A Simple, Well-Rounded Meal

Menu planning, especially when you’re about to have guests, can seem a bit overwhelming. What do you need for a nice, well-rounded meal? Here’s a simple example, similar to what we generally use as a rule-of-thumb while planning suppers:

  1. Protein
  2. Green Vegetable
  3. Fruit/Second Vegetable
  4. Grains/Carbohydrates

In some cases (especially for a mid-day meal), all of these components can be found in one dish. Green salads, Meat Salads (chicken, tuna, etc.), and pasta salads are excellent platforms for creating interesting, well-rounded lunches.

If, like me, you’ve grown up in a “meat & potatoes” kind of family, you may want more than a green salad for supper. I prefer having a meat, a bread/grain, a salad/veggie, and another veggie or fruit. The following is true comfort food:

  1. Roast and Gravy (Throw it in a slow-cooker early in the day. Add your favorite seasonings – salt, pepper, garlic, etc. – and some potatoes, carrots, and onions. Set it on high for a little while, then turn it down. Voila! You have most of your meal prep done in a matter of minutes. Make the gravy from the juices after everything cooks down nicely.)
  2. Potatoes, Carrots, Onions (From that slow-cooker)
  3. Green Beans (So many great ways to cook these. Try sautéing in butter, add fresh minced garlic, and may be even some sliced almonds. Delish. Or, as we usually do, cook them in a pressure cooker with a little water, some bacon grease, Mrs. Dash, salt, pepper, beef base, a dried cayenne pepper, and a tiny pinch of sugar.)
  4. Fruit Salad (For a very simple one, try just chopping apples, adding halved grapes, some sliced bananas, and may be some pineapple or kiwi. Mix in a bit of lemon juice to help keep the colors beautiful, and you’re done!)
  5. Optional: Rolls, Sourdough Bread, etc.

There you go! A nice, full, well-rounded meal that is simple and hearty, and sure to please a crowd.


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