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Easy Dinner Salad – Simple Salad Bar

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Super simple - save money by using up your leftovers on a once-a-week salad bar night!

This is one of the easiest, simplest dinner ideas you will see on WorkingatHomeschool.com. This is what we had for dinner tonight, and I thought it was worth sharing!

Backstory (If you don't care about the backstory, you can skip this paragraph. I won't be offended, promise) – It was evening. We were hungry and contemplating eating out. I also had a fridge full of stuff but didn't feel like cooking. So we did this instead, saving money by not eating out, and also by using ingredients that would otherwise be wasted. End of backstory.

Maybe you do this all the time, and if you do…I wish you would have told me. Because we just started doing this last month, and a couple of these per month keeps us from wasting produce. 

Every week I make some giant monstrosity of meat (this week it was brisket, sometimes it's a few roasted chickens, it just depends on what we have/what's on sale/what feels right), shred some cheese, boil some eggs, chop some veggies, etc. Just an hour or so of meal prep once a week saves TONS of time in the kitchen, especially when it's time for lunch and I have no idea what to make. 

Tonight, we had:

homemade ranch dressing

homemade Italian dressing






artichoke hearts

sunflower seeds

pumpkin seeds 

shredded cheese

boiled eggs



leftover beef brisket

Ours was a Trim Healthy Mama “S”, but you could easily omit the healthy fats and swap them for “E” ingredients instead.  This is a great way to get dinner on the table and save ingredients! What do you like to include on your salads? 

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  1. I need help so bad. I’m a diabetic and I have had triple bypass surgery. That was seven years ago. I am 5ft 2in. and weigh 183#’s. I have been that same weight for about five years now. I’m 66 years old and retired when I was 62.
    I have been trying to do THM for about two years. I have never had a full legal day. Breakfast real good, lunch ok and supper time some good and some real bad. I try to eat good snacks but that doesn’t happen very much either.
    I now am guard in of two of grandchildren, ages 2 and 4. We have them full time.
    I know that there is nothing that you can really do for me but I didn’t know if had some suggestions. Thank you for listening. Feeling like a failure, Janet

    1. Janet, I have been there! I tried THM and never really got off the ground with it. I don’t want to sound harsh, but for me, it was self-control. I just didn’t have the self-control to do it, and I realized that focusing on self-discipline was what I had to do stick with THM full time. What if you make dinner ahead the night before? Our make double dinner during the week, so you have two on-plan meals when you’ve only had to go to the trouble to make one? Here’s what has helped me the most:
      1. Spend 1/2 hour in the kitchen every week and make one healthy snack or dessert to keep in the fridge.
      2. Stop buying THM foods – no chips, no sugar, nothing that I can use to make unhealthy foods.
      3. If I have a bad sugar craving or want to cheat, I eat a THM crossover instead. It feels like cheating, but I’m staying on plan.

      Janet, you are a strong woman taking care of your grandbabies and they need you! For your health and those sweet little ones, I KNOW you can do this, and I KNOW that you are NOT a failure! I will be praying for you! If you decide to do it, you can. I’m cheering you on! Please feel free to email me or check back in here and keep me updated!

  2. One thing I have done for this concept: use muffin tins for all the toppings. For a small group of people, it works well. Larger groups, probably not so much. I have a tin for over-size muffins, to hold larger amounts. A six-hole standard pan is nice too. You can pass one thing around the table instead of six separate ones.

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