Dinner time at our house can be interesting…
…mainly due to the fact that my kids and I are vegetarians but Mr. Healthy Haus is not. Even though he is OK being a veggie for one evening, most of his meals do revolve around meat (mostly organic chicken or turkey, some fish, rarely red meat). And while my kids more or less follow my diet, of course, they do not eat exactly the same as me or the same as one another at all times. Sound familiar?
For being four and two years old though, they do eat a lot of “grown up” foods and overall, I am very proud that we have raised them to not be picky eaters. Our #1 mealtime rule has always been that they have to take a couple of bites and really taste something before they decide they don’t like it. And even then, I will probably have them try the same thing again a little later down the road as kids’ tastes often change. For example, my son never liked bananas (even as a baby) but every so often I would have him re-try a little bite and now as a toddler, he eats them like a champ!
With all that being said, I try to avoid having to cook two or even three completely different meals (The Healthy Haus is not a restaurant after all!). I mostly cook something for the whole family and add/leave out the meat or make something carnivore and vegetarian separately but use as many of the same ingredients as possible.
Salads work well for that because you can pretty much utilize any vegetable and/or grain and let your creativity run wild. One of my favorite salads I have created (and remember, this is not an exact science rather a “use what you have and make it your own” approach) is my Superfood Supersalad that I typically throw together when I A) cook THIS for my husband as it calls for a lot of the same ingredients B) need a quick nutritious lunch or dinner when I’m by myself (which does not happen often) and I’m too lazy to cook and clean up the entire kitchen or C) need to get rid of stuff in the fridge.
For the salad:
- 1 bunch lacinato kale, stemmed and roughly chopped
- 1 cup cooked quinoa, cooled off
- 1 avocado, diced
- 1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives
- 1/4 cup sundried tomatoes
- 1-2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
- 1 hard boiled egg, diced (two if you want extra for garnish)
- 1/4 cup feta (optional)
For the dressing:
- 3/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- Juice from 1/2 lemon
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
- Throw all of the ingredients for the salad in a large bowl.
- In a small bowl, whisk the balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper together. Slowly add the oil. Keep whisking until everything is thoroughly combined.
- Drizzle over the salad, gently mix and serve.
- I absolutely love the taste of sundried tomatoes but feel free to substitute with fresh grape tomatoes if you prefer. My kids do not eat kale but when I make this, they eat the eggs, feta, avocados, olives and tomatoes.
- Cooked quinoa is awesome to have in the fridge. Besides putting it in salads, it has a multitude of uses. You can eat it as a breakfast cereal, use it for baking (granola, cereal bars…) or cooking (spinach patties, veggie cakes…). Besides, it is so, so good for you! It is naturally gluten free, serves as a complete protein source and contains iron, B-vitamins, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, calcium, vitamin E, and fiber. It also provides a healthy dose of fatty acids (monounsaturated fat and omega-3’s). Some call it the world’s healthiest food!
- The feta and olives add some saltiness to the salad so go easy when you first add the sea salt. Same goes for the balsamic vinegar – it is delicious but can be quite potent. If you’re not sure, start by using 1 tablespoon and increase to your liking.
- The amount of ingredients listed make about 2-3 servings of salad. It stores beautifully overnight and makes for great leftovers the next day. The lemon juice softens the kale and helps keep the avocado from turning brown.