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Serving A Beautiful Soup and Sandwich (or Salad)

We eat a variety of soups through the cool winter months. I’ve come to learn, however, that soup alone doesn’t cut it for a grown man. At least, not mine. A side salad or sandwich is a must! So when I stumbled across these adorable soup and sandwich (or salad) plates from a store that for a period of time was not in business, I was quick to get them on my Christmas wish list!

Don’t they just make this soup and salad extra beautiful?

Maybe you recall the store I’m referring to – The CHEFS Store? Or, CHEFS Catalog? It’s this specialty kitchen store (and catalog) that had every unique gadget imaginable, as well as all the ‘most common’ kitchen stuff, PLUS specialty spices. They were bought by Target and the stores (and catalog) closed.  I learned of the closing too late and my attempt to acquire more of these soup and sandwich dishes failed. BUT Target did honor my CHEFS gift card in their own store so at least I didn’t lose out there!

I recently discovered that CHEFS Catalog traded hands again in 2016 and the online store re-launched in 2017!

You can find their website by clicking here (<— this is NOT an affiliate link. I do not receive any compensation for driving traffic to this site. I just share because if you have a couple hours to get lost on a website and I’d recommend this one. At least once).

They no longer have the awesome soup and sandwich (or salad) dishes that I have pictured above but I’d bet there’s something else you can find that you kitchen desperately needs! OR a recipe from their blog that will have you headed immediately to the store for ingredient round-up!

If you’re dying to have some soup and sandwich (or salad) dishes similar to mine – here are some fun options from Amazon:

Oh! Before I forget! The soup pictured above was a delicious venison and vegetable soup brought to us by our very sweet neighbors. The same neighbors that made this over the top delicious green beans and beef dish several months ago. I’ve yet to learn that recipe…maybe this summer when I have more fresh green beans to share from the garden.

And the salad was a simple Caesar made with my favorite store-bought Caesar dressing that’s perfect for both salads and these Chicken Caesar Wraps.

Admittedly, I felt a little spoiled with this dinner that required almost no effort. Another act of kindness I must be sure to re-pay…for the food AND the opportunity to break out these adorable dishes!


Affiliate Disclaimer:  The product links on this page are amazon affiliate links. I receive a small compensation for products you may purchase via an affiliate link on my blog. THANK YOU for supporting my blogging journey in this way!  The opinions on the products are my own. I NEVER recommend/link to products that I am dissatisfied with, or that aren’t on my very own wish list.

Meal Prep Essentials: Sistema Salad To-Go Containers

I’ve talked quite a bit in past posts about meal/food prepping. It’s not always something I have time for on weekends, but I certainly strive to make happen whenever possible. Doing so just helps the week run more smoothly. It also often ensures that I have something healthy lined out for work-day lunches. Speaking of those lunches, these Sistema Salad To-Go Containers are a must have!

While putting together our wedding registry I happened to stumble upon these. A couple showed up in the stack of gifts we received from friends and family and I’ve since purchased a couple more.

For The Love of Sistema Salad To-Go Containers

Here’s what I love about these salad to-go containers:

  • They are the perfect size for a lunch salad
  • The top tray keeps separate salad fixin’s that I don’t want in the mix from the get-go (examples: croutons don’t get soggy if they are stored in the top tray or meats that I may want to heat in the microwave stay separate so I am able to do just that before mixing the salad all together)
  • There is a perfect size container for salad dressing, also keeping it separate (and the veggies crisp) until the salad is ready to be eaten
  • Everything snaps together in an efficient little salad package
  • All the pieces wash up nicely in the dishwasher

The one and only thing I don’t LOVE about these salad to-go containers is the fork and knife that snap into the bottom side of the top tray. I do love the design and convenience of having a knife and fork as part of the efficient little salad package BUT I’ve found the forks to be mostly worthless where eating salads (or anything) is concerned. They are plastic and the tines of the fork are totally rounded. I get there’s safety in mind with the design, it’s just that those folks will literally pierce nothing! Not even lettuce! And the knife? It doesn’t do any sort of serious cutting, but I do use it to scrape out the salad dressing from it’s little container.

This is not a deal breaker though. When I’m on the move with a salad (which is often) I just toss a fork into my lunch bag and all is well in my healthy lunch world.

