Sardine Salad~My Daughter’s Favorite!

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This is my four year old daughter’s favorite salad! She asked for this last night as I was making dinner and slicing red bell pepper strips, and I thought, if she’s asking for sardines and a salad with raw veggies–who am I to deny her?! So I whipped it up and she oohed and awed the entire time she was eating it. This made me very happy, as my foods lately have been meeting up with picky children who don’t like what I’ve made–especially when I’ve spent lots of time and energy on making it!

This salad is so easy to make, and so open to variation, it’s like a breath of fresh air after all those kitchen semi-failures (semi- because I end up eating it all!). Add any veggies you have on hand, chopped small, and even your favorite dressing (I will include my daughter’s favorite vinaigrette). This is great as a lunch or light dinner, to take on a picnic–just make the salad and bring along a can of sardines to keep it super fresh, or even as a healthy snack to get a boost of veggies and healthy protein. Heck, you can even have it for breakfast if you’re like me and like something a little more savory in the morning (though I do prefer warm things first-thing).

Sardine Salad

1 can of wild-caught sardines in olive oil (my favorite is Matiz Gallego from Spain), broken up into pieces with a fork (I just break it up in the bowl with veggies)

1/2 to 1 red bell pepper, chopped small

1 or 2 celery sticks, chopped

A handful of chopped carrots

1 small cucumber, chopped

Several leaves of crunchy romaine lettuce, chopped up small
and/or
A handful of baby mixed greens

A small handful each of cilantro and Italian parsley, chopped small (if you have it)

Any other veggies you’d like, chopped small!

Put everything in a large bowl and toss with your favorite dressing or the vinaigrette that follows. (Don’t forget to use the olive oil from the sardines as well–just pour it over!)

Optional toppings to sprinkle on: some crispy pepitas=pumpkin seeds, some goat cheese or feta or chunked cheese of choice, half an avocado diced, a small handful of dried cranberries (try to find fruit juice sweetened instead of sugar) or raisins, sesame seeds, torn up nori (seaweed) pieces, chopped olives, raw sauerkraut or lacto-fermented veggies, a sprinkling of nutritional yeast, etc.

Sophie’s Vinaigrette

1 part raw apple cider vinegar

2 parts olive oil

A bit of sweetener, such as 1 teaspoon raw honey or 10 drops of liquid stevia (this is what I use), to taste.

Herb/spice combination–this can be virtually any spices you like or as simple as salt and pepper. I just sort of shake in a bunch of spices, including coriander, turmeric (gives it a yellow color), dulse (seaweed) flakes, thyme, basil, oregano, dill, etc.

Also, feel free to squeeze the juice from half a lemon over the whole thing for added benefit.

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