Over the weekend, we were experimenting with lots of vegetables. I decided to make a few different types of salads to expand my family’s options.
I always offer my family veggies with every meal, as I want to nurture a love of vegetables and a passion for making healthy food choices.
Eating vegetables is a big challenge for my two younger children. They’re pretty close to being allergic to vegetables at the ages of 8 and 13. However, I continue to keep the faith that one day, they will ask, “May I please have more vegetables?”. A girl can only dream. In the meantime, I’ll serve them vegetables with fingers crossed, fun dressings, and by disguising them.
I consider myself an expert at disguising vegetables for my kids. Since they fried foods, I’ve served tempura vegetables. I also make lots of soups and “braff” broth, where I include tons of them. This past summer, we created a vegetable garden, so I had instant buy-in from the kids. The garden provided a bountiful supply of tomatoes, and the kids made generous amounts of salsa and guacamole.
Growing up in Dominica, we grew our vegetables, and so the love of veggies has always been part of my life. We didn’t only grow for consumption but also for selling and sharing. At one point in their lives, my parents were hucksters and traveled to neighboring Caribbean islands to sell produce. Vegetables remained a constant part of our lives.
We grew some in our backyard, alongside our two avocado trees. But my parents also planted acres in our garden just outside my village, with their plantains, green bananas, yams, tannia, and dasheen crops. My dad had a green thumb. Nonetheless, he got help from our livestock, which always gave generous portions of manure.
I love salads! Since everyone agreed to try one, I was tasked with coming up with the different ingredients. I took into consideration the proteins that members of my family enjoy to help guide my creations.
So here are five salads that I created for the family.
Salad 1 – For my eight-year-old son – Jerk chicken salad
Baby spinach with cranberries and pumpkin seeds topped with jerk chicken breast. I added a creamy avocado dressing. Here’s my recipe for the jerk chicken breast.
Salad 2 – For me – pumpkin salad
The second is an entirely vegetarian salad. It included boiled chopped pumpkin, purple and green cabbage, carrot, red onion, corn, salt pepper, with a poppy seed dressing.
Salad 3 – For my 13-year-old daughter – Cobb salad
The third salad is a Cobb salad (no eggs) with baby arugula, bacon, green onion, peppers, avocado, and balsamic vinaigrette dressing. I topped it with honey garlic salmon. Here’s the recipe.
Salad 4 – For my 15-year-old son – codfish/saltfish salad
The fourth is a carrot, and cabbage slaw (no mayonnaise) topped off with salted codfish, avocado, and cucumbers with a light vinaigrette dressing. Here’s my recipe for codfish bulljaw
Salad 5 – For my husband – garlic shrimp salad
The fifth salad is baby arugula, with quinoa, red onions, salt and pepper oil, vinegar, and topped with garlic shrimp.
The salads were all delicious and even though my two picky eaters didn’t clean their coconut bowls, which can be purchased here, they realized that vegetables are versatile and can be fun.