A Call To Action

Remember above when I said I got a couple of these for a wedding gift and that I ordered a couple more? Here’s why: when I’m meal/food prepping on the weekend it’s super handy to be able to put together a handful of salads all at once. Having them ALL prepped and ready to go ensures I won’t run out of time in the morning. OR decline putting something together because I don’t want to deal with the mess before work. We all know that when this happens the chances of ending up in the fast food line at lunch becomes almost certain. And I don’t know about you, but I’m probably going to order the chicken nuggets and fries. The exact opposite of a healthy salad.

Interested in ordering some salad to-go containers of your own? Here’s a link for Sistema Salad To-Go Containers (<– affiliate link) to purchase exactly what I have (and love) from Amazon. They now come in lots of fun colors too!

And once they deliver conveniently to your doorstep, here are a couple links to salad recipes to get your meal prep started:

Chicken -N- Stuff Salad
Crab Salad



Lettuce Photo Credit: Photo by petra cigale on Unsplash
Affiliate Disclaimer:  I receive a small compensation for products you may purchase via an affiliate link on my blog. THANK YOU for supporting my blogging journey in this way!  BUT, the opinions on the products are my own. I NEVER recommend, or link to products that I am dissatisfied with.


Herbed Veggies with Chicken Over Pasta: Take 2

Several years ago I posted about this recipe: herbed veggies with chicken over pasta. If you missed (or don’t remember that post) you can quickly access it by clicking here. Today’s post is essentially an updated re-post of the original from five years ago. The reason why is because 1) I made it again last night and was reminded how ridiculously delicious, quick and simple this dish is and 2) I changed up the recipe just a touch from the first go-round.

Last evening I was wore out. My brain was tired. All I wanted was a glass of wine and to sit quietly out on the deck. I also knew that I needed to get something on the table for dinner. I admit that I sort of dragged myself into the kitchen with herbed veggies and chicken over pasta on the menu, cursing myself for selecting such a labor intensive recipe in my meal planning.

It didn’t take long before I was reminded that this dish is NOT labor intensive AND it comes together quickly. Plus, if I had done my food prep last weekend in anticipation of this week, it would have been on the plate in a flash. Unfortunately, I ran out of time last weekend so no prep for this meal was done before-hand but it was still start to finish in under 30 min (counting the time spent running out to the garden to pick the veggies). Just imagine if I’d had the chicken and all the veggies prepped before even getting started!! I’m guessing I would have been pan to plate in 15 minutes or less!

Herbed Veggies With Chicken Over Pasta: Ingredients:

-Whole wheat pasta (I used fettuccine)
-Olive oil
-1/2 cup Onion, largely chopped
-1-1.5 lb Chicken Breast, cubed
-1/2 large Green Bell Pepper, largely chopped
-1 Garlic Cloves, minced
-1 large yellow squash, cut into bite sized pieces
-4 Tomatoes, peeled, seeded & largely chopped
-2 tsp Dried Basil
-pinch Dried Parsley
-1/2 tsp Dried Oregano
-Salt & Pepper (to taste)
-Shredded Parmesan Cheese

Herbed Veggies With Chicken Over Pasta: Instructions

1. Start by boiling water and cooking the pasta.
Note: While this is happening, if you haven’t already, prep your veggies.
2. Warm some olive oil in a pan, add onion. Cook 2-3 minutes.
3. Add chicken, green bell pepper, garlic and salt/pepper. Cook another 2 minutes.
4. Add squash, tomatoes, basil, oregano, and parsley. Cook 5-6 minutes.
Note: Taste and adjust seasoning by adding salt and pepper
5. Plate pasta
6. Top with herbed veggie and chicken mixture.
7. Shred cheese on top

It’s the perfect time of year when garden fresh veggies are in abundance. In an effort to make the most of everything we have coming on, I’ve been planning lots of recipes just like this.

This recipe is so versatile. I’d recommend playing with it to suite your tastes, needs and/or the ingredients you might have on hand. The chicken could be omitted for a vegetarian dish. You could forego the pasta for a carb-free dinner. Red bell instead of green? I don’t see why not!

If you don’t have a garden of your own, consider hitting up a farmer’s market and loading up on the most flavorful and delicious produce around. It simply doesn’t compare to produce bought at the grocery store – most likely because the produce at the store is picked before it’s ripe to account for shipping times. Fruits and veggies that ripen on the vine burst with flavor and make dishes like herbed veggies with chicken incredible!

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