Monday, March 11, 2013

MOMables Monday - A Love-ly Chicken Salad

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Tuesday, 2/5/13 - After being inspired by MOMables last time to make chicken salad for Z, I was crushed that she didn't like my recipe. So I tried again, this time using only canned chicken, finely grated carrot, and mayonnaise. Nothing sweet! Nothing crunchy! So should be perfect!

I even "stacked the deck" so to speak, by packing it in our new EasyLunchboxes Brights with the *pink* lid! I've found that if she likes the dish or is charmed by the cute utensil, that she is more inclined to try something new, and is subconsciously predisposed to like it! So I save the pink and new purple dishes from the IKEA kiddie rainbow sets for when I really want her to eat something! Muahahaha! Manipulating kids to choose to eat healthy foods is fun!
Cheddar and almond "cheddar" hearts, broccoli w/carrot hearts, Ranch, Kashi crackers, strawberries, chicken salad
After a mostly successful attempt to trick her into trying some dairy-free almond-based cheese by hiding it in a grilled cheese sandwich, I decided to be a little more obvious about it, and mixed some hearts using a mini heart cutter in with her regular cheddar hearts.
It was a no-go. She took a nibble out of one of them, and successfully weeded the others out of the pile (I'd mixed them in. Muahaha!) Oh well. Since I don't like the "cheese" either, I'll stop bothering with this one. Plus we can't send it to a nut-free school or classroom, which will be a problem next year, as I'll be sending her to the Kindergarten program at her current private preschool, which is nut-free.

I put the cheese hearts and broccoli into round silicone cups because they keep everything separate, but also look pretty and add colors. The regular-sized silicone baking cups don't fit flush to the lid of the EasyLunchbox, so small or thin items, like the cheese and carrot shapes, can slip out at the top and tumble around. A folded up cloth napkin works nicely to fill that space and keep everything in place. Plus they're an eco-friendly way to keep their hands clean at lunch!
Ranch in a Mini Dipper... for dipping.

I put the Kashi crackers in a square silicone cup because they fit better than in the round ones. And I can fit four silicone baking cups into the large section of an Easylunchbox in pretty much any combination of shapes. Wheee! This was from before we went gluten-free, but we both liked these crackers pretty well.

I cut the strawberries into heart shapes since Valentines Day was still looming, and it's a quick and easy way to cut the tops off the strawberries, which I'm doing anyways! Just cut the stem off with a V-shaped cut rather than flat across the top. Then slice in half down the sides to make two flat hearts. You can fit more into a lunchbox compartment this way too, versus whole.
I stuck in a heart pick just for fun.

And finally, to the main event! I put the chicken salad into a silicone heart cup, again for the heart theme. And I included a cupcake topper spoon/spreader to help scoop it onto the crackers.

Still no love for my chicken salad. I can't remember what her complaint was this time, but I think she's just upset that it looks so much like her favored tuna salad (tuna and mayo,) that she's disappointed in the flavor being so different. Maybe I'll try chopped olives or pickles next time. She's a sucker for olives and pickles!

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