Saturday, March 15, 2014

Leprechaun Shelter Salad... and Green Pea Dip

Photo by J. Balbi
Maybe they say they don't like greens. But when it comes to building a hiding place for a leprechaun... perhaps the little ones will change their mind.

While looking for ideas of something healthy to make with the kids at school I finally put the project together while browsing the aisles of my favorite grocery store. Lately I've been working a more with food presentation with older children, but thought that the idea of building a hut, a bed or even a boat made of vegetables would be enticing enough to make kindergartners and first graders enticed.  After building,  we were working with the notion that the best place to "hide" the secret leprechaun hideout would be their tummy, not the trash can.

I was lucky enough to have J. working with me at school that day, who was fortunate enough to have a mini figurine of a leprechaun in her bag, and a good eye for taking the photos which are in this post.
Photo by J. Balbi
A big bag of romaine hearts, some micro-greens to imitate little shamrocks, pea stick and lots of imagination made the whole experience a great activity. They all helped to blend the green dip, excited with the mouse from the hand blender. The green pea dip, inspired on this dip recipe by Darienne, was the foundation. For some children, it was a unique chance of eating salad, disguised as something they had built for the little man.

Happy St. Paddy's Day!
Photo by J. Balbi

Leprechaun Shelter Salad with Green Dip
You can always play with the greens around the project, but it's good to have something to make the structure possible, like a big leaf for the shelter, and some cucumber sticks to be the support. 

For the salad

Romaine Heart Leafs as needed
Cucumber, cut in sticks in same length
Green pitted olives
Green pea baked snacks (such as Inner Peas by Trader Joe's
Baby Spinach
Curley Parsley

For the dip

1 bag frozen organic green peas
4 oz whipped cream cheese
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons oregano
Kosher salt to taste

Cook peas as directed by package. Drain and blend with all other ingredients in a food processor or hand blender up to when it reaches a creamy texture. Serve on the side of salad or on the bottom of the late to serve as the foundation for the hut. 


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