June 2, 2016

Busy Spring Meal Tips + Arugula and Wild Rice Salad

Arugula & Wild Rice Salad | The Naptime Chef

It’s been a busy month of end-of-school picnics, holiday weekends, and soccer tournaments. That means that I’ve been employing a lot of my favorite weeknight shortcuts like cooking double of what I need and repurposing leftovers. It takes a little strategizing, but it is worth the effort if it means solid meals to grab when rushing about. Here are three of my favorite spring meal tips for the “busy season” and a few favorite salad technique!:

Busy Season meal Tips | The Naptime Chef 1. Double Up on the Grill: We love grilled chicken, steak, and vegetables all summer long. Not only is it great right off the grill, but it is just as tasty served cold the next day. On Sunday nights I’ve taken to preparing twice as much meat to grill so we can eat half for dinner and have a whole extra portion for the next day or two. I use cold grill meat for tacos, enchiladas, serving over salads, or even making in wraps to take on-the-go.

Busy Season meal Tips | The Naptime Chef

2. Cold Dinner Season is here: We like to make paninis in the winter, and in the summer I am all about sandwiches and wraps. In fact, sometimes I am just about a vegetable, cheese, and meat board with some crackers for an evening meal. It is easy to stick to cooking hot dishes for dinners, but don’t forget that it is the season for cool and refreshing food. In fact, when you start to see those ripe, local tomatoes in the market start making gazpacho!

Busy Season meal Tips | The Naptime Chef

3. Salads Don’t Need Recipes: There are many amazing salad recipes out there. But, I have to be honest, I prefer the salads that are thrown together at the last minute. They always yield the most interesting flavors and textures and are unfailingly satisfying. Here is my newest favorite salad technique: add a grain! Last night I made a salad with arugula, dried cranberries, toasted pine nuts, feta, and wild rice. The warm rice was a delightful chewy addition to the salad. Over it I served, of course, grilled chicken made fresh the night before!