One of the keys to eating healthy is to have something prepared ahead of time with a menu … or at least have a general plan. Otherwise, when you’re hungry and in a rush, it’s too easy or tempting to grab something “quick” that usually isn’t so healthy.
I try to have a good meal plan at the beginning of my week of what I’m going to be eating that week … or at the very least, a rough idea. However, the last two weeks were really busy for me, and I found myself “winging it” every day.
I can get away with this for a few days by using leftovers, or I often have cooked rice or quinoa in the frig that I can use as a base for a quick meal, or sometimes I have something in my freezer. But this week it eventually caught up with me, and on Wednesday I found myself at lunchtime with nothing to eat and very little time.
Another key to eating healthy is to have a stocked pantry (so you have all the ingredients you need when preparing a meal). And in that stocked pantry, include some emergency staples to fall back on.
Taking a peek in my pantry, I discovered I had a can of butter beans, some of my favorite olives, and an onion. My frig offered a cucumber and I grabbed some parsley from the garden. In less than 5 minutes this beautiful salad was sitting before me. And it was by far the most delicious dish I’d eaten all week!
I’ve since discovered that a diced tomato makes a yummy addition to this salad.
- 3 cups (two 15-ounce cans) cooked butter beans, drained
- 2 pickling cucumbers, diced small – see note
- 1 (6-ounce?) can olives (These are my favorite.)
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1/2 large red onion, cut into slivers
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil – optional
- 2 teaspoons granulated onion
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/4 teaspoon dried dill – optional
- 1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic or 1 to 2 crushed garlic cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon salt – or to taste
- 1 ripe tomato, diced
- Combine all ingredients, except diced tomatoes, and mix well.
- Gently stir in tomatoes.
- Adjust seasonings to taste.
Serve chilled or at room temperature.
It took me exactly 4 minutes and 28 seconds to make half of this recipe amount for myself for lunch. With a Veggie Chopper (one of my favorite kitchen tools) you can still make a full recipe or even a double recipe in about 5 minutes. If cutting vegetables by hand, you may want to add 2 or 3 minutes to the time.