Salad Demo

MyPlate calls for folks to get more fruits and vegetables than what most people are currently eating. Most people will eat a salad once a day and can find it easy to prepare one even if they do not possess great cooking skills.

We have been experimenting in our own kitchen with making a salad the centerpiece of the meal each night. In fact, we serve the salad on the dinner plate and the dinner on the salad plate!

Here is a great idea for salad that you can make in a food demo to get folks more excited about salad.

Project: Salad platter:

Make a salad fancier and more enticing by putting it on a big platter. We made this one sort of in the fashion of an Italian Anti-Pasta Platter.

What you need:

- cutting board

- hand grater

- kitchen knife

- wet towel to secure cutting board

- paper towels

- plates, forks, napkins for tasting

- large pretty food platter

- bag of ready-to-serve lettuce

- bunch of parsley

- grape tomatoes

- carrots

- cucumbers

- red pepper

- red cranberries

- toasted almonds

- mild hot pepper (like Anaheim or Poblano)

- balsamic vinegar

- pepper mill or course grind black pepper

- dried oregano

Lessons: teach MyPlate serving sizes for veggies, importance of many colors of veggies, importance of blending flavors of hot, sweet, bitter, sour along with a variety of textures, how to make a fancier salad, how to eat more veggies.

Prep in advance:

wash all items and dry and store in refrigerator or cooler with ice pack; peel carrots


Introduction: Ask the audience if they know how many vegetables they should be eating in a day? The answer is about 2.5 cups for most people as guided in MyPlate. Then ask if they know what a serving is? The answer is a cup is a cup except for lettuce. A cup of canned, cooked, raw, chopped, juice or raw veggies is a cup. But it takes 2 cups of raw leafy greens like lettuce to make a cup. The good news is that you can get almost the whole serving in a salad and today we are here to get you more excited about making a delicious salad!

Ask for a helper from the audience - this makes your job more easy and makes it more fun for the audience. Explain that you have already rinsed/prewashed the vegetables. Make sure you and the helper wash your hands before you start and explain the importance to the audience, too.

1. Arrange the salad greens on the platter.

2. Chop the parsley and arrange on the outside of the lettuce.

3. Chop the cucumbers, peppers and hot pepper and sprinkle over the lettuce.

4. Grate the carrot over the top.

5. Sprinkle the grape tomatoes, cranberries, almonds, oregano and pepper on top.

6. Cover and chill until ready to serve. Explain that this salad will last for 2-3 days in the refrigerator so it makes sense to make a big one. (Longer storage occurs when there is no dressing or vinegar.)

7. Serve with balsamic vinegar or a variety of flavored vinegars. Vinegar was shown in one study to help lower appetite and blood sugar -plus it is naturally free of fat and sodium, unlike dressings.

8. It is great if you can make a large dinner plate of salad so they can see the point of putting salad on the dinner plate and dinner on the salad plate. Vinegar goes on last.

9. Serve up your masterpiece for the class! Accept questions at the end.

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