We continued to enjoy the last of the tomatoes in these fresh, tasty and healthy caprese salads.
Mix in mayonnaise and seasoned salt with some freshly ground pepper and you have a tasty tuna salad. Serve with whole grain bread for sandwiches, dip with your favorite chips and crackers or lay atop a pile of fresh greens! Do you have a favorite tuna recipe?
I also have been preparing batches of spice mixes for our pantry by the pint. We go through the ranch and Italian dressings like water! What I love about these mixes is that they are healthier and don't contain all the extra additives and are very inexpensive to make. For the Italian dressing recipe, I substituted the sugar for Monkfruit sweetener and that works out well. I also use the Italian dressing mix as an herbal sprinkle on top of my salads if I use plain vinegar and oil (I put a small amount in a shaker). It would be tasty on top of pizza too!
For the ranch dip mix, I actually revised the recipe that I shared many years ago. I like this mixture better and will share the updated version soon! It is now our favorite and it doesn't contain the evil MSG! Plus it is pennies to make when compared to purchasing the Hidden Valley mix!
Note: When preparing your own spice mixes, I find buying the parsley, onion powder, garlic powder and black pepper in bulk to be very beneficial (I purchase ours at Costco).
I also continue to build up my pantry (these labels can be found here). Unfortunately, we are living in uncertain times and we see that sometimes (contrary to popular belief), the stores can not keep up with the demand during a crisis. I feel that as the keeper of my home, it is my duty to make sure we have the proper inventory of household supplies to get us through at least a six-month period. Just like a business needs to keep a certain amount of inventory to make it run efficiently, so must we in our home if we want things to run smoothly. I have been doing this for years but now I have seen the first-hand blessing of it! (See our preparedness series here and our pantry series here.)
In good times, basic flour, oatmeal, beans and rice are very affordable and those are the items I gravitate towards because of our budget. I am not putting us back financially to prepare (you can add one item for $5 a week which will get you suprisingly far!) and these particular food items last longer so there is no harm in storing them long term. During the "heat of the moment" a few months back, I wasn't running around looking for flour or other food items, we already had a solid supply of food.
To give a small example of following these little homemaking instincts... during our last year of homeschooling, we read Hiroshima together. After finishing the book, I felt a great need to stock up on our first aid supplies (as that was the sought after element during that tragic time). I went to Walmart and purchased many bottles of alcohol, bandaids, peroxide, you name it! This was done during a time of plenty so I don't consider that hoarding but preparing. Well, as soon as the crisis hit us at the beginning of the year, my husband came home saying an elderly man he knew was panicking as he needed alcohol to clean some of his medical supplies and couldn't find any. It felt so good to be able to hand my husband a bottle knowing we had plenty to share and plenty for home use. These are the things I am thinking of as I continue to build my medicinal pantry, my first aid pantry, my toiletry pantry and my food storage. That investment into my first aid kit only set me back $20 as alcohol was cheap at that time ($1 per bottle) and little did I know what a sought-after item it would turn out to be a few months later!