Friday, July 9

Some Summer Salad Ideas

 Salads can be another great way to allow for your kids' individual preferences. Unless they strongly dislike all vegetables, but even then I have some ideas to get them involved. Salads are also a nice summer alternative to hot meals.

Barbecued Chicken
and Steak Fries Salad
One of our favorite summer salads with a hidden surprise at the bottom

shredded carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, corn, red onions, black beans, boiled eggs, shredded cheese, your favorite variety of lettuce,  barbecued chicken, ranch dressing and/or barbecue sauce
The Hidden Secret: at the very bottom, steak or seasoned fries (the thick kind)

Getting Started
       Start by creating a building station with all the ingredients set out. Warning: This does get a lot of bowls dirty. Then allow each person to build their own salad. You can create goals like, "everybody has to have at least three veggies"  or for the little guys, allow them to pick their toppings and you build. I always chopped the lettuce up real tiny for our boys. The magic is, it sticks to the other foods in the salad and they don't realizing they're eating it. If you've got kids that hate lettuce, be sure to have lots of other veggies they do like and just let them substitute. It'll still taste great and a veggie's a veggie.

Other Salad Ideas

  • Save time and energy. Next time you barbecue, throw extra chicken on the grill that you can slice and chill for your salads the following night.

  • Try marinading your chicken in olive oil and mesquite seasoning before you grill. It gives it an excellent summer flavor. 
  • Who says all salads have to be topped with veggies. Try slices of pears or apples. We love to add blueberries, strawberries, and mandarin oranges too. Nuts like walnuts, pecans, and sliced almonds go great with fruity salads as well as cheeses like feta, blue, and mozzarella. Dress them up with raspberry vinaigrette or poppy seed dressings.