An Easy Salad for Work

I may have mentioned that I eat a lot of salads. They’re especially easy to make and pack for my work-weekend meals. I make a big salad, and split it between containers for work. I can easily grab a salad and munch on it in between my duties at work.

Having recently been asked, again, why I don’t put dressing on my salad, I thought I’d just tell you.

  1. I like the taste of food. I don’t really need to put dressing on a salad to make it taste good. I think it already does.
  2. I don’t want to consume the extra stuff that comes in dressing. Some of it isn’t really good for you anyway.
  3. I haven’t yet learned how to make my own in a healthy way, but I do plan to. I especially want to try a vinaigrette utilizing raspberries. I will eventually get to this.
  4. Salads don’t really need dressings. JMHO


These are the salads I was referring to in the Misfits Market 0/7/19 post I recently made. I am working on eating healthier when when working, and salads are helping me to make that switch.






  1. Rinse produce and lay everything out on a towel.
  2. Pat dry with a second towel.
  3. Rip the lettuce into chunks.
  4. Cut the vegetables into bite-size bits.
  5. Throw it all into a big bowl and mix it by hand.
  6. Distribute between lunch containers.
  7. Refrigerate.


  • Use whatever vegetables you have on hand.
  • Use leftover bits of any vegetables to make a simple salad. It doesn’t always have to be made with whole veggies.

Serving Suggestions

  • Pack with other meal items such as pot roast and potatoes, or chili.
  • Top with chicken to make it a meal of it’s own.


~ Shannon


Misfits Market Box for 9/7/19

Wow. I just love these boxes! Look at the goodies I got this week, and I’ll share with you how I’m using most of it below.


It’s all lovely, and I’m happy to find ways to use it all. This is the list of everything I received:

  • 2 cauliflower
  • 3 Mango (Kept one for smoothies; gave the others to Skye & Zowie.)
  • 5 potatoes
  • 2 grapefruit (Gave to Skye & Zowie)
  • 6 oranges
  • 6 lemons
  • 4 onions (Gave to Skye & Zowie)
  • 6 Cucumbers (Gave one to Skye & one to Zowie)
  • 4 peppers (Gave to Skye & Zowie)
  • 2 bags green beans
  • 4 tomatoes (Gave one to Skye & one to Zowie)
  • 2 lettuces

It’s amazing how much these boxes of food weigh. With my back issues, I can’t even carry them upstairs to my place. I have to bring reusable shopping bags down with me and split everything between the bags, and then bring them upstairs like that.

So, I did a few things right off. First, I made a couple of pitchers of lemon water because I wanted to enjoy some while I took care of everything. This lemon water is super easy. Each pitcher is about a quart. I juice one lemon per pitcher, add a few tablespoons of organic honey, and fill each with filtered water. Then stir. That’s it! The pitchers fit on the door of my little refrigerator.

I try to always have lemon water or lemon-limeade made up whenever I get the fruit. Vitamin C is good for you.

Then I made salads for my weekend at work. You may have have gotten the impression while reading these posts that I eat a lot of salads. I have been. I also drink a lot of super-healthy smoothies.

Spring and summer are a great time for this, but I’ve been wondering what later fall and winter produce boxes will look like. Salad fixings?

I had plenty of leftover cauliflower to last the two weeks, but I’m not sure if it lasts that long. Usually I eat it all before it gets to the point of going bad. My plan is to use some in smoothies, because it won’t be noticeable. And to eat it whenever I need a snack. I am not a fan of cooked cauliflower, so I will not be using it as a pizza crust, as rice, or roasted. Nope.

Same with green beans, and here will be plenty of this to eat raw as well. And I’ll be roasting potatoes with sausage, and using those two items, raw, as sides. I will also these raw veggies with breakfast, along with fresh fruit.

Can you believe all the yummy goodness my Madness Box is stuffed with each week? I’m always excited to get it. If you want your own box, use this link to place your order. (Use this referral code so we can both get a discount: COOKWME-PI4FFE ) They are currently giving discounts to new customers, and I’ll get a discount on a future order. We’ll be helping each other out.

