Friday, February 13, 2009

kid-friendly cucumber salad

M really likes this easy cucumber salad. We enjoy it too. M can pour the ingredients of the dressing into the bowl at age 3. It can sit for a few hours, or served the next day. M likes it in little tupperware containers in her lunch at daycare. 

CUCUMBER SALAD: time less than 10 minutes prep

1 (or more cucumber) 
3 Tbspns rice wine vinegar
1 Tbspn vegetable oil (optional)
a few drops sesame oil
2 tspns table sugar      (can adjust all ingredients to taste...)

Peel and slice one cucumber in half. May leave the seeds in or scoop them out with a teaspoon. (Some find the seeds are hard to digest, some kids may not like the seeds.) Slice the cucumber thinly. May also add chopped red pepper for color, or shallots (mild onion) or even some napa cabbage (sticking with the Asian influence.) We all enjoy plain cucumber for now.

 Kid-tip: consider buying a set of measuring spoons and cups with differently colored handles. Its fun to say "find the red measuring spoon"  instead of "teaspoon." It gives them a sense of mastery earlier and keeps them interested in the task. Also reinforces colors and amounts as you introduce the notions of half etc. 

Put all other ingredients into bowl big enough for the salad. Have the child hold the spoon over the bowl (in case of spills.) You pour the liquid into the spoon and have them tip it into the bowl. Kids can often scoop sugar out by themselves. It doesn't have to be exact here. Have child whisk the dressing then add the vegetables. Chill and serve. 

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