The Chicken Salad Habit

By Melissa Tosetti

The title I would have preferred to use is: “Lessons I Learned From My Grandmother About Always Having Something In The Fridge To Easily Eat.”  Sadly, that title was far too long.

Instead, I went with a habit the Tosetti Family has adopted based on the lessons I learned from Grams stemming from her days of having to cook for a crowd of farm hands, family members and random guests stopping by.

Although Grams cooked dinner every night and breakfast every morning, there was always something in her refrigerator she had previously prepared that was “ready to eat.”  Just a few of the things you’d find in there:

  • Tuna for sandwiches – Her tuna to mayo and sweet relish ratio was legendary!
  • Portuguese Beans – Enjoyed with a thick slice of French bread slathered in butter.
  • Stew – Also to be enjoyed with French bread and plenty of butter.

It took me a few decades before I finally picked up her prepare-ahead habit.  On a Sunday afternoon or Tuesday evening, I’ll whip up one of the following to get us through the next few days:

  • Chicken Salad for sandwiches –Costco is my go-to for canned chicken which makes this a delicious and affordable meal. I add curry and dried cranberries to my sandwiches while my husband Paul keeps any type of fruit as far away as possible from his version.
  • Carrot Soup – I buy carrots in bulk at Costco and since my mom introduced me to Better Than Bullion, I always have the ingredients on hand.
  • Portuguese Beans – Because they’re delicious and nutritious.

These go-to meals help ensure that when we’re short on time, we have something quick, easy and, most often, healthy to eat.  It saves time as well as the brain power to have to, on an empty stomach, decide what to make.  Usually, decisions when made hungry are not the best ones.  Ultimately it saves money as well because the temptation to just run out and grab something is almost never there.

If this is a habit you’d like to try, make sure to prepare something you’d really enjoy eating – something you can look forward to.  While Paul won’t touch the Portuguese Beans, we both really enjoy chicken salad so we don’t feel like we’re having to make do with what’s on hand.  It’s something we happily anticipate.