After such a dry Spring, we finally got some rain this past week, well a lot of it. Of course, it made me worry about how we would be celebrating our Memorial Day Weekend. I had visions of healthy eating outside, easy meals, the sprinkler running and going strawberry picking with the kids.
I am a homebody right now. With this baby coming in less than 3 weeks I just want to spend some quality time with my kids. I know that there will be big changes coming for the older kids soon and I wanted to make this weekend both fun and memorable for them. That means less time in the kitchen, but still eating well.
Armed with a favorable weather forecast for the weekend, and fingers crossed, I took the family grocery shopping to prepare. Okay, I hate to shop on a holiday weekend, so I planned to keep things as fresh and simple as possible. It was pouring and the kids were all bundled up and dressed in rain coats. It was pretty hard to think about fun and sun with that kind of weather. Of course my kids were just excited about all the rain puddles we would hit on the way into Walmart.
Our local Walmart had already been ransacked midweek by people who probably had the same idea I did. I have a feeling that by the end of the week a lot of the chips, dips and easy prepared foods would be running really low, if not out. Luckily my meals were going to be simple and I found everything I needed. But as the week wore on I was still pretty pessimistic that we would have a clear holiday.
Happily I was wrong. The sunshine came out and we were able to head to the strawberry field Saturday morning. My son loves strawberries, so is more than willing to help out with picking. It is a good thing, too, because bending over is getting more challenging for me the closer to my due date I get.
This is the first year my daughter hasn't just picked the green ones. Last year she claimed they were pretty. This year it is more about the taste.
With my husband busy cutting hay today and the kids and I being worn out from all the strawberries, we opted for a super easy and fast meal outside on the back porch. Our family-go-to-favorite during the warmer months is Taco Salad with homemade Catalina dressing.
I enlisted my best salad spinner to help while I prepped the chicken. We make our taco salad a number of ways, sometimes with meat and sometimes without. This time I wanted to cut down on cooking time by using the Tyson Grilled & Ready Chicken Breast Strips and heating them with just a little taco seasoning for added flavor.
I added just a 1/4 cup of water and let them heat through. It was much faster than slicing and browning all that chicken myself.
I even had time after prepping all the veggies to make a pitcher of whole juice strawberry lemonade. I thought it would be a fun treat for the kids after picking the berries. It is as simple as it sounds, just strawberries, lemons, sugar to taste and diluted with water and ice. Everything goes into the blender and it was garnished with some fresh sliced strawberries.
I set up our salad bar outside on the table. My kids prefer to have a hand in fixing their own salads. Even if I dished up the exact same ingredients and portions for them, it just wouldn't be the same. Our salad bar included items that were either rinsed and sliced, thawed or from a can, so prep time was around 10 minutes total.
The salads were a big hit and so was the fresh air outside. It was the perfect way to kick off our Memorial Day Weekend. I was very pleased with the simple addition of the chicken in our salad, as well. It was moist and tasty. A great little added protein boost to our fresh and hearty salad. Who wants a heavy or complicated meal on a such a beautiful day?
The Kruse Family's Favorite Taco Salad
You Will Need:
- Tyson Grilled & Ready Chicken Breast Strips
- Taco seasoning
- 1/4 c. water
- iceberg lettuce
- sliced olives
- kidney beans
- sweet corn
- sharp cheddar cheese
- Catalina Dressing
- Tortilla Chips
We like to set up all our ingredients in salad bar fashion and let everyone help themselves. Build as you like and then top with Catalina dressing. This is such a fresh and easy dinner. Enjoy!
Have a great Memorial Day Weekend!
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