Al Fresco Simplified



Isn’t that a thing of beauty? Tonight we had our first al fresco meal of the season. It was snowing, pretty heavily, just 3 days ago, but today and yesterday have been glorious spring days so all of that snow is a now a distant memory and the grass is greening up. The hubs in his infinite wisdom grabbed some quick dinner making ingredients from the store last night, with plans for a “snacky” super tonight of veggies, hummus, fruit, crackers, and for those who eat it, cheese. It was a smashing success, made all the better by eating it outside. My kids were in shorts and t-shirts. I was in a sweater, jeans, and ran inside for a down vest right after we sat down. Ok, May is around the corner and it is glorious at midday, but it is still a bit chilly in the evenings!


Here’s the spread–fresh veggies, pre-packaged hummus, fresh fruits, tortilla chips and mango salsa, crackers and cheese. And wine for us big people. The kids were over the moon happy with this dinner. Not a single complaint. Unheard of! They ate vegetables! And liked them!

Can you tell that is not an everyday occurrence in our house?

The other thing I need to remember from a meal like this is that simple is often best. I *could* have made the hummus from scratch. And the salsa. Oh, and you know there’s this guacamole recipe I love… But the point is, you don’t have to do it all. You can have a great, healthy meal with minimal effort. This just involved chopping a few veggies and fruits, gathering up serving dishes, and carrying stuff outside. I cleaned the kitchen this afternoon and miraculously as I sit here at the breakfast counter and type, my kitchen IS STILL CLEAN. Another festivus miracle. Usually my made-from-scratch adventures result in me exhausted and kitchen trashed. Next time I’m up to my ears in blenders and pressure cookers, someone needs to remind me of tonight’s dinner and my happy kiddos. Kiddo #1 pronounced this one of his all time favorite summer meals (with hot dogs, bratwurst, and pizza also on the list. So easily his healthiest favorite summer meal!).

What healthy meal means summer to you?


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