Tag Archives: meal planning

In which Nichole may or may not have stolen a salad

This is the third or fourth or fifth week that I’ve planned to have a rotisserie chicken and a salad for dinner one night, and after many hours of ferrying the children hither and yon, today I finally took my free-chicken-and-a-family-salad coupon over to Whole Foods.

The chicken part was pretty straightforward. I picked up a rotisserie chicken, and I put it in the cart. Done and done. The salad, though, I wasn’t sure about. Whole Foods has a vast array of salads and salad bars, and I wasn’t entirely sure what the coupon meant when it said “a free family salad.” So I asked one of the cute millennial people on staff.

“Hi,” I said. “When this coupon says ‘family salad,’ what exactly does it mean?”

“One of those in the cooler under the ‘Good Stuff to Eat’ sign,” the Cute Millennial Gelato Girl said, gesturing in the general direction of the coolers. She didn’t say “Good Stuff to Eat,” exactly, because that isn’t what the sign said. But when I was there I remembered what she said and I found it.

Pixabay didn’t give me any results when I asked it for a free stock photo of a cute millennial, but it did give me this when I asked for a picture of gelato. // photo by Daria Yakovleva
So those directions narrowed it down from the 16,870 salads available at Whole Foods to about 3,457 salads. And I still wasn’t sure exactly which one the coupon was talking about. But I figured the Cute Millennial Gelato Girl wouldn’t steer me wrong, so I grabbed a pasta salad in a larger box instead of a pasta salad in a smaller box — because the “family salad” oughta be the bigger one, right? — and I went to the checkout.

“Are these vegan brownies good?” I asked the Cute Millennial Checkout Girl.

“They are so good,” said the Cute Millennial Vegan Checkout Girl. “That’ll be $10.79.”

I did have a box of 99-cent macaroni and cheese and, suddenly, a vegan brownie, so I wasn’t surprised that the whole order wasn’t free. But I was surprised that a vegan brownie and a 99-cent box of macaroni and cheese came to $10.79.

“Didn’t the coupon cover the chicken and the salad?” I asked.

“Oh no, not that salad,” she said. “It has to be a green salad. You can go ahead and check out and then just grab one of the green salads.”

This is what Pixabay offers up when you ask it for “vegan.” I’m going to go ahead and assume she doesn’t know much about brownies, either. // photo by Croisy.
A green salad. OK. I finished checking out with my free chicken, my 99-cent macaroni and cheese and my vegan brownie, and I went back to the Good Stuff to Eat cooler. Armed with the new knowledge the Cute Millennial Vegan Checkout Girl had imparted unto me, I discovered that I now had only 145 salads from which to choose.

So I chose one, and I went to the express line.

“Hello,” I said to the Cute Millennial Checkout Guy. “I’ve already checked out, but I got the wrong salad for my coupon and I want to make sure I have the right salad because I don’t want to accidentally steal a salad.”

“Oh no,” he said, “not that salad. The one you want is about the same size, but it’s not round.”

Downtrodden but not yet defeated, I went back to the Good Things to Eat cooler. I was now faced with only two options: A green salad in a square container, and a green salad in a rectangular container.

And I — I took the one in the square plastic, and I don’t know if it made all the difference or any difference because I did not stop to ask.

But there are two things I do know:

  • I need the Cute Millennials of Whole Foods to understand that I am an old dotard who needs very specific instructions. Like maybe you could just hand me the right salad? Thanks.
  • That vegan brownie was not so good. I’m sorry to say it, Cute Millennial Vegan Checkout Girl, but I think you’ve forgotten what a brownie should taste like.
  • This was the first result Pixabay offered when I asked for ‘cash register.’ I’m beginning to think Ashton Kutcher is running Pixabay. // photo by annca

    Anywho, here’s what we’re having for dinner this week:

    Monday: Rotisserie chicken and a salad
    This’ll be some combination of cheese, bread, ham and a saute pan.

