Awhile ago, I think I mentioned how my awesome husband got me a menu planner for Christmas. :-)
As it worked out today, I made ranch beans from my menu planner for lunch in my crock pot. It was super easy-- I cooked the beans in my crock pot overnight, and then added the rest of the ingredients and turned on low while we were at church. It made the whole house smell great, so much so that when we got home, Ellie declared, "It smells like dinner!"
I also bought the ingredients for salad at the store last week. I go through phases of this, but I am hoping to make it a habit-- to have salad with our meals twice or more a week. I like chunky salads. With lots of tomatoes, peppers, cucumber, etc. I don't like to have to search out the extras in a sea of lettuce. :-) Also, I dislike making salads because of the time it takes to chop everything up. I know this sounds crazy coming from a girl who sprouts, dehydrates and then grinds wheat berries into flour. but really, I find it a drag. :-P I have been trying to make an abundance of salad and then eat it over the course of a few days. This gets tricky, though, because if I leave it too long in the fridge and it goes bad, then I get this kind of avoidance where I tend to leave it in the fridge for entirely too long-- until it is totally gross-- before I just deal with the fact that I didn't eat all the salad I made. I should just get over it all ready!
Anyway, back to lunch. When we have salad, I have been getting out these adorable balsamics and olive oils I got from my SIL for Christmas. We have such fun flavors as 'ripe peach white balsamic' and 'blood orange infused olive oil.' This is fun for me to try different pairings, and also caused an unexpected bonus-- children who want seconds and thirds of salad, so that they can try different flavors! Ben seriously had three helpings of salad at lunch. I chose to put my beans on my salad and I used the maple syrup flavored balsamic also. It gave them a nice baked bean flavor.