On the spur of the moment, I came up with a recipe for Yu-Gi-Oh! Salad.
(Yu-Gi-Oh! is a Japanese manga and cartoon, with lots of cards to buy and trade. These three grandchildren, especially my grandson, are enamored with Yu-Gi-Oh!)
As I explain the recipe below, you might be tempted to think I was just trying to trick my grandchildren into eating green salad.
(Who, me???) Whatever.
All motivations aside, everyone at the table, young and old, liked the salad. Here's the recipe.
Ingredients: Fairly flexible. Include lots of good salad things, like lettuce, spinach, some fruits, a little chicken, a little cheese. See below for lists and proportions. DO go for lots of color. Yu-Gi-Oh! cards are bright and colorful, and so is this salad.
1/4 greens / vegies
1/2 fruit / sweet healthy things
Prepare the ingredients
All ingredients must be chopped, diced, or torn into small pieces. This is critical for Yu-Gi-Oh! Salad because 8 and 10-year-olds can be quite particular about salad ingredients, and if the pieces are too big they will pick them out.
Assemble the salads:
Use a separate plate for each serving. Layer the different ingredients. Vary the layers between a vegie base like salad greens (remember to tear them into pieces no larger than 1/2" diameter), then some fruit, then some protein, then some more fruit, back to the vegies, etc.
...is everything. We used ranch dressing, and I told the kids that a critical part of the ingredients was the special spiral with the salad dressing. My grandson assured me that yes, there is a spiral card in Yu-Gi-Oh! (Who knew?) I spiraled the salad dressing around the top of the salad before they started eating. Also let the kids add a good shake of parmesan cheese.
Ask the Yu-Gi-Oh! enthusiasts at your table to help you identify what the different ingredients represent. Here is the list our kids came up with:
lettuce = plant monsters
raisins = bug monsters
tomatoes = Imitato
cheese = pyromonster
chicken bits = beastly monsters
spinach = food for Crazy Bunny
blueberries = Blue-Eyed White Dragon with his blue tongue
You get the idea.
Now for the testimonials:
(Wow - Josh is almost finished with his Yu-Gi-Oh! salad.)
(Sarah has an almond stuck in one of the holes in between her missing teeth, and Kat is showing her blue tongue--like the dragon mentioned above--from the frozen blueberries.)
Letia, adult guest: This is delicious. I would definitely make it again and again.
Julia, the children's mom: It's a great salad, and if calling it a "Yu-Gi-Oh! Salad" makes the kids eat it, it's even better.
Mark, my husband: As a parent who has seen children not eat their vegetables, it was a stroke of genius to call this salad...whatever you called it. To watch the little critters graze on their salads was a sight to behold.
More salad recipes coming soon:
Princess Salad, Jungle Salad, Pokemon Salad...
Oh, wait, these are all the same recipe! You can call it whatever you want! Just say it with conviction ("Guess what kids, I found the most amazing recipe online today...") and have them help you identify the elements of the salad that align with the elements of their favorite craze...as they munch away...