    Tuesday: Cracker Barrel chicken
    This is a ridiculously easy recipe. It’s meant to be a copycat recipe for Cracker Barrel’s “grilled” chicken tenders, which are delicious and you can’t tell me different.

    Wednesday: Korean BBQ tacos
    I found a Korean BBQ slow cooker sauce at Aldi’s a few weeks ago. It sounded promising.

    Thursday: BLAs
    That’s a Bacon Lettuce and Avocado sandwich, because tomatoes are gross.

    Friday: Grandma’s choice
    Rockford and I will be embarking on our annual Weekend of 1,000 Films — in which we try to watch as many of the Best Picture nominees as we can squeeze in — so Grandma is in charge of dinner.

    Hungry for more? Check out the Menu Plan Monday linkup at OrgJunkie.

    Youth sports and the dinnertime conundrum

    Soccer practice is back this week, which means we won’t be home at a reasonable hour a few nights a week for the next few months. I’m going to try not to hit the drive-thru every practice night, but history tells us there’s a high chance of cheeseburgers on a regular basis.

    Here’s what we’ll be having this week:

    Monday: Grilled Something Sandwiches
    This’ll be some combination of cheese, bread, ham and a saute pan.

    Tuesday: BFD
    Ah, my faithful old eggs and veggie sausages. You’re always a winner.

    Wednesday: Rotisserie chicken and salad
    I said we would be having this a few weeks ago, thanks to a coupon for a free meal from Whole Foods. I never went to Whole Foods, though, so we never used the coupon. Hopefully I get over there this week.

    Thursday: Tortellini
    Poppy’s request. I’m not sure cheese tortellini is Lactaid-worthy to me, so I’ll probably just have a big salad.

    Friday: Takeout
    There’s a Thai place nearby that I’d like to try, but I’m 99.9 percent sure the kids won’t try anything there. So it might be Pad Thai or Whatever Cereal You’d Like to Serve Yourself night.

    Hungry for more? Check out the Menu Plan Monday linkup at OrgJunkie.

    A menu plan for a drizzly week

    I spent the weekend between my brother’s house and their hospital, where they were welcoming my new nephew to the world. He’s tiny and adorable, and we came back home just as he was finding his voice so I’m not certain that he’s very loud but I’m betting he is. Now they’re home and working to settle in to their new normal and we’re home and settling back in to our Normal normal.

    Just to prove to myself that my Normal normal is extra mundane, I’ve spent this gray and rainy morning working through the piled-up laundry and filing away printed-out recipes that were clogging the countertop. I found a couple of good ones in there that I’d forgotten about. Hopefully I won’t re-forget them and they’ll make an appearance on our table pretty soon.

    This week’s menu, though, I made before excavating the counters. Here’s what we’re having for dinner this week:

    Monday: Chicken Tacos
    This is meant to be a Freezer Bag meal — you toss all the ingredients in a bag and freeze it and throw it in the CrockPot at your leisure — but I’m skipping the freezer step to try it out for the first time.

    Tuesday: Orange Chicken
    I have a coupon for a free PF Chang’s At Home meal from the freezer. I hope it’s good.

    Wednesday: Undecided
    I’m relatively certain I’ll be picking something up on the way home from soccer practice this week.

    Thursday: Rotisserie chicken and baked sweet potatoes
    Pete loves baked sweet potatoes, but we discovered a few weeks ago that a sweet potato alone left us all hungry shortly after eating. I’m adding some protein this time.

    Friday: Chicken Pot Pie
    I have yet to decide whether I’m going to try to use a dairy-free alternative for the gravy or if I’ll just go for it with whole milk and hope Lactaid does its thing. Have you ever tried to make a dairy-free gravy?

    I just realized that we’re having chicken pretty much every day. I try to vary our proteins a bit more than that, but clearly I didn’t do a good job of that this week.

    Hungry for more? Check out the Menu Plan Monday linkup at OrgJunkie.