Thursday, March 29, 2012

the family salad

I grew up with a salad after every meal and have since then rarely missed a day with my beloved crunchy green leaves. A combination of luck, constant exposure and pretty relaxed eaters has made my children salad lovers as well. Even Indigo loves eating lettuce- not an entire bowlful mind you, but a tiny baby portion just for her.

As we enjoy the lingering warm days of what feels like an Indian Summer, cooling salads have been on the menu again in place soups and stews.

The salads are usually made of homegrown romaine lettuce or rocket (arugula) and then I pick and choose one or two items from each of the following categories

a sweet aspect
a handful of blueberries
halved grapes
sliced pear
sliced apple
sliced orange or mandarin
halved baby tomatoes or quartered tomatoes

a touch of salt
pitted olives
baby capers
sliced pickles
sea salt

some crunchy veg
sliced cucumber
chopped capsicum
sliced fennel
shredded carrot

some nourishing and satisfying fat and protein
sliced avocado
parmesan cheese
cut up boiled egg
crumbled goat's cheese
crumbled blue cheese
cubed feta
cut up left-over chicken
dry roasted pumpkin seeds
dry roasted almond slivers or flakes

flax seed oil and lemon juice
olive oil, lemon juice and dijon mustard
oil and apple cider vinegar
sunflower seeds, a touch of grapefruit juice and olive oil whizzed in a blender
homemade caesar dressing

Sometimes we keep the salad really basic- lettuce, tomato, cucumber and dressing.
Our kids love the roasted pumpkin seeds, cucumber, most of the fats and proteins and any of the fruit we add to the salad, they'll only eat one or two large lettuce leaves each but that's good enough for me. They're getting used to the tastes and the experience and that's what counts most right now.

Do you enjoy a good salad? Do you have any dressings or toppings you want to share that haven't been mentioned? Would love to hear!


Rach said...

Thanks for this. What a coincidence. I have just decided I need to switch from mainly wheat based lunches to salads, but wanted some kind of delicious yet simple concoctions. Love your style!

Rach said...

By the way, can I pin this on Pinterest?

Rachel said...

Thank you for sharing your salad making ideas. I love simple formulas for food.

Bronwyn said...

I really need to give my kids more exposure to salads...its just so hard to see the waste as it gets thrown off the high chair tray! I love to cook off early in the week a big tray of cubed pumpkin or sweet potato and add it cold to salad. Also pine nuts, macadamia pieces (for the adults)and bocconncini cheese.

sar :: said...


i also love adding baked pumpkin

and my go-to dressing is a tahini and balsamic vinegar mix. It's so creamy and tangy and yum and good.

jen @ giftboxology said...

i absolutely adore roasted pumpkin seeds! i find pumpkin seeds ok, not that terribly exciting but who knew that a few minutes in the frypan would turn them into delicious little crispy morsels!?

::The Beetle Shack:: said...

i'll be adding this to my recipe book!

xo em

Meagan said...

Rach- Pin away!!
Thanks for the additional ideas everyone! xo m.

Sarah said...

Raw almonds and mandarins whizzed up in the blender or food processor for a delicious dressing!

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