~ Shannon


What’s-on-Hand Salad

Because I’ve been getting the Madness Boxes from Misfits Market every couple of weeks, I’ve come up with a few salad combinations. All I’m doing is using what I have on hand that week for fresh produce. I’m not adding meat, seeds, or nuts, unless I want something with it when I am actually eating.

This type of salad is also good for using up those odd bits of produce leftover from other meals.

Don’t feel like you have to follow this recipe closely. Just use what you have available.

What’s-on-Hand Salad


mixed lettuce




  1. Rinse the produce well. Place on a towel and cover with another one. Press gently to dry produce.
  2. Break the lettuce and spinach up using your hands. There’s no kneed to use a knife.
  3. Slice the cucumber into rounds, then cut into halves or quarters.
  4. Chop the broccoli.
  5. Add everything to a bowl.
  6. Enjoy!

I take this a little further by breaking out the reusable containers and filling each of them with enough salad for a meal or a snack. With these in the refrigerator like this, I can just grab a salad when I want one. Easy-peasy!

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve with soup on a cool day.
  • Serve with a meal of meat and potatoes.
  • Add some grilled chicken and seeds or nuts and call it dinner!


  • Use scraps so nothing goes to waste.
  • Use produce from your own garden to save money.

~ Shannon


Tomato Bake

Here is a vegetable bake for you to try. This does not take much time, and can be served as the main component of a meal or as a side dish. The best vegetables to use are the organic heirloom variety you grow yourself. Same with the herbs. Heirloom varieties of each taste better than non heirloom varieties.

The amount of each ingredient needed will depend on the size pan you are using, and the number of people being served. Think lasagna for basic amounts. I usually start with bulk purchased shredded cheeses and a jar of each grated cheese, as well as about 32 ounces of sauce and a bowl of tomatoes.

Beefsteak tomatoes work well, but you can use other medium to large varieties. Experiment. Also consider trying more than one type of tomato in your bake.



shredded mozzarella cheese

shredded mild cheddar cheese

grated Parmesan cheese

grated Romano cheese

dried parsley

pasta sauce

  1. Start by pouring ¼ cup of the sauce into the bottom of a baking dish and spreading to cover, then work in layers. You will be able to fit 2 or 3 layers into one baking dish, being sure to leave room at the top for another cheese layer.

  2. Rinse the tomatoes well, and dry with a towel.

  3. Cut the tops off and then slice the tomatoes about ¼ inch thick, placing some of the slices in a layer over the sauce. Spread more sauce over this.

  4. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over the slices, covering completely.

  5. Sprinkle some of mild cheddar cheese over this, so as not to completely cover.

  6. Shake some of each grated cheese over the other cheeses, then add another layer of tomatoes.

  7. Spread the sauce again, then add the cheeses.

  8. If there is room in the pan, start another layer.

  9. If not, add a thin layer of sauce over the cheeses, and sprinkle the parsley on top.

  10. Bake at 350* – 400*, depending on the oven, until the cheese is melted.


  • Use tomatoes from your garden and home canned sauce, to save money on this recipe.

  • Growing your own herbs and drying them will save you a great deal of money as well.

  • Try other types of cheeses as desired.

Serving Suggestions


Watermelon and Blueberries with Coconut Cream

I love melons and berries, and find combining the two makes for some tasty recipes. These combinations are great for spring and summer.

This recipe makes a great side dish to any meal, but will also make a delicious snack or dessert.


1 cup cubed or balled seedless watermelon

½ cup blueberries

2 to 3 tablespoons coconut cream flavored with pure vanilla or mint extract to taste

  1. Rinse the blueberries well. Lay them out one towel and pat dry with a towel.

  2. Place the watermelon and blueberries in a salad bowl, and top with coconut cream.


  • To save money, use fresh produce from your own garden.

Serving Suggestions


Shrimp Scampi Salad

Salads are common fare during the spring and summer months, as we try to eat lighter after a winter of hearty meals. Experimenting with different combinations of foods keeps our meals new and exciting. I don’t know about you, but I get so bored with food after a while I need to break out and try something different or I wont feel like eating at all.

