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How to Make a Healthy, Kid-Friendly Salad

Updated on April 23, 2013

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5 stars from 2 ratings of Salad of Infinite Possibilities
A salad that even your kids will love; serve as the main meal or as a side dish.
A salad that even your kids will love; serve as the main meal or as a side dish. | Source

About Everymom

Everymom is a single parent always getting herself and child home so late after activities that she has to get very creative to make quick, healthy, but satisfying meals. Through HubPages, Everymom has decided to share her base recipes, which she uses as a jumping off point to switch up (and, sometimes, to introduce her child to new tastes) dinners and make them seem new (while still saving time and adding good nutrition). Try this salad with the Easiest Argentinian Tuna Empanadas recipe or one of Everymom's Leftover French Fry recipes! Please be sure to share your experiences in the Comments...and rate these recipes (especially if you like them)!

Cook Time

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 20 min
Ready in: 30 min
Yields: Serves 2 as a main meal

Ingredients

  • romaine hearts, torn into bite-sized pieces
  • cucumbers, sliced into quarters
  • vine-ripened tomatoes, sliced into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 lb. extra-lean stew beef, cut if cubes are too large to eat in one bite
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 to 3 Tablespoons reduced sodium shoyu tamari soy sauce
  • garlic, finely chopped (optional)
  • grated parmesan or shredded, reduced fat cheddar cheese
  • 2 to 3 Tablespoons sesame, olive, grapeseed or canola oil

Here's the Beef!

Save time with already-prepped beef (or other meat you choose)!
Save time with already-prepped beef (or other meat you choose)! | Source

Smoke Point for Different Oils

(click column header to sort results)
Type of Oil  
Smoke Point in degrees Fahrenheit (and degrees Celsius)  
High-quality extra-virgin olive oil
410°F (210°C)
Grapeseed
480°F (249°C)
Sesame
410°F (210°C)
Canola
400°F (204°C)
The smoke point is the temperature at which the cooking fat or oil begins to break down. It begins to smoke or burn and gives food an unpleasant taste. The smoke point of oil varies with its quality; high quality oils have low levels of free fatty ac

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil (your choice: grapeseed, canola, sunflower, peanut, virgin or extra-virgin olive). If you're using plain old virgin olive oil, though, be aware that it most likely has a low smoke point (and can therefore burn more quickly, or reach its flash point and create a fire); so, keep a very close eye on it!
  2. Add finely chopped garlic (if you choose to use it; about 3 or 4 cloves lends a nice flavor to the meat) and saute until tender.
  3. Add the beef (or sausage, fish, chicken, tofu) to the oil and brown on medium-low heat.
  4. Reduce heat. Add the balsamic vinegar and stir.
  5. Add the soy sauce and stir to coat the beef.
  6. If you like your meat a little on the sweet side, add 3 Tablespoons of vermouth or sweet sherry (port wine). Stir.
  7. Cover the frying pan and let the meat finish cooking (I like to cook it medium-well to well-done - but not charred). Note: if you're cooking fish, it will take much less cooking time; probably only five minutes on each side. Don't overcook fish, shrimp or squid; these become rubbery and not very tasty at all.
  8. While the meat is cooking, wash, rinse, dry and tear the lettuce (my daughter prefers the crunch of romaine hearts, but Boston, red or green leaf, Bibb, or any lettuce you like works well in this salad).
  9. Wash, peel and cut the cucumbers and place them in the salad serving bowl with the lettuce.
  10. Wash and cut the tomatoes and layer them onto your salad too.
  11. By this point, the beef should be cooked through. Shut off the flame or electric burner and remove the frying pan from that burner. Set it aside for about 3 minutes, to cool.
  12. Wash and cut any other vegetables you would like to add to your salad. Good choices include carrots, peas (canned or fresh or snow pea pods), green, red, yellow or orange peppers (de-seeded), jicama root, Granny Smith or Macintosh apples, raisins, nuts of all kinds (unless someone in your family has allergies to them), even mandarin oranges in light syrup!
  13. When you are done adding fresh ingredients to your salad, get the frying pan and add the now-warm beef and its reduced sauce to the salad.
  14. Serve with crusty, warm French bread and enjoy!

Part of My Arsenal of "Secret Ingredients"

A few of the ingredients for sauces that delight both adult and child palates alike: sesame oil, cooking sherry, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce.
A few of the ingredients for sauces that delight both adult and child palates alike: sesame oil, cooking sherry, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce. | Source

Is it possible to buy only locally grown vegetables in modern times?

Where do you source your fresh vegetables?

See results
One of my favorite places to buy fresh, locally grown produce is Wilson Farm in Lexington, MA.
One of my favorite places to buy fresh, locally grown produce is Wilson Farm in Lexington, MA. | Source

Comments

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  • everymom profile image
    Author

    Anahi Pari-di-Monriva 4 years ago from Massachusetts

    Thanks! I do love to cook and make up sauces. I'm finally doing more of it again, and much more expediently (because, seriously, who has time any more?!).

  • JamiJay profile image

    Jami Johnson 4 years ago from Somewhere amongst the trees in Vermont.

    Those are really great substitution suggestions! When I get to try them out (and/or make my own) I will share for sure!

  • everymom profile image
    Author

    Anahi Pari-di-Monriva 4 years ago from Massachusetts

    Thanks for pinning! I use beef for my daughter. She is still developing and I feel doesn't eat enough protein, usually. Beef packs a big protein wallop and it doesn't take too much to do it. However, even she likes tofu in it (I use the extra firm, silken tofu by Nasoya). If instead of the balsamic vinegar, you use a dry white wine (or even a sweet white vermouth and some lemon and coriander) you can use shrimp (though I don't buy shrimp), scallops or a nice firm-fleshed fish. With salmon or tuna steak, I would use sesame oil, some sesame seeds and a bit of ginger and Thai lemongrass. Try your own variations and share them with us, please!!!

  • JamiJay profile image

    Jami Johnson 4 years ago from Somewhere amongst the trees in Vermont.

    This salad looks and sounds delicious! I have to pin this for later. I can't eat too much beef (due to the high fat content and my personally diet for health issues) but I can always substitute for chicken or tofu (or just use very little beef)! Thanks for sharing!

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