Want a quick & healthy dish for a summer lunch? Try my Tomato Cucumber Macaroni Salad!
It’s super simple, and a hit any time I make it. I made it the night before while I was making baked mac and cheese for supper, and let it chill overnight to marry the flavors better. It really did blend the tastes together even more strongly by morning.
Here’s how you make this easy pleasure macaroni salad:
Boil two cups of macaroni noodles to al dente.
While the noodles are boiling, chop up two medium cucumbers and two medium tomatoes. Toss in a medium sized bowl with a bit of salt and pepper.
When ready, drain the noodles and rinse with cold water until they are cooled off. Dump in the bowl with the chopped veggies.
Pour in ranch dressing to taste and stir well. You can eat it then or chill overnight.
This would be good with sweet onions, shredded carrots, broccoli, chopped olives, tuna or shredded chicken stirred in, as well. It’s a versatile sort of “dump salad”, and oodles of fun for the palate to play with a variety of ingredients. I love to use fresh veggies from my garden for light and refreshing lunches in the summer time, so it varies what I make according to what produce is on hand.
This is great for packing in something like these World Kitchen Pyrex 6-Piece Food Plus Storage Set for lunches, if you have a cooler to carry or refrigeration available wherever you’re headed for work, school or play. Just pop one open on your lunch break and dig in! 🙂
What are some of your favorite lunches? What splendid summer veggies do you have an abundance of to gobble up? Also try my Weeknight Dinners!
Peace, smiles, and good vittles for all! 😉
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My daughter loves all things cutesy and yummy. Combining those two loves, I sometimes make her snacks or meals in cutie patootie delicious forms.
Princess Peach loves peanut butter on crackers. I take large round crackers, peanut butter and either craisins or raisins. I spread the peanut butter on the crackers, then make faces, flowers or sun designs with the craisins or raisins. She loves it!
She also adores marshmallows, so that was an obvious one to make a crafty critter out of. I took eight small pretzel sticks, painted a smiley face on a flat side with one of the pretzel sticks dipped into a drop of Hershey’s syrup, then jabbed them in the sides of the marshmallow to look like spider legs. This would be a fun and easy snack for those who celebrate Halloween.
We often have sandwiches for lunch. Sometimes I’ll cut it into triangle shapes and put a large cherry tomato in the middle, all arranged like a flower. I’ll also take a cookie cutter and cut three or four pieces out of the sandwich in whatever shape it is.
There is an endless array of cool things you can do with food! I only do the quick, easy and cheap varieties myself, since I am actually chasing around the kiddos I’m feeding, but I’ve seen some “food art” that would break your heart to eat.
Does anyone else like to get creative with food for their munchkins sometimes for no reason other than making them smile? 🙂
It’s a beautiful spring day here in Georgia, and wonderful weather for a picnic! With this in mind, I’ve gotten together a perfect picnic for pennies on the dollar. Not only is this a cheap menu, but it is both a simple and unique twist on classic picnic foods. We’ve got a main dish, side and dessert, all very easy to throw together and equally easy on your pockets!
A healthier version of corn dogs…
Quick & Crunchy Hot Dogs
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup prepared yellow mustard
1 cup cornflake crumbs (Total cereal may work, and it has a coupon)
1 (16 ounce) package all-beef Ball Park hot dogs
1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with a sheet of aluminum foil.
2.Stir together ketchup and mustard on a plate until mixed. Place cornflake crumbs in a shallow bowl. Roll each hot dog in the ketchup mixture, then roll in cornflake crumbs to coat. Place on prepared baking sheet.
3.Bake in preheated oven until the hot dogs are hot on the inside, and crispy on the outside, about 15 to 20 minutes.
An unusual side dish…
Awesome Brown Rice Salad
2 cups water
1 cup Hinode brown rice
1/4 cup diced red onion
1/2 cup diced celery
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing
1 tablespoon sugar
1.In a saucepan, bring water to a boil. Stir in rice, cover, and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 45 to 60 minutes, or until done (or use instant brown rice for quicker results).
2.Transfer rice to a serving bowl, and stir in onion, celery, cranberries, salad dressing and sugar. Cover, refrigerate, and serve cold.
And for dessert…
There is a rare coupon covering the three basic s’more ingredients- marshmallow, chocolate and graham crackers.
You can make them over a fire in the usual way. If it a backyard picnic, though, you can also put them together (without the top graham cracker) on a baking sheet and broil them until they are lightly browned and all puffed up, then just slap the top graham cracker on when you pull them out of the oven. Either way is a delectably gooey sweet treat to top off a nice spring picnic! 🙂
Our family loves spending time outdoors, especially this time of year when the weather is absolutely perfect for it! Eating outdoors is just one of many fun & frugal things to do in the springtime. There are so many things to enjoy outside for free or nearly free when it’s gorgeous out! What are your favorite picnic foods? Do you prefer to picnic at the park, in the woods, in a field, in your own yard, at a playground…what’s your preference?