It was one of those weekends when I just didn’t want to deal with the grocery store, its crowds or its cost.  I decided to do one of my frig and pantry dump preps and use up what was in there before it went the way of the trash can.  I did stop at my favorite spot for quality produce – Nalls Produce – and picked just a few things to add to my frig contents.  Got a yummy watermelon, a pepper, corn on the cob, some lovely mushrooms, baby cucumber and Brussel sprouts.  This was less expensive and great quality, plus I love walking around at Nalls.

To these I added those ingredients I had including, romaine lettuce, kalamata olives, pineapple, ginger, turmeric, barley, garlic, apple cider vinegar, oats, chips, beets, bananas, apple, radishes, frozen fruit and some spices and at the end had a full week’s meal prep and a cleaned up frig and more organized pantry.

Sometimes it is fun to do away with recipes and rules and toss stuff together.  Using ingredients, I was able to save before they ended up in the trash and a few additions, I think I saved money and have a pretty healthy week of eating ahead of me.  It is fun to see how it turns out.

This week’s menu:

  • Breakfast:                    Toss It Together Smoothie
  • Lunch/Dinner:              Barley Veggie Salad
  • Snack:                         Fresh Watermelon
  • Dessert:                       Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies
  • Juice:                          Gut Healthy Beet Juice
  • Water:                         Always

Toss it Together Smoothie:    I went through the frig and freezer and utilized a lot of what was there for this smoothie.  My Ninja blender got a workout with this one.  Started with a bit of almond milk I had left and added half of the Kefir I had left.  To that, added fresh ginger, turmeric, romaine lettuce, celery, spinach, left over broccoli florets, chia seeds, psyllium and a scoop of collagen powder.  Then, added a handful of blueberries, pineapple chunks, left over frozen cherries and cranberries and half a frozen banana.  I have to say, it turned out very well.  Topped it with a few sprigs of fresh mint and they are all ready for the week.

Barley Veggie Salad:  I had barley left over from a previous recipe and knew I was unlikely to use it soon so wanted to do something with it.  I wanted to go near raw this week so started to assemble a salad that would be filling and healthy.  I lightly roasted the Brussel sprouts, mushrooms and radishes (tossed them first in a tad bit of olive oil, garlic, turmeric powder and lemon juice). Kept the veggies al denti. Left the celery and pepper raw and quickly steamed the broccoli.   When I cooked the barley, I slightly under did it and then roasted it for 10 minutes in the oven.  I wanted a bit of texture and not have it be too mushy.  Tossed it all together and it not only looks pretty, it tastes very good.

Made a super simple dressing as well.    To about a third a cup of olive oil I added some Dijon mustard I had (Dijon with horseradish), lemon juice and chopped garlic.  It is very good.

Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies:  I had a couple of bananas on their last legs so made these cookies I have made before.  I know they are called breakfast cookies, but they are so good and one of the simplest recopies I have ever made.  This comes from the Blue Zone Kitchens book, page 251.  Oats, apple sauce, bananas and chocolate chips.  That’s it.  Truly Simply Yum!  More at

Beet-Ginger Juice:  I have made several batches of this juice and I am enjoying it and how it has impacted my internal systems.  I have modified the recipe a bit each time.  This time along with the beet, cucumber, apple and apple cider vinegar I added extra ginger and a few pineapple chunks.  It is simple, tastes good and is good for my gut health.  I have a glass each morning before my water…and then coffee.

Water:   I know this is a weekly message, but I do want to encourage you to stay hydrated.  Water alone can get boring yes, but spruce it up a bit with fruit, fresh mint or something else that you like.  I have added fresh basil leaves to water in the past as well.  This batch has lemon, line, cucumber, ginger and pear.  Gives it a boost of flavor and a boost of goodness for me.

As I learn more about foods and their impact on my body and brain, it has been fun to learn too how things I have taken for granted, or thought was just a garnish, or a dip holder actually has great health benefits too.  Have some fun with food…. enjoy!


Lentils with Roasted Veggies Ingredients
Lentils with Roasted Veggies Ingredients
Lentils and Onions
Lentils and Onions
Lentils and Veggies
Lentils and Veggies