Time to Make Salad!
This week’s theme: Salad Making
This week is all about getting into the kitchen and creating a yummy, no-cook item – salad! With warmer weather coming our way, it’s a perfect time to learn some new tips and ideas.
Activity: Make your own salad
Today’s activity is pretty simple – make a salad! Before we get into the specifics, when you make your salad make sure to think about HOW you balance tastes as you pick ingredients. (If you need a refresher on the tastes and how to balance them, check out our How to be a Sensory Sleuth activities).
Get the printable version here – #TWKatHome Activity – Making a Salad
Here’s a tip from one of our TasteWise Kids experts, Days of Taste Director Riva Kahn, about how to taste your salad dressing: Tear off a small piece of lettuce, rinse and pat dry, then dip into the dressing and taste. Adjust the dressing ingredients to suit your taste. For example, if it’s too sour, add more honey, or if it too sweet, add more vinegar. You can always add more, but you cannot take out ingredients once added!
Learn from an Expert: Chef Carlos Raba of Clavel on Composing a Salad
Chef Carlos Raba (Co-Owner and Chef of Clavel in Baltimore City) has been one of our amazing chefs with our Days of Taste program. Here is Chef Carlos cooking with our students at Patterson Park Charter School in East Baltimore last year.
Chef Carlos loves to season his food, but also reminds us to take it slow when using salt. He recommends to only use a little at a time, and taste it as you go to be sure you don’t overdo it! Want to try Chef Carlos’ recipe for Takis (Dorito!!) Salad? Download here or find it in the Printable Versions section of this page.
Activity #1 Instructions: Real Salad
You can make your salad a few different ways. Regardless of which way you choose, we suggest reading through all of these ideas as we included some cool resources even if you make salad another way.
Get in your kitchen and try out Chef Carlos’s recipe or another one of the many salad recipes we have collected from our chef and food industry partners!
Use the “mix and match” method that we show in our How to Build a Salad sheet (also in the Printable Versions above). Remember you don’t have to use lettuce as the base ingredient.
Do a google search and find a new salad recipe that you want to try – here’s a couple sites with good recipes that kids can make:
Make one salad but 2 salad dressings or vinaigrette. See which one you like better.
Need an idea for a vinaigrette? Watch legendary French chef Jacques Pepin’s quick and easy vinaigrette with just a few, simple ingredients – this is the same vinaigrette we often make with students so we know it’s kid-approved! (see our Want to Keep Learning section below for a fun experiment you can do to understand how ingredients come together to make a creamy vinaigrette).
Activity #2 Instructions: Envisioned Salad
You don’t even have to get into the kitchen to make your salad! Create your own perfect salad from your imagination. Even if you do make a salad to eat, try this activity anyways as it is a lot of fun to get to use ANY ingredients you want. Nothing is holding you back.
Grab a piece of paper and draw a big circle (maybe trace a plate to get an exact circle) in the middle.
- Think about what might be sweet, sour, salty and bitter? Do you want to add in a protein too (our How to Make a Salad sheet can help with ideas)?
- If you have any old magazines, delivery menus, or newspapers around, you could cut out pictures of food to add in.
- Go online for ideas – google salad recipes or use one of ours like Bryce Taylor’s yummy Shrimp & Strawberry salad or Gertrude’s Days of Taste salad
Draw your salad – add in ingredients that you think would make a balanced salad. You can draw in pencil, make a collage, use words to describe your items – anything works. Just be creative and think like a Chef!
If you have lots of ideas, make more than one salad – find a family member or friend to judge which one “tastes” best.
Connect With Us
We want to see your salad – real or envisioned! Post or send us your recipe or a picture of your salad on Facebook (@TasteWiseKids) or Instagram (@tastewise_kids) and use the hashtags #TWKatHome and #myTWKsalad, or email firstname.lastname@example.org – we’d love to share your salad!
Key Activity Points
- Salads can include a range of ingredients – doesn’t even have to have lettuce! Think about grains, beans, and your favorite foods, such as Carlos’ Doritos!
- To make a balanced salad, include foods that have different tastes (sweet, sour, bitter, salty).
- Test your food knowledge - can you ace this quiz of “Fruit or Vegetable” by American Test Kitchen Kids?
- Do this simple experiment to understand emulsification – and make salad dressing at the same time!
- Want to learn the secret of why an acidic ingredient like lemon is so important when cooking? Collin Morenstein, founder and head chef at Scratch Made, shared his cooking secrets with us.
- This resource packet from Team Nutrition Cooks at USDA has lots of helpful information like how to wash vegetables and how to slice in addition to some fun activities towards the end.
- Get some great tips for salad making from Bon Appetite magazine – they have created a “gallery” of 20 images with a tip related to salad making. Some of them are just pretty enough to look at. Pick one and try it next time you make a salad.