{video} Get kids to eat salad with this Chopped Greek Salad. Really!

April 15, 2014

I’m often asked for advice on how to introduce salad to little kids and my answer is always the same: start by skipping the lettuce! We think of leafy greens as essential salad ingredients but, the truth is, some of the best salads are made without them. Shaved and chopped vegetables paired with creamy crumbled cheese, nuts, seeds, and even fruit make delicious salads and keep little ones from having to manage the unfamiliar, strange and, for very little ones, tough texture of leafy greens.

Shaved vegetables tend to be wispy like lettuce, so I like to start little ones on chopped salads. If you think about it, chopped salads are nothing more than familiar raw veggies like cucumber, pepper, and carrots cut into a new form which may pique your little one’s interest. (Or, of course, it may cause stress and frustration. If this happens, keep calm. It takes a while for kids to get used to salad!)

This Chopped Greek Salad is my favorite lettuce-free salad. More importantly, it’s my kids’ favorite salad, period. Even the picky one eats this. For real: the proof is in the video!

There’s no exact recipe for this salad. Like all Greek things, it’s way too laid back for such formalities.

Chopped Greek Salad | One Hungry Mama

The foundation of any good Chopped Greek Salad is cucumber and tomato; I like using Persian cukes and cherry tomatoes (watch to learn why!). You can also add scallion, red onion, red pepper, celery, or whatever veggies you have on hand. I always throw in some drained and rinsed chickpeas for extra protein and, of course, creamy feta cheese.

There’s not reason to make a separate dressing for this. Instead, start by squeezing half a lemon directly into your salad bowl. Follow that with several big glugs of olive oil and a drizzle of red wine vinegar. Season generously with salt and toss. Taste and adjust as necessary.

If your salad is too sour, add more olive oil. If it’s not tart enough, add more lemon or vinegar, whichever you prefer. If it’s just falling flat and isn’t already too salty, add a bit more salt to bring out the flavors. Once you get it just right, feel free to drain a little of the dressing if too much has collected at the bottom of the bowl as you’ve made adjustments.

And that’s it!

This is great with simply grilled fish, chicken, lamb chops, or burgers. You can even throw grilled chicken into the salad to make this a one-bowl meal. Though the salad may lose a little crisp, the veggies are hearty enough to last until the next day, even dressed, so make extra for lunch. Or, if you want to start with lunch, throw this together in the morning and make the dressing on the side. The whole prep will take all of 7 minutes. So worth it.

4 Responses

  1. Edamommy says:

    This looks delish! A couple of years ago I finally paid attention and figured out that my preschooler loved salad — as long as it was deconstructed and not tossed together. For some reason, the mixed veggies in dressing are still a complete turn-off for him. But if I place the same ingredients in separate piles on the plate with dressing on the side, my guy eats it up! Kid food preferences are funny sometimes but it’s such a great feeling when you crack the code with a simple fix!

  2. One Hungry Mama says:

    totally! sometimes it’s just about getting clever (and not even necessarily cutesy) with presentation!

  3. Rachel says:

    Love these types of simple salads. Dead easy to make and so healthy.

    Nice video, btw!!

  4. One Hungry Mama says:

    the best, right? thanks for watching! 🙂

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