So you want a healthier lifestyle for yourself and your family. Maybe you purchase organic produce? Scrutinize food labels? Chosing foods wisely for your family is a noble endeaver. Today I want to discuss a way to add value to your meals that maybe you haven’t thought about, and it ties into this month’s Recipe Redux theme: getting back to the dinner table.
Food is meant to be shared and enjoyed. It may come as a surprise, but when we gather around the kitchen table in North Carolina, my family looks forward to the salads I serve . How do I know? If it’s not on the table, they ask for it! Even their friends come for my salad. Today I ‘m making one inspired by my recent trip to Maine. The first meal I had in Portland, shared with blogger friends, (Regan Jones RD, Deanna Seagrave- Daly RD and Kita Roberts ) was a farmer’s market salad along with flatbread pizza. Today’s recipe is my rendition of that spectacular summer salad : organic arugula, cucumber, wild blueberries, feta cheese, and a ginger vinaigrette. My version isn’t any healthier than what’s served at the Flatbread Company in Portland, Maine. But here’s an idea to add value to this salad, or any food for that matter: enjoy it together. The benefits of family/shared meals go far beyond the fact that they are more likely to be nutritious. Please consider the research that suggests:
• Kids who eat regularly with their families, are less likely to snack on unhealthy foods and more likely to eat fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
• Children having frequent dinners with their parents are less likely to smoke, drink or use other drugs.
• Family meals positively impacts the development of lifelong healthy eating behaviors for youth.
• Family meals are associated with better academic performance.
The beginning of the school year is a perfect time to start making family meals a routine. Don’t get discouraged if you can’t sit down every night. Benefits can be reaped by sitting down together on occasion. Please visit the links at the bottom of this post for more inspiration for getting back to the dinner table!
Copy Cat: Farmer’s Market Salad
Ingredients ( serves 4)
- 5 oz package organic arugula
- seedless cucumber, sliced
- feta cheese, 1/2 cup
- blueberries, 1 cup
for the vinaigrette
- 1 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 Tablespoon canola oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- fresh ground black pepper to taste
1. In a large bowl or on a plater, arrange fresh arugula. Top with slice cucumbers, feta cheese and blueberries.
2. Combine ingredients for vinaigrette. Whisk and drizzle over salad. Toss. Serve immediately.