This recipe is super-easy, and is so good. I use the same recipe for shrimp scampi that I used to make Lettuce Wraps: Shrimp Scampi & Veggies. As a matter-of-fact, I used leftover shrimp from the scampi made for that meal with no loss of flavor.

Photograph by Shannon L. Buck, copyright 2017.

What a beautiful salad! How about making one for yourself.


about a dozen shrimp from the scampi recipe (I used the one from (Hot or cold. does not matter.)

2 romaine lettuce leaves, rinsed, patted dry, and shredded

a little cabbage, shredded

3 slices cucumber, cut in fourths

3 slices zucchini, cut in fourths

7 or 8 sugar snap or snow pod peas

4 baby carrots, diced

  1. Layer the vegetables on your plate, however you like.
  2. Top with the shrimp scampi and a little of the sauce from the pan.
  3. Enjoy!

I try to use mainly organic vegetables when possible, though sometimes cost trumps everything.

This is a good-size salad, so I count it as a main meal.


  • Use whatever vegetables you can get affordably to save money.
  • Try different types of seafood.

Serving Suggestions

What are your favorite salad recipes?



Harvest Salad

My parents had a good harvest this year, and they passed some of their bounty on to me and each of my siblings. I love fresh produce from the garden. Mom was proud they weren’t using anything toxic on the food. Homegrown food tastes so much better than store-bought.

Of course, I had to make a salad. I just couldn’t resist. And it came out so good I wanted to share the recipe with you.

The ingredients from the garden were: Kale, kohlrabi, tomato, cucumber, and zucchini. Having these items on hand cut the cost of the salad significantly.

Photograph by Shannon L. Buck copyright 2015

I also used leftover roasted squash and sweet potato to cut costs. I wasn’t sure how it would be with these items, but it turned out well. They had been refrigerated and were cold when I added them.

I started out by roasting 3 small turkey breasts, cutting them into bite size pieces when they were done, and letting them cool in the refrigerator earlier in the day.

The lettuce mix was organic, a find at Walmart. Four different kinds, unspecified. I used the whole thing.

I did’nt really measure things out, but knew I wanted it to last for the better part of the week. I just threw everything in together. As for vegetables, I don’t peel them all. For instance, zucchini and cucumbers are never peeled. I do take the ends off though.


lettuce mix, organic





zucchini, chopped

leftover turkey

dried cranberries

leftover roasted squash and sweet potato

  1. Wash all the produce, patting dry with a clean towel.
  2. Chop the lettuces and kale into bite size pieces and place into a large bowl.
  3. Peel and chop the Kohlrabi, adding it to the bowl.
  4. Dice the tomato and put it over the lettuce mix as well.
  5. Cut the ends off the cucumber and the zucchini. Chop and place in the bowl.
  6. Cut the turkey into bite size pieces, and place in the bowl with the other ingredients.
  7. Sprinkle dried cranberries over everything.
  8. Cut the roasted squash and potatoes into bite size pieces and add to the bowl.
  9. Toss everything with your hands or tongs.

Photograph by Shannon L. Buck copyright 2015This made so much that it filled two midsize bowls. There was plenty to eat for five days. I had some with each lunch and dinner, and a small bowl as a snack every couple of days.


  • This is a great recipe in that you can use whatever is harvested at the time you make it. Things that are picked here in Maine may not be ready in your area, so it is okay to switch things up.
  • Depending on what leftovers you have and what items are available in the garden, this recipe might cost next to nothing. Buy what is affordable where you are.
  • Use coupons, if available, when shopping for what you need, but only if doing so will save you money over buying a different brand.

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve with a bowl of Easy Autumn Soup for a nice lunch.
  • This would also be a great side salad with your Mabon or Thanksgiving Meal.


Patriotic Holiday Recipes: Fruit Salad

Salads are great for patriotic holidays, because of the sheer number of color combinations of the different foods that might be added. This salad concentrates on combining reds, whites, and blues, in a tasty way that will make your mouth water. Sweetness, with a bit of tang. Perfect for the Fourth of July or any other patriotic day.

I love fruit salads. Previously, I have made them with whipped topping. Feel free to do so if you prefer, but I am trying to eat healthier. This is a new recipe for me, in that it uses coconut cream instead of whipped, as well as berries.

