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Southwestern Salad

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As Kenya and Chloe have gotten older, they've started gravitating more towards salad. Getting them to eat raw veggies has never really been an issue, but leafy salad greens took a bit of time for them to get used to. I eventually realized that letting them help me wash, toss, or dress the salad went a long way towards them wanting to eat it. I also found that a good dressing, like this mouthwatering citrus cilantro one, works wonders.

Recently, I threw a baby shower for a dear friend and served this Southwestern Salad to go along with the Mexican inspired menu. While I was tossing it, my pregnant friend watched in shock as Chloe kept trying to snag handfuls out of the bowl and stuff them in her mouth. I've come to realize that if you just start to serve your kids salad day after day, eventually they will come to love it. Especially when it features all kinds of crispy, sweet vegetables like this one.

Ah, the salad days of youth.

Southwestern Salad  (serves 4)

  • Prep Time: 15 mins,
  • Rating:
    Rate this recipe
As Kenya and Chloe have gotten older, they've started gravitating more towards salad. Getting them to eat raw veggies has never really been an issue, but leafy salad greens took a bit of time for them to get used to. I eventually realized that letting...

Ingredients

  • 1 10-ounce bag mixed salad greens
  • 1 small jicama, peeled
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • 1/2 cup crumbled cotija cheese
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Preparation

  1. 1. Thinly slice the jicama and red bell pepper into matchstick-sized pieces.
  2. 2. In a large bowl, combine the salad greens, jicama, red bell pepper, corn, and cotija and toss to combine.
  3. 3. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients.
  4. 4. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine.
Southwestern Salad

Nutrition Information

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  5. Karen

    August 5, 2012 at 9:59 pm

    I read things like this all the time about presenting a healthy variety of choices to toddlers and continuing to offer them when met with resistance. I try that. I really do. But when every bite is a battle with my nearly four year old, I just don’t know if we will ever get there. I would be happy if he would eat anything with gusto. Healthy, unhealthy, anything! Advice for a frustrated mom?

  6. Rebecca Keeton

    August 3, 2012 at 8:49 pm

    I have to say I’m a strong believer that kids will eat just about anything if you present it in a positive manner, assuming that they WILL enjoy it. My daughter Willow has been eating salads since she was about 16 months, and we’ve never looked back. Her personal favorite is a mixed green salad w/tomato, cucumber, carrot, red cabbage & avocado. Sometimes I even roast some potatoes & squash to toss in her salad, the contrast of textures and warmth of the veggies is out of this world yummy! I also make a homemade lemon greek vinaigrette which our whole family loves. It’s so versatile you can eat it with chicken, turkey, beef, fish, roasted veggies… whatever you want.

  7. Heidi

    July 23, 2012 at 9:53 pm

    I couldn’t agree with you sentiment about kids and salad more. I usually don’t comment on posts, but I had to chime in: I also simply kept serving salad to my now 3 year old and there is hardly a meal she doesn’t feel like eating them. After she grew all her teeth in her 2nd year, I didn’t hold back. Even if all I put in front of her was literally 2 TBS worth of salad, I still did it. Now, in fact, more often than not, she’ll eat the salad first, then the main meal after if I serve them together. Just tonight she ate a cucumber/tomato/feta salad with balsamic dressing (simple yet lovely!) She even drinks the dressing when all is gone! By the way, Catherine…I LOVE your site. I’ve been following you for a long time now. I even have my mother in law following you now… Thank you for all the wonderful ideas.

  8. Stephanie

    July 23, 2012 at 6:15 pm

    I love your recipes and would like to try this one. Any ideas for choosing/working with the jicama? I bought one a few months ago and was really disappointed. It tasted and had a texture similar to that of a raw potato. Is that how it is supposed to be or do you think I just had a bad one?

    • catherine

      July 23, 2012 at 6:25 pm

      Hmm.. it’s hard to tell without tasting it myself. It should be really crunchy with a watery, slightly sweet taste. This dressing is great with it because I always feel like it needs a little oomph!

      • Stephanie

        July 23, 2012 at 6:51 pm

        Thanks! I’ll give it another try!

  9. Jenny - Baby Steps in Heels

    July 23, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    That is good to know! I’ve been trying to get our almost 2 yro to eat leafy greens, but the texture seems hard for her. She’ll always try, but not take more than a bite. I’ll keep offering, it seems like that is the key!

    • catherine

      July 23, 2012 at 6:23 pm

      2 is still really young for salad, but I’ve seen it happen ;) My kids were around 3 when they got into it. I want to hear how it goes!

  10. michelle

    July 23, 2012 at 11:50 am

    this looks great! my 5 yo loves salad. at home she likes it as long as there is feta cheese and her favorite restaurant to go to has a salad bar where she can pile up the veggies and get to have ranch dressing. It helps for them to see you eat salad all the time – it’s my go to lunch and we eat it at dinner every night.

    • catherine

      July 23, 2012 at 12:14 pm

      Salad bars are a great idea because it gives kids choice in what goes in their salad. It’s also a great way to get them excited about trying new veggies!

  11. Lisa | With Style and Grace

    July 23, 2012 at 11:44 am

    I love salads with jicama, and this dressing, so refreshing!

    • catherine

      July 23, 2012 at 12:13 pm

      Thanks lovely Lisa! I know you’ll be getting that baby eating salad asap ;)