I'll admit this right now: These both turned out 1,000,000 times better than I expected. I'm so happy with the results I have to post these recipes.
As a result of a very long story which I absolutely do not have time to go into, I bought a lot of fruits and vegetables that I do not usually buy. This has led to a lot of experimenting with food during the last week. Here are two combinations that I want to remember:
#1. Southern Summer Salad
I'm calling it "Southern" because we made a spicy dressing. Kaia's just had Ranch. We can call her's a "Summer Salad."
1. Chop the following and toss them in a bowl:
- 1/2 head Kale
- 1/2 head Romaine Lettuce
- 2 carrots
- 2 apples
- 2 oranges
- 2 banana peppers
- 2 cups white sharp cheddar, cubed
- 2-3 grilled chicken breasts (already salted and peppered to taste)
2. Dress with equal portions of Ranch and Carolina's Treet Original Cooking Barbeque Sauce (or your favorite vinegar-based hot sauce). Of course, if your young children are opposed to spicy foods, just pour Ranch on their plates.
FYI: Kale is a super-vegetable! It fights cancer, lowers your cholesterol, and is a great source of omega-3s, vitamins C, A, and K, and dozens of antioxidants!
#2. A New Smoothie
I haven't come up with a name I like yet. Banana-Acorn Squash Smoothie just doesn't sound right. Any ideas?
1. Cook your Acorn Squash. A fast, easy way to do this is to cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds, and put both halves face down on a frying pan. Add 2-3 cups water, put the lid on the pan, and check it every 5-10 minutes. You want the water to boil constantly, but not completely evaporate. Add more water if needed. When the yellow part is soft, it's cooked.
2. Scoop the yellow part of the squash out of one of your halves and put it in your blender. Add 3-4 medium bananas, 1/2 cup ice-cubes, 1 teaspoon packed brown sugar, and about 1/4-1/2 cup water (depending on how thick you want your smoothie). Blend until it's a liquid! Add more water or sugar if desired, and blend one last time.
3. You can butter, salt, and pepper the other half of your acorn squash or save it for another new mixture! It seems to behave a lot like pumpkin, so I'm considering acorn squash muffins for tomorrow...we'll have to see. Lately, the weather has been discouraging me from baking!
Notes for Parents: My kids are not picky eaters, but Kaia (four years old) absolutely loved both of these. I told her we were making an Experimental Salad and she could pick any fruits or vegetables out of the fridge to go into the salad. She did so, very happily, and chose most of the ingredients for the salad. She and Harry both loved the smoothie. They both wanted seconds and thirds before they decided they were done. It's been a very positive week in our kitchen!