Twisties: a word made up to entice a couple of 4yr olds to try radish. It is now used liberally that we have a spiral cutter.
Serves: 4 or more (4 as a very satisfying meal)
About: Although my kids do like salads and veggies, certain words scare them. Zucchini is one of them. There is something about the name that causes mass hysteria in this house. Twisties goes over better, in fact the zucchini here became “pasta twisties” The crunch of the roasted chickpeas and the sweetness of fruit salad and its dressing make this a surefire hit.Feel free to add more chickpeas or sunflower seeds than this. Nutrition wise everything is covered here, especially when served with a grain. Tons of amazing fruits and veggies make it into this salad, the lettuce in here is almost redundant, the protein is in the chickpeas and seeds. This goes well with a scoop of a mock tuna or mock chicken salad. we ate it with a white bean “chicken” I had made for rice paper wraps the day before. This is one of my feeding the kids tips. Make things that can be used leftover in a new dish, so you don’t get that whiny “but I don’t like dis mumma, I told you dat already.” you would be surprised what they “like” the next day. I make this everything but the kitchen sink bean salad that they now love and request, but the first 3 times I served it I saw a lot of sour faces and a lot of picking it apart.
1 head of lettuce, (curly or boston works well) shredded into bite sized pieces, the smaller the better with kids.
2 medium-sized zucchini, spiralized, with or without peel (I keep peel for the extra fibre )
2 small apples (today I used organic jersey macs), spiralized with peel **coat with juice from 1/2 lemon if not serving immediately
3-4inch of an english cucumber partially peeled and chopped
1/6 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup roasted chickpeas (recipe to follow – but you can buy these, the good bean makes a great version)
1/4 cup of currants
1 thick slice red onion, roughly chopped
1 stem from head of broccoli (you know, the part no child on the planet wants to eat?), spiralized (this sorta turns out like julienned strips)
1 yellow pepper. julienned
1 Italian tomato, chopped
1 part extra virgin olive oil
1/3 part balsamic vinegar
1/3 part Fig balsamic vinegar
Honey to taste
Salt and Pepper to taste. (I only use pepper as I roasted those chickpeas with salt)
Kid tip: There are no herbs added as I have learned that this causes Greenfleckaphobia
you can assemble this in individual bowls or in a large serving bowl and toss before serving.
Fill the bottom of the bowl with the lettuce, working in a circle add the spiralized and julienned vegetables. fill the crevices between spirals with the chopped tomato, onion, cucumber. in the center, add 3/4 of the sunflower seeds (this helps protect the chickpeas from the moisture of the other veggies if you make ahead), the chickpeas, then the currants. garnish with the rest of the sunflower seeds.
For the dressing simply add all ingredients into a mason jar, screw lid very tight and shake vigorously. I use the mason jar because I do not own a fancy dressing vessel, but of course if you do, use it!
Serve in bowls with tortilla chips (I toast up whole wheat tortillas in the oven at 350 for 10 min to make healthy ones) or gluten-free crackers.
Make ahead: Prepared like this, the salad can be made ahead and not dressed until you serve it. If you toss the salad everything will start wilting so once served, the leftovers will make it to lunch the next day but thats about it. The other option is to prepare all the components separately and assemble live, which is a lot of fun for little hands, but takes a LOT of room in the fridge!