Give your oven a rest and make one of these crowd-pleasing salads!
The humble salad has gone through something of a renaissance in recent years thanks to a much-needed cultural shift around healthy eating.
Out of all the stereo-typically ‘healthy’ foods, salad has perhaps been derided the most.
Many die-hard ‘carnivores’ happily call salads ‘rabbit food’ and don’t see much beyond green leaves, but the modern salad is so much more than this. Whereas many kids might initially turn their nose up at a plain garden salad, or a sad pile of leaves from a pre-mixed bag, you can hardly blame them for this! Treated and prepared properly, a dinner comprised completely of salad can be a real crowd-pleaser that can leave your whole family happy and satisfied.
Here in the UK, our households have developed certain traditions and standards that are not only unhealthy, but also extremely expensive. It’s estimated that the average meat eater in the UK consumes twice the world average. Although the government recommends eating no more than 70g of red or processed meat a day (roughly equivalent to two slices of bacon), our eating culture and cuisine is hopelessly ‘meat-centric’.
Our obsession with eating meat for breakfast, lunch and dinner is expensive, unhealthy and messy. Meat tends to spatter fat and juices wherever it’s cooked, so meat eaters will also find that they’re having to get their ovens professionally cleaned much more frequently than non-meat eaters. Put short, although our country’s meat-eating habits is great for businesses oven cleaning in Bicester, and the rest of the UK, it’s hardly a convenient habit for most of us!
Thankfully, we live in the 21st century and have access to a whole world of ingredients in supermarkets that can transform kids’ perspective of salad from most-hated to prized favourite. There’s no greater advocate for the salad than healthy-eating fanatic Jamie Oliver. Here are two salad recipes taken from his website which are bound to keep you your kids healthy and happy:
Simple Chopped Salad
What you’ll need for 6 side portions:
|6 small carrots, mixed colours if possible
2 sticks of celery
handful of ripe, mixed colour cherry tomatoes
2 small gem lettuces
|100g feta cheese
few sprigs of fresh mint
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- On a large chopping board, trim and finely chop the carrots and celery, then finely chop the tomatoes and the lettuce.
- Once your veg is finely chopped, you can start to mix it together and continue chopping it some more.
- Crumble over all the feta, roll the mint leaves and chop them into the salad.
- Mix together the balsamic vinegar and oil with a pinch of salt and pepper in a small bowl and set aside.
- Give your salad a final mix on the board and then serve it with your dressing.
What you’ll need for 4 servings:
|200g puy lentils
1 bunch of spring onions
200g ripe cherry tomatoes
|1 large bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 large bunch of fresh mint
extra virgin olive oil
- Rinse the lentils thoroughly and then cook them in plenty of salted water, until just tender. Drain and set aside to cool.
- Trim, then finely slice the spring onions, halve each tomato, then pick and finely chop the herbs.
- Mix the cool lentils with the spring onions, tomatoes, herbs and 4 tablespoons of oil. Add the lemon and season to taste before serving.