The Retro Mom

Bringing your grandmother's comfort food out of her recipe box and into your gluten-free kitchen

Yes! It’s Another Brainless Monday Meal (TM)

It may only be Saturday, but Monday is only 48 hours away. (tick tick tick……….)

I can tell you enjoyed that opening sentence.

Well, now that I have made your weekend even shorter and spread more joy – here is some light at the proverbial dark tunnel that is Monday……

You can have a Brainless Monday Meal (TM) on your table Monday evening in 15 minutes or less with very little effort by preparing most of it this weekend!

(Readers whispering: “Ugh. Why is she so happy about Monday. Mondays aren’t for “happy” they are for trudging through……Why would I want to cook for Monday on a Saturday? “)

My friends, if doing a little prepwork can ease the burden of the Monday Night Dinner, and stop you from driving-through somewhere and offering yourself/your lovely significant other/or your family

this ⇓ you might want to consider another alternative:


Ponder this instead:

Avocado and Balsamic Strawberry Salad

Now look at this:


Now back to this:



b90fdbb8ea951af4eb2c5ed22a58b4daNow, this. Look, it’s dinner, and I’m on my high-horse. I’ll get down now.

I feel like the Old Spice Guy. One more:



Let’s begin! How does Balsamic Strawberry and Avocado Salad, Chilled Lemon-Pea Quinoa Salad and Inside-Out Turkey Roll-Ups sound?

Perfect for a warm summer evening?


For this meal you will need:

For the Strawberry Salad

2 pints or 1 large container strawberries, choose organic if you can. (Questions about eating organic? Read just the facts here.)

2 avocados, ripe

2 tbsps. brown sugar or coconut sugar

1/4 cup or more depending on taste preference Balsamic Vinegar (it’s at your local market, and it’s inexpensive)

1 bunch cilantro

For the Quinoa

1 bag organic quinoa (I used tri-color because there are taste differences between the three colors and they are yummy mixed together! I know, food dork. Big Time.)

1 lemon

1 bag frozen peas, or if you don’t like peas you can skip them

salt and pepper

dried dill

For the Inside-Out Roll Ups

1-3 packages cold cuts, we used Applegate Farms Herbed Turkey Breast

Romaine lettuce

Tomatos, onion, sprouts, condiments – anything you would normally like on a sandwich

Cute little beachy drink umbrellas optional, but why not?

Balsamic Strawberry and Avocado Salad

1. 24 hours before you plan to eat your meal, wash and hull all of your strawberries. Slice them into halves. Place in a bowl, along with the balsamic vinegar and sugar. With the back of a spoon, gently smoosh the strawberries lightly. Cover and refrigerate until just before serving time.

2. Before serving time, wash the cilantro and pick off as many leaves as possible. Toss them into your strawberry mix.

3. Wash your avocado skins, and remove the peel and pit. Chop the avocado into bite-size pieces and place on your serving plate. With a slotted/strainer spoon remove the strawberries and cilantro from the bowl and place them gently on the chopped avocados.

4. Spoon some of the vinegar mix over the salad if desired. Serve!


Lemon-Dill Pea and Quinoa Salad

1. Cook the quinoa as directed, it takes about 20 minutes.

2. While the quinoa is cooking, wash your lemon off. Using a grater or micro-grater, make your self a nice little pile of lemon zest. If you use a regular cheese grater, you may want to chop your zest even more finely after you have grated it. Save your lemon! Now, cut the lemon in half, remove the seeds, and squeeze all of the juice you can out of it into a small bowl with the zest. As soon as the quinoa is done, remove from heat, uncover and place all of your lemon zest/juice on top of the quinoa and stir. Place lid back on the pan and allow the flavors to infuse.

IMG_07693. Heat a pan to medium high and add a small amount of water to the pan – place your frozen peas in there and cook ONLY until they are not frozen and all the water has been cooked off. Add 1 tablespoon dried dill and gently mix in.

4. Remove the lid from the quinoa and empty the contents into a large bowl – quinoa fluffs up when cooked. It should smell wonderful! If you choose to use peas in this recipe, add the cooked dilled peas to your bowl and gently toss everything together. Salt and pepper as desired.

5. Cover and chill overnight. Keeps for 3 days.

Inside-Out Roll Ups

Why inside out? They are just easier to eat that way! Thank you Pinterest!

1. Wash all your lettuce, tomatos, etc. Unwrap your cold cuts.

2. Place whatever you would like on each roll, this can even be done at the table by each person!

Roll ups
3. Roll up, use a beachy umbrella to secure and enjoy!

So there you have it, easy-peasy rice and cheesy Brainless Monday Meal (Tm) ready and on the table in 15 minutes or less because it was all prepared earlier!

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