One of my favorite things to do for dinner before we had kids was to grab a bottle of wine, good bread and cheese and maybe prosciutto, a few veggies and fruit, and walk to the beach for a picnic on the sand with Jason. We find it pretty difficult to picnic at the beach on the sand with the kids. And, let's face it, there isn't much relaxing going on at meal times these days. Tables really help Ewan sit still to eat, and Isla currently needs a stroller if not a high chair, or my lap as a last resort.
Right now our favorite lunchtime picnic spot is at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History out back at a picnic table under the trees. It doesn't get much better than that place on a warm day.
One of my favorite things about summertime is evening picnics. The kids and I usually have several picnics a week at lunchtime since we are fortunate enough to live where the weather is nice enough for picnics year-round. But, it tends to cool off so much in the evenings even before dark that we don't do many evening picnics until the days are longer.
I recently heard about packing salad in a jar, and it is pretty brilliant. I used to do something similar, always placing the lettuce on top when packing a salad for work, but the tall, skinnier container works really well and makes for a great presentation when dumped out onto a plate. I conveniently have a lot of jars that I already use for making yogurt, sprouting legumes and grains, and storing all sorts of pantry items.
I feel like Mondays come around pretty quickly these days. It was probably not my best choice of day for a weekly goal since practically my only free time happens on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays at the moment. Jason was out of town over the weekend, and I never found any time to work on my blog. Somehow, I didn't find myself getting to sleep until after 11, never accomplishing anything other than regular household duties. It didn't help matters that I had a teething baby on my hands.
This morning in the middle of a crazy breakfast, Jason asked me if it was the weekend yet. I just laughed and told him that my new weekend starts on Monday, since Ewan is able to go and get a lot of energy out and take a break from playing with his sister like she's his new favorite wrestling buddy.
Today, for my Monday Meal, I bring you a hearty salad. It's great for a hot day when you don't feel like turning on the oven, like today if you're in southern California where the temperature was nearly 80F by noon.
My friend, Harmony, introduced me to a variation on this recipe originally. I took her recipe, a mix of bruschetta sauce and lentils, and added grain and cheese and served it over greens, making it into a salad. It is delicious both ways.
I use a bruschetta sauce mix from Trader Joe's in this recipe, and to make it really quick, you can also purchase their cooked lentils. You can also replace the bruschetta mix with a blend of tomatoes, basil, garlic, and olive oil.