Ally's Sweet and Savory Eats: How to Incorporate Salad Night Once a Week

Thursday, September 17, 2015

How to Incorporate Salad Night Once a Week

It's super easy to fall in a dinner rut.  
Make this one change and it takes care of one day each week!

how to incorporate salad night once a week (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

I'm not sure if it was the hot August and early September we've had or if I've just gotten lazy {probably more of the truth}, but once a week I have totally changed up our dinner routine.

But let me start with this.

For as long as I can remember, I've never really been a salad girl.  I remember going to Applebee's in high school {we thought this was fine dining} and one of my best friends would always, always order their grilled chicken salad with the hot mustard bacon dressing. And she would go on and on and on about it.

In my head, I was always like...."It's a freaking salad!  My burger tops your salad hands down". Regardless I don't ever remember ordering a salad for my meal growing up.  Side salad?  Sure.  But, a dinner dish always followed.

But then, slowly, very slowly, as I grew up I started eating more salads.  I learned they didn't have to be just lettuce and dressing, but that heck, you could top them with WHATEVER you wanted.  The salad police don't exist.  There isn't anyone over my shoulder telling me what to do.

how to incorporate salad night once a week (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

Thankfully, we started our kids early when it came to salads.  We always put lettuce on their plates with a bit of dressing.  They are expected to eat it and finish it {we're a bit mean like that - I know not everyone agrees}.

So now at the ages of 6 and 4 {16 month old still gets a pass, although I will throw lettuce on her tray and she plays with it}, they are all about salads.  Thank god, they aren't going to turn out like me.  It took me almost 30 years to fall in love with the darn things.

Now, like I said earlier, I got a little lazy this summer.  It was hot.  Come 4 p.m. the kids would turn into monsters and the last thing I wanted to do was turn on the oven and slave over the store.  One random weekday night I served a salad bar for dinner.

When I announced this they all looked at me odd and I knew in their heads they were thinking, "what else are we having?"

But what they didn't know was that I made the salad bar FUN.  I grabbed every vegetable, protein and dressing I could find and gave them CHOICES.  It wasn't the typical mom-throws-lettuce-on-your-plate type of salad.

I chopped up cucumbers and tomatoes and carrots and hard boiled eggs and cheese and even made our favorite homemade thousand island dressing.  I grilled up chicken earlier in the day and seasoned it with this barbecue seasoning and put it all in colorful little bowls and made a salad bar.

And you know what?

They thought it was flipping Christmas Eve.

how to incorporate salad night once a week (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

After we did this once, I thought why am I not doing this once a week? 

1.  It allows me the chance to use up a handful of produce on the brink of death in my fridge.

2.  It gives me peace of mind knowing my family is eating pretty darn healthy for ONE night.

3.  It's easy.

I'm usually prepping most of our fresh produce on Sunday for the week {if you follow me on Instagram, you already know this!}, so I'm not spending a ton of time getting this salad together.  It really is just a matter of throwing all the sides in pretty bowls for my kids to get excited about.

Presentation is key!  Kids love when they get to pick and choose what goes in their salad.  My general rule is they have to pick four toppers.  So that leaves a couple items they can bypass. Trust me you'll be surprised how they'll come around when it comes to their veggies when you make it fun for them.

Then the key is to REPEAT, REPEAT, REPEAT.

Keep serving the salad bar once a week so they get used to it.  And let's be honest {so the husband gets used to it}.  And who doesn't love having one meal already planned each week?  I sure do.

So, what do you think?  Can you make this change in your house?

Let me know your thoughts, concerns and the like, I'd love to hear them!

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