Salads sneak into the menu (happily)

One of the ironies of having a meal plan is the freedom it offers to be flexible.  Knowing in advance what you’re going to assemble for dinner on busy weeknights prevents headaches and hassles.  It also seems the mere existence of a meal plan can inspire other ideas, depending on what’s stocked in the kitchen.

Tonight I had planned on caesar salad, one of the few salads my boys will eat, with grilled chicken for day 3 of the “while dad’s away” dinner plan.  Then I stumbled upon a chickpea recipe on Orangette that was similar to the red cabbage salad — both dressed with just lemon juice, olive oil and Parmesan cheese.  Thanks to leftover cabbage salad and the five minutes it took to mix up the chickpeas, we ended up with three salads for dinner.  Plus grilled chicken apple sausages, another switcheroo.

The change in plans moved me closer to one of my New Year’s resolutions: salads and veggies occupying two-thirds of my dinner plate. Tonight’s proportions were closer to three-quarters: a chicken apple sausage was lost among the helpings of caesar salad, red cabbage salad and chickpeas.

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