Having a busy schedule, there are many times I don’t have the time to cook the way I want to. Or, I just don’t feel like it. That is never more true than in the summer when we are hot and tired from a day outside or at the pool, or we have just come home from a day of running around. I also try very hard not to turn the oven on in the summer if I don’t absolutely have to. However, I still want to get something nutrient dense in my kids that I know they will eat and do it FAST. This simple salad is perfect for busy evenings, especially during the summer. It isn’t even a recipe as much as an idea!
Since we removed most grains from our diet, we eat a lot of “deconstructed” foods. This salad is just all the hamburger fixin’s we love, all mixed together and without the bun. The kids LOVE this meal, because they get to sprinkle exactly how much of everything they want on top. Yes, my kids eat salads, as long as I don’t serve them all the time. But for those of you who think your kids will never eat salad, it took a long time and A LOT of salads before they eagerly started to eat them. This one is so fun, though, they can’t resist.
There are a lot of nutrient dense foods in this salad.
Grass-fed beef is lower in fat than conventionally raised beef and has a very good Omega-3 to Omega-6 fatty acid ratio. It’s high in protein, so this is a very filling, but a still pretty light meal. Being pasture raised and grass-fed, both the beef and cheese are very high in fat soluble vitamins, especially conjugated linoleum acid, which has been shown to be anti-carcinogenic. Yes! I said CHEESE. While we aren’t chugging gallons of milk anymore, we do, on occasion, consume very high quality cheese in small quantities. Cheese does contain valuable nutrients, and in my opinion, there is no reason to avoid high quality dairy as long as you tolerate it. Shhh…don’t tell the Paleo Police. Natalie doesn’t tolerate it, so she leaves the cheese off her salad. We usually buy this raw cheese.
Let’s not forget the fermented pickles. Not all pickles are created equal. Fermented foods are foods that have been through a special process to preserve them where bacteria feed on the natural sugars and starches in a food. The resulting food contains various strains of probiotics and beneficial enzymes. These probiotics and enzymes are very helpful for digestion and gut health. Fermented pickles are often called “sour pickles.” I have made sour pickles on occasion, but when we don’t have any on hand, Bubbies is our favorite brand.
And obviously, there are the veggies. I stick pretty close to what we put on our hamburgers, but you can add whatever vegetables you love to your salad.
Our kids like to drizzle a little ketchup or barbecue sauce over their salads, but I totally enjoy it without any dressing. The warm meat slightly melts the cheese and the flavors meld together perfectly!
1 pound grass-fed ground beef
Salt and pepper
Salad greens of your choice
Sour pickles, cut into coins
Grape tomatoes, sliced
Red onion, thinly sliced
Grass-fed cheese, shredded
1) Brown the ground beef until no longer pink and drain off most of the fat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
2) Plate the salad greens, sprinkle with the warm ground beef, and add any other toppings of your choice.