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It’s been a marvelous 12 days of vacation. We hosted family for Christmas, saw a total of 10 new movies (2 in theater and 8 at home), drank and ate wayyyy too much. Like I said, simply marvelous.
But back to work I go.
January is the busiest time of the year for most accountants because we have to close the books for the previous year. And my job is no different. The first two weeks of the month will be madness. Plus, I still have all my normal tasks to do at home and this blog to take care of. Yikes.
During this busy time, lunch can be a bit of a hassle. Many people eat out for lunch. But my wallet (and my waistline) cannot handle that. And I just don’t have the time to meal prep a new dish for every lunch during the week. That’s why I’ve been taking Lean Cuisine meals for lunch for years. It’s so easy to grab one from the freezer, pack a quick salad, and go. And it’s the best way to ensure I get the perfect amount of protein.
One of my favorite meals is the LEAN CUISINE® Marketplace Sesame Chicken. I love the breaded chicken and the sweet sauce that they’re tossed in. Yummm. Most of my favorites are the Asian-inspired flavors: Orange Chicken, Chicken with Almonds, and Chicken with Peanut Sauce. I am such a sucker for a sweet or creamy sauce. My husband loves the cheesy ones, especially the Cheese & Bean Enchilada Verde and the Vermont White Cheddar Mac & Cheese. Who would have thought he loved the ones without any meat?!
We just stocked up our freezer with meals for the next couple weeks. And since Lean Cuisine is on sale now at Target, you can stock up too! For the month of January, Lean Cuisine meals are only $1.99 each. Check out Target’s site to see which of your favorites are available.
Usually, I pack a salad or fruit to go with my meals. Today, I want to share one of my favorite salads on the planet, that also pairs perfectly with the Sesame Chicken: fresh broccoli salad with crispy bacon.
I first tried this salad when a friend of mine brought it to a tailgate this past fall. As soon as I tried it, I fell instantly in love! I am obsessed with raw broccoli (can’t say the same for the cooked stuff), but it wasn’t just the broccoli – it was the mixture of golden raisins, Spanish peanuts, crispy bacon, red onion, and creamy dressing that came together to make the perfect salad. I just had to have the recipe and she graciously shared it with me. I’ve been making this bad boy ever since!
Another great thing about this salad is that you can make a large portion of it at the beginning of the week and eat a little of it each day. Since the broccoli is raw and, thus, very sturdy, it won’t wilt and shrivel up once it’s been coated in dressing. So it will taste great even days after making. I made a huge bowl of it the beginning of last week, with the intention of eating it all week long. But it only took me two days to go through it! I wasn’t kidding when I said that this is the best salad I’ve ever had.
Here are a few tips to make sure you broccoli salad tastes just as perfect as it should:
- The salad tastes best when it has time to absorb the dressing. So let it sit in the fridge for at least an hour before serving
- Crispy bacon doesn’t do well in the cold. So don’t add the bacon until you are just about to serve it. If you add it with the other ingredients and chill it, it will soften up.
- Spanish peanuts are milder in flavor and smaller than normal peanuts. I easily found them at my local grocery store so you should be able to, as well. But if not, you can substitute original peanuts – just use less of them and give them a rough chop.
I hope you love this salad as much as I do. Don’t forget to stock up on your Lean Cuisine meals for lunch this week! You can get the full list of options on Lean Cuisine’s website. Which one is your favorite?? Let me know in the comments below!
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