I am sometimes able to get a couple pints of blueberries at the grocery store for $4.00, or can buy them for $2.00 per pint on the side of the road. Fresh berries are the best to use, and often the most affordable.

There are no measurements for my version, as I usually make a lot and eat what is left over the following few days. I really just guess at everything. I will try to give measurements here though. Use them or not. Change them if you please.

This is a great recipe for kids, but an adult will want to open the cans and cut the fruit.


1 can pineapple chunks in water

1 large banana

1/2 to 1 cup of unsweetened coconut flakes

1 pint blueberries

1 pint raspberries

1/2 pound strawberries

1 can coconut cream concentrate

1 tsp or more pure vanilla

  1. Drain the pineapple chunks, reserving the juice for later use in a smoothie or another recipe by storing it in a covered canning jar.
  2. Peel the banana, and slice into rounds. Cut the rounds into halves or quarters, whatever you prefer.
  3. Rinse the remaining fruits, and pat dry with a clean towel.
  4. Cut them into slices or chunks.
  5. Place all the fruit in a bowl. Cover with coconut flakes.
  6. Pour the coconut cream into another bowl, and add vanilla to taste. Whisk or beat for a couple of minutes to combine well.
  7. Pour as much of the cream as you think you will need into the bowl with the fruit and coconut flakes. You can always add more if necessary. Combine the cream with the berries, and coconut, using a rubber spatula, until well combined. Add more cream if necessary. If not, store in a covered container in the refrigerator.


  • Try using different types of berries. Whatever is affordable (or free!) at the time.
  • Look into whether it would be more affordable to buy a whole watermelon than canned.

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve at barbecues and picnics with burgers, corn on the cob, and other foods.

You may also enjoy these patriotic holiday recipes

Watermelon Stars

A Simple Food Platter

Berries and Cream

Red, White, and Blue Parfait

Berry Parfait

Happy 4th of July!



Pineapple, Chicken-Beef Soup

Previously I posted my Pineapple Kielbasa Soup. It is a tasty recipe that does not require much prep time.

The recipe in this post is almost the same, but I used two different types of sausage: Chicken and Beef. The combination made for a delicious soup this time around as well. I was pleased.


20 ounce can of pineapple chunks, or you could use a fresh pineapple

13-16 ounces of beef sausage, cut into bite size pieces

13-16 ounces of chicken sausage, cut into bite size pieces

water or chicken stock

desired herbs, such as parsley

  1. Put the pineapples into the slow cooker. If it is canned pineapple, the juice can go in with it.
  2. Add the sausage and enough water or stock to fill the slow cooker 1/2 to 2/3 full.
  3. Cook on low 6 to 8 hours, or on high 4 hours.
  4. 10 minutes before serving, and any herbs desired.


  • Purchase store brand canned pineapple and corn to save money.
  • Use home canned versions to save more.
  • Try other types of sausage for something new.

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve this soup with a side salad of greens and cherry tomatoes.


Ground Beef and Vegetables

This recipe calls for the use of leftover baked white and sweet potatoes, as well as a few other ingredients. It’s easy to make, and the other ingredients could also be from leftovers if you had enough available. It is a simple recipe that will not take long to make.


3/4 lb ground beef

1 tbsp coconut oil or butter

1 to 1 1/2 cups peas

2 cold baked sweet potatoes, chopped

1 cup chopped squash

desired seasonings

  1. Melt the fat in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add ground beef and cook until done, cutting the beef into small pieces as it browns.
  2. Drain off the access fat, then put the beef back into the pan.
  3. Add the vegetables and cook until warmed through, stirring as needed.
  4. Add seasonings. Cook for a minute, then remove from heat.


  • There is no need to buy peas if you have other leftover vegetables that can be substituted. Try carrots or celery.
  • Use fresh produce whenever possible to save on the food bill.

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve with a fruit salad, such as watermelon and cantaloupe balls with mint.
  • Or, serve with a side salad of Romaine lettuce, cucumber and tomato.

Do you have a favorite recipe similar to this? Share with us in the comments below, or message me privately at