in-home herb garden had at the moment)
Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
Balsamic reduction (1/2 c balsamic vinegar boiled in small saucepan until reduced to half. Takes about 10 minutes.)

While balsamic vinegar is reducing, prep mozzarella and tomatoes and place in a small bowl.  Thinly slice basil and add to salad.  Add a small pinch of salt and pepper and drizzle a little olive oil.  Taste and add more seasonings as desired.  If serving right away, drizzle a little balsamic reduction on top.  I would keep reduction in small container separate from salad if serving for lunch or snack the next day.

*Balsamic reduction will make more than you need for this one dish. It takes just a small drizzle to add flavor.  It keeps forever so store it in a tightly covered container to use later.  Drizzle on steaks, salads, brie and more.


1 large cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced then halved
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tsp sugar
salt and pepper, to taste
red pepper flakes, to taste

Whisk rice vinegar, sugar and a pinch of salt and pepper.  Taste and add more seasonings to your liking.  Add red pepper flakes for a kick.

No comments: