With a busy schedule, coming up with an easy meal that everyone enjoys can be difficult. Check out my delish Chopped Ham Chef Salad, plus tips for making meal planning a breeze.
Since school started a few weeks ago, it’s officially fall in my mind. With that, comes crazy schedules and rushed meals. As much as I try to stick to a meal plan, sometimes there’s just NO TIME to cook. I love to find easy go-to staples from the grocery store to make my life easier.
Smithfield® Anytime Favorites® ham varieties are a staple on my list…especially since they’re pre-cooked! Ham can be great for brinner recipes, easy sandwiches or sliders or even just snacking! The cubes are great for Liam’s tiny hands to grab. You can find all of the varieties in the meat section of your local Walmart or Meijer.
We’ve recently discovered the thicker sliced Anytime Favorites ham in brown sugar and it’s perfect for Hawaiian Roll sliders or rolling up with cheese for a simple low-carb snack.
I like to keep some sliced and then chop some for easy salads. Lately, my girls have been all about Chef Salads, which I let them pick out their favorite veggies, proteins and cheese. It’s a quick an easy lunch or dinner idea. To enjoy on the go, I layer the salad in a mason jar, with dressing and ham on the bottom so it doesn’t get soggy.
- 1/2 pound Smithfield® Anytime Favorites® Brown Sugar Sliced Boneless Ham, chopped
- 1 package (5-8 ounces) organic spinach blend, prewashed
- 1 package (5-8 ounces) organic romaine lettuce, prewashed- chop into bite sized pieces
- 1 carrot, shredded
- 1 cucumber, thinly sliced
- 6 hard boiled eggs
- 2 avocado, sliced
- 4 ounces Colby-Jack cheese, shredded (half a block)
- 2 roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
- Dressing of choice, try Ranch!
- Place all lettuce in a large bowl. Toss with dressing.
- Sprinkle toppings on salad lettuce or allow people to pick their own favorites. I aim for 3-4 ounces of sliced ham per person, plus one hard boiled egg.
- Serve immediately.
- Note: if taking for lunch, layer in a mason jar, keeping the dressing and ham at the bottom.
Add whatever toppings you enjoy--even try a little salad station for the family. This meal is quite filling on it's own, but serve with a sandwich or soup if desired!
5 Ways to Make Planning Dinner A Breeze
Prep when you can. Yes, I would love an entire Sunday to just prep meals, but that isn’t realistic with our schedule. Now I take any little pockets of time I have to prep items for other meals. Waiting for water to boil? Clean and chop some veggies. I also like to double or triple the amount of items I’m chopping, to save time later in the week. Think things like peppers, onions or carrots.
Take a little help from the store. Just like with Anytime Favorites ham, the store has so many time saving helpers you can quickly pick up. Pre-washed salad mixes go on sale quite frequently. Also check out store made bakery items like garlic bread or muffins. Frozen veggies are always a staple on our list, too! If I just have to prep and cook one aspect of our meal versus 3 or 4, it’s a lifesaver!
Cook once, eat twice. This doesn’t have to be just for baked dishes like lasagna, make a double batch of baked goods like muffins or banana bread, too! Any time I can double up a recipe, I do it for a nice low-effort meal in the future. Pasta sauce is my favorite!
Have a Y.O.Y.O day on the weekend. You’re on your own, aka Y.O.Y.O, is my FAVORITE thing to put on the meal plan. It’s a great way to clean out a fridge full of leftovers and best part: I don’t have to cook!
Meal plan first, shop after. Before organizing our meals for the week or month, I do a quick inventory of items that we need to use up. No reason to shop if we don’t need to! I have 10 categories that I choose meals from to plan out our meals. General meals like pasta, Mexican, breakfast for dinner, soup/stew/chili or kid’s choice. Once I quickly make the plan for week, I make a shopping list. It’s also great to find proteins that are on sale. If I happen to find some markdown meat deals, I’ll switch up the whole plan.
Have you tried Smithfield Anytime Favorites? Which variety is your favorite?