Salad Art --adding health and beauty to your meals

Being surrounded by several great cooks who also happen to be my close friends, is a real gift. I love salads and we try to have one at each dinner meal. By making this a Clarkson tradition over the years, eventually all of my children ended up loving salads and will eat vegetables. I did not give my children choices--either they ate what we ate or they did not get much to eat for dinner. It wasn't a pressuring sort of thing--it just was what it was.

When my children were younger, they did not have as sophisticated of a taste--onions and peppers were not their favorite, but I just cut them into smaller pieces (as well as carrots!) and served them what we ate. If they left some of the bigger veggies on their plate (peppers, etc.) I did not bother with it as I learned that children's palots mature with age and the savory becomes something they like. Even Greek salad was a favorite of my boys and they both eat salads now.

It is an easy way to get your 5 fruit and vegetables in as well as just to provide health with daily greens. I found over the years, from the time my children were quite small, that if I made things interesting or beautiful or fun, they were much more likely to develop an appetite for those things.

My friend, Shelley, is masterful at this. This beautiful centerpiece is just a simple salad made pretty. And of course our challenge is to have the kids have at least one veggie of each kind when they make a scoop. We all marveled and ooohhed and ahahahed at this before we dived in. You can use other veggies and fruit (like cranberries or blueberries) to add some extra tangy flavor--for me the more the merrier.

So, tonight, look at your recipes in a differently and see if the presentation can make the very same recipe a little bit more artistic. What are some of your family's favorite recipes? We might pursue some great fall recipes, soon!