I don’t have to tell you that I’m a big proponent of getting kids involved in the kitchen.
Kneading dough, scrambling eggs, flipping pancakes- some of my best childhood memories are of learning basic kitchen skills from my parents.
It’s with a love for nostalgia and good food that I find myself encouraging my little person along with his culinary pursuits almost daily in our kitchen.
His dietary repertoire has been improving in leaps and bounds because of his involvement in simple tasks like whisking, chopping, and stirring.
As the days grow warmer over the upcoming months, the importance of keeping kids involved with their food becomes more exciting- with the arrival of fresh new local produce at markets and in our gardens- however the energy for time consuming meal preparation after a day of heat and outside fun is often- let’s face it- lacking.
Most of us wouldn’t dream of roasting chicken or baking bread on days when maneuvering to keep the house cool becomes of utmost importance.
Sure, there’s the BBQ, but most of the under 12 crew will have to leave cooking over an open flame and dealing with propane to the big people.
Today’s recipe for Shaker Salad Dressing is quick and easy for kids of all ages. Little ones can help pour the ingredients with a little help, and then shake to their hearts content. Bigger helpers can complete the recipe from start to finish with minimal supervision.
Getting the family involved with the selection of veggies is a great opportunity to talk about eating locally grown produce.
Available this month are spinach, mushrooms, herbs such as sage, rosemary and chives, as well as greenhouse grown cucumbers, tomatoes and peppers.
Salad greens, lettuce, radishes, peas, and cauliflower will make their appearance next month, and throughout the Summer the variety of menu-worthy local produce will be growing to a colourful bounty.
Salad doesn’t need to come from a recipe.
Let your kids pick out whatever colourful produce strikes their fancy, and help them wash, chop, toss and dress their crunchy, nutritious creations.
Shaker Salad Dressing (adapted from Canadian Living)
Servings: About ½ cup (125 mL)
1/4 cup (50 mL) flax seed oil
3 tbsp (50 mL) orange juice
2 tbsp (25 mL) rice wine vinegar
2 tsp (10 mL) Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp (1 mL) each salt and pepper
1/4 tsp (1 mL) granulated sugar (optional)
In a jar with tight-fitting lid, shake together oil, orange juice, vinegar, mustard, salt, pepper, and sugar (if using). Make-ahead: Refrigerate for up to 5 days.
Ah, Summer foods. The veggies. The freshness. The recipes. Get our family-friendly favourites HERE