Eco-eating: Delicious, Family-friendly Salads
I pride myself on eating seasonally. This means steel-cut oats, roasted root veggies and hearty stews in the winter, and lots of fresh fruit and vegetables in the summer. And following this plan would be simple if the only palate I had to worry about was my own. But, alas, I’m also feeding a hungry -- and supremely picky -- little tummy as well.
Always challenged by the task of sneaking something healthy into my son, W., I’ve finally found a few ways of getting him to go green. Here are some of the summer dinner salads -- filling, nutritious and kid-friendly -- that have passed muster at our dinner table.
Mama’s Magic Mix
The master of all salads, the Magic Mix is made from anything and everything that W. -- said three-year-old -- deems salad-worthy. We always start with a base of mixed organic greens and expand from there. A recent Magic Mix included toasted pine nuts, avocado, green apple, parsley and cubed tofu for a protein kick. Toss the whole concoction in an easy dressing -- try honey, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper. Little W. gets in on the action by sliding the chopped ingredients into the bowl and mixing them together with a big spoon.
Chixalicious (or Tunalicious, if you’re so inclined)
In our house, chicken salad counts as salad. Heavy on the chopped veggies -- we use celery, carrots, red onion and apple -- and light on the mayo (a little goes a long way), this salad never fails to please. Not into chicken? Tuna makes a stellar substitute.
I can’t deny the pleasure of a good Waldorf salad, and I was thrilled to discover that W. digs it too. Our Waldorf includes toasted walnuts, lots of dried cranberries (kids love hunting for the chewy sweet treats), apples, celery and, sometimes, thinly sliced green cabbage. Toss with a speedy dressing: olive oil, lemon juice and honey. Yum!