Making Friends with Salad: Simple Springtime Meals You Can Make in a Snap

Are you bored with that bag of mixed greens you buy every week and then throw out two weeks later? There’s a reason: it’s boring. And if you are bored, then your kids are bored. Salad doesn’t have to be like watching cement dry, it can be exciting!

All you have to do is broaden your idea of “salad” and “bam!” you have the ideal warm weather meals with the finest fresh ingredients. This is the time of year when it’s easy to eat light, so check out some of these awesome options for spring/summer, kid-friendly salads.

 

Asian Apple Slaw: Mix rice vinegar and lime juice with salt, sugar and fish sauce. Toss with apple, chopped scallions, mint and julienned jicama, a wonderfully juicy, sweet, and nutty tuber with a distinct crunch.

 

Tomato-Peach Salad: Toss heirloom tomatoes and peach wedges with diced chive. Drizzle with cider vinegar and olive oil; sprinkle honey, salt and pepper.

 

Green Beans: Blanche thin green beans and while there are still piping hot, mix them with minced garlic. Toss with cumin, red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. Flake a little Romano cheese on top.

 

Burnt Caesar: Purée minced garlic and anchovies, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper and 1 egg yolk; fold in 1/4 cup olive oil, stirring completely. Turn oven to 350 degrees, toss a clean head of romaine directly on the rack, cooking each side for 2-3 minutes; drizzle the whole head with dressing while it’s still warm and slice up fine, tossing with the remaining dressing. Top with Parmesan and croutons.

 

Chicken-Mango Salad: Whisk a tablespoon of lemon juice and honey together, add some grated ginger and 1/4 cup olive oil; toss with shredded grilled chicken, mesclun greens and cubed mango.

 

Three-Bean Salad: Combine 1/3 cup cider vinegar, avocado oil, lemon and salt. Pour over blanched green and wax beans, kidney beans and English peas; marinate 1 hour. Season with salt and pepper; top with parsley.

 

Beet and Watermelon: Chunk up both cooked gold beets and red watermelon, chop up fresh basil, mint and oregano. Combine herbs with olive oil, balsamic, honey and lemon. Toss and serve.

 

Corn and cherry tomatoes: Combine equal amounts along with chopped herbs, blood orange, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce and black pepper.

 

Miso Potato: use cooled cubes of baked or boiled potato. Set aside and mix miso – a Japanese paste made from fermented soybeans and barley or rice malt, with sesame oil, mayo, lime, ginger, sweet peas and finely cubed carrots.

 

Capresi “caterpillar” salad: slice roma tomatoes length-wise and stack them, alternating slices with mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle with diced up basil, a little oil, balsamic, salt and pepper.

 

Spicy Desert Salad: Cut up your favorite fruit: oranges, grapes, nectarines, banana, and top with a spoonful of yogurt. Dust with a little cinnamon, curry, and nutmeg, topping with a drizzle of maple syrup.

 

Couscous and dried cranberry: blend chopped celery, parsley, and red pepper, top with diced avocado. Add an umami dressing, lime and olive oil.

 

Helpful hint: if you get your kids to help you make these salads, they are way more likely to eat and enjoy them. Attend your local farmers market and grow some herbs yourself so that your children start to have a relationship with making and preparing food. After all, these are the salad days.

 

About Susie Almaneih

Susie Almaneih spent several years during her young adulthood teaching children dance at her church group, as well as other cultural-based activities. Susie now spends as much time as she can giving back to the families in her community. Over the years, this love for community has evolved into a deeper love for delivering positive and creative content and awareness to families of all ages.

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