1.26.2010

Bacon Salad-because you asked for it


And if you didn't too damn bad. I have converted my kids to spinach eaters all with the easy addition of BACON! Ok it sounds like a bribe but it's actually a pretty huge salad and 4 slices of bacon BUT if I called it spinach salad or mega green bowl of stuff that's good for you it would be all over. So Bacon Salad it is and if you need to call it spinach salad for your sanity go ahead, I don't mind.

This is a lunch or dinner salad easily adapted to the ingredients you have on hand. I like to put feta in it but we were out of feta so I stuck in some green olives to give it that salty kick and they really worked. I also added raisins because I came across them stuck in the WRONG cupboard and decided we better get busy eating them. Does it seem to anyone that a LOT of my cooking ideas come from the realm "OH MY GAH I need to use the YESTERDAY?" Am I afraid someone might get sick, occasionally but I don't share those fears here. If it's too far gone the chickens get it unless it's meat then the Kamster gets it.

We don't waste anything around this house, unless you count space. But I'm going to save that issue for another post this week. I'll give you a hint though: Lets just say the clutter, crapstacking, cubby-holing, pack ratting, hoarding, sliding piles of junk are no more. OK, on their way out not completely banished yet, yeah magazines from the '90s I am talking directly to you. Fear me!

Bacon Salad
4 slices of thick cut bacon
1/2 cup pecans
1 apple chopped to roughly 1 inch squares-yes wash it and don't chop the core!
1/2 cup green olives
1/2 cup raisins
1 10 ounce bag of washed spinach-use fresh local organic when you can I can't right now-wash it spin it dry
3 Tablespoons drippings
3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
dash o' pepper

heat a heavy duty frying pan over medium high heat
snip the bacon with cooking shears directly into the hot pan, stir then let cook until crispy stirring as needed
in the meantime in another small frying pan/skillet/whatever is clean I discovered today a dutch oven works fine-toast the pecans over medium high heat, 5-7 minutes, stir occasionally
then work on the rest of the salad, make sure the spinach is dry then pour it in a big bowl
add the apples, olives and raisins-don't mix it up yet
keep an eye on your pecans remove them from the heat when they are toasty, set aside
measure the vinegar out to be ready to use it
sugar, salt and pepper can go in a bowl
when the bacon is crispy remove it to drain
pour off the drippings then measure out the drippings back to the pan, you can leave all the little crispy bits in the pan
put the pan back over the heat and add the vinegar scrape to deglaze the pan
let it get nice and hot then add the sugar mix
stir well for one minute
toss on the pecans and bacon on the spinach
pour the hot dressing over everything (in the bowl!)and stir until slightly wilted
serve bacon salad to unsuspecting 4 and 6 year olds who hunt and peck for bacon while chowing down on spinach
mix it up by changing the fruits used, or try blue cheese instead of salty olives, or try feta YUM!

A word on sneaking vegetables to kids. DON'T DO IT! Yes I know I totally made a salad labeled bacon salad to get them to eat spinach BUT they eat all vegetables, with glee roasted cauliflower example :

Want your kids to eat vegetables too?
  • Feed them vegetables in their raw perfect form
  • let them help you pick them out
  • 5 is old enough to make crudites aka peeled chopped carrots arranged on a tray for dinner
  • let them grow a garden
  • make 2 for dinner let them choose one they like
  • eat them yourself
  • grow them yourself
  • buy into a CSA-we get one maily because are kids go nuts for the vegetables, I am a master gardener and grow a lot myself but going to a farm once a week and hauling out a basket of vegetables is a great way to introduce new ones
  • keep trying
  • 3 bites never killed anyone, in our house you have to eat 3 bites of everything on your plate, and it's usually meat our kids choke down
  • provide them for snack time minus the ranch which is just a fatty sludge of MSG goo
Those are a few ways we turned our kids into veg heads. We love it, they love it and we are never ever sick.


Oh I was part of an experiment gone horribly terribly wrong over at Brilliant Sulk. You should head on over and read her family reunion post. But be forewarned I might, MIGHT drop the f-bomb. Was that a collective gasp sucking all the oxygen out of the atmosphere I heard?


Peace and Love,

Laura


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9 comments:

  1. It's true that everything is better with bacon! We love spinach salads that way too. Looks great!

    I agree that if you start your kids eating everything early, they will learn to appreciate all foods. My daughter was enjoying sushi at 2 years old! We always had a "one bite rule" at our house. How can you know you don't like something if you don't even try it!

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  2. I'm hoping our son, who is just 4 1/2 mo. now, grows older he will LOVE veggies. And all foods for that matter! You are right - introduce a variety, eat them yourself, and let them help with the cooking....all of that will keep them generally more interested.

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  3. Ooohh. Spinach and bacon is the best combo on the planet...

    Dropping the F bomb once in awhile is a good thing. Very cleansing for the soul...

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  4. Everything's better with bacon ... I just said so on my own blog today! Excellent tips on kids and veggies too. Great post, Laura!

    The f-bomb ... I can't get through 5 minutes without it! ;)

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  5. *gasp* you cuss?!!!? bwahahaha

    Mmm this salad looks delicious! Plus I don't think it's sneaky to call it bacon salad since that's the topping. Restaurants call theirs "Chicken caesar" b/c there's chicken on top!

    I love your veggie rules - I grew up the same way. We also weren't allowed to criticize food by calling it yucky or gross or we got in trouble. I think being raised that way it never even occurs to you to be a "picky" eater b/c you don't know things exist!

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  6. I never hid veggies either, just told my kids it was dinner and eat it. The hardest part was getting my husband to realize that if he pushes it aside the kids will too.

    I made a big bowl of grains, beans, and other stuff for dinner last night. My son finished dinner and said it was delicious. He's 17, but so many of his friends are so picky and turn their noses up.

    Don't coddle your kids, help them experience new things. They'll be much better off in the long run. I still get good reports on my son when he visits. My daughter is that way also.

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  7. Nothin' wrong with a little bacon on a salad! :)

    I love that your kiddos are such vegetable eaters - that is SO important!

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  8. I received the cream cheese coupons today. Thanks so much for them and for all of your great recipes.

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  9. Bacon salad! The most delicious oxymoron.

    Heather and I will be boarding a plane to AK now..

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