Ever since I was a little kid, hot summer afternoons have competed with my appetite. Growing up in a family who loves savory foods, I had to find an alternative path, very early in life. Steaming hot food on a day that was already hot, was just not an option for me.
Refreshing foods, like salads, therefore became important in an attempt to help beat the heat. Having two growing boys now, I have had to get creative to keep my cool salvation at the dinner table. It has inspired a long journey of trial and error, dissatisfied little food critics who just wanted more than the big bowl of greens, until we at last started a discussion on favorite raw foods.
Encouraging my boys’ input on the subject of salads, sparked interest in the topic and end product. They chose salad ingredients and tasted vinegars and oils at a local store. They figured out which were the best flavors to go with their greens. Today, another hot day here on the coast, the kids came home and got all excited to see we’ll have salad and grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner. Who would have guessed?
- Salad leaves that are not bitter, like spring mix, baby spinach and romaine heart.
- Berries – lots of them, after all it’s the season!
- Watermelon, ice cold, extra refreshing.
- Seeds: pumpkin, sunflower, chia – get creative 🙂
- Cucumber, extra fun if you cut them wavy. If your child doesn’t like the seeds in the cucumbers, slice it in half and spoon out the seeds. Persian cucumbers are another option.
- Tomatoes – right now there is a fantastic variety of heirloom tomatoes available. We had yellow, red, green and purple in our salad today.
- If you’d like a little bite to it, try radishes or radish sprouts.
- Colorful bell peppers, especially the red, orange and yellow ones, get a nice crunch, sweet flavor and loads of nutrients, all in one!
- Avocado, for that extra creamy texture.
- Sliced eggs for more protein.
- If you’d like a starch in there add some cubed and steamed potatoes or cooked, cooled quinoa (I usually cook a pot of quinoa and have it ready in the fridge for all sorts of dishes).
- Instead of dressing we chose extra virgin olive oil, and different vinegars.
- The top three choices for my guys are apple cider vinegar, rice vinegar and balsamic vinegar.
The list can go on and on. Instead of salad dressing we choose extra virgin olive oil, and different vinegars.
The top three choices for my guys are apple cider vinegar, rice vinegar and balsamic vinegar. For additional flavor you can whip in some lemon juice and mustard. Get creative and share your favorites with us!