This Arugula, Pear, and Roasted Chickpea Salad is as equally suited for the weeknight dinner table as it is the holiday buffet.
Over the past few years, I’ve been making a conscious effort to serve a bowl of greens with every dinner. I always call it a salad, but the reality is, on some super busy nights it’s just plain arugula!
Other nights it’s a meal-worthy salad, packed with a variety of different veggies and fruit, all chopped up into bite size little pieces. But on most nights, it’s somewhere between plain lettuce and fancy.
Why all the fuss about adding a salad?
Well, I have found it’s 1) a simple way to add more veggies to the dinner, and 2) a great way to provide my kids with regular, repeated exposure to this health-lovers food.
Has it worked?
Yes, having a salad on the evening table means we get more than one serving of veggies with dinner and can always make half our plate veggies! Additionally, my kids have gradually started to eat more and more of the salad.
My tips on getting your family to eat more salad
- Serve it often. Aim to include it at most dinners.
- Get your kids involved in making the salad. (If they chop it, they are more likely to eat it!)
- Vary the greens, from buttery Bibb to classic romaine to nutrient-packed baby spinach to spicy arugula, keep it interesting!
- Top it with at least some veggies and fruits that you know your family is likely to eat. (But don’t be afraid to include some less liked ones, they can always leave them on the side.)
- Leave dressing and cheese on the side.
- Try adding a fun, crunchy topping, such as croutons or roasted chickpeas.
And remember, that even if they just pick out and eat the cucumber, it’s ok. Baby steps. Repeated exposure. Positive role modeling. They will get there!
Need a fun salad idea? How about this Arugula, Pear, and Roasted Chickpea Salad with a Maple Cider vinaigrette? I love to roast my own chickpeas, but the reality is I don’t always have time, so I also keep store-bought roasted chickpeas on hand.
And remember, you can serve it how you like it…
it’s pictured here with goat cheese, but you could use feta instead. Or skip the cheese completely (which is what the rest of my family prefers!) You could also use apples or cranberries instead of pears, and spinach or mixed greens instead of arugula. And, yes, you could even add good-old white-bread croutons if it will entice your kids more than the roasted chickpeas.
- 5 ounces arugula (1 package or about 10 handfuls)
- 2 ripe pears, sliced into wedges
- ½ cup roasted salt & pepper chickpeas
- 4 ounces goat cheese
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup (or honey)
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- Place arugula in a large salad bowl and top with the sliced pears and roasted chickpeas. Add the goat cheese or leave it on the side.
- Make the dressing by combining olive oil, vinegar, maple syrup, mustard, sea salt, and pepper in a mason jar with a lid. Secure lid and shake until well mixed.
- Serve with the dressing on the salad or on the side based your family's preference.