Loving Salad: The Cobb Salad Compromise

Cobb Compromise Picture

Support the Cobb Compromise

I love salad. Wait, let me restate that.

I am a guy…an all-American, beer-drinking, meat-loving, meat-grilling guy…who loves salad. I love salad because I make great salads. Salads with croutons (not baked), dressing (not “free”), textures, flavor balance, juiciness, proper tossing, great colors and presentation, maybe even with a beer to top it off (not literally).

I know, I know, at some point the fat and calories of all that junk atop your lettuce make it a lot less healthy, but here’s the thing. Vegetables are too important to serve without reinforcements. They are at the heart of the fight for healthy eating habits, and the one thing we can consistently trust through decades of public health confusion. They are still the one thing we need to get our kids eating regularly, habitually, for life. And we won’t get there if we live in rabbit food mode where everything is plain and dry and eating is a penance. Food should be beautiful, delicious, fun, and also healthy (enough).

Vegetable-eating habits are too important to be left to chance. I believe we need to “sell” these habits and convince picky kids and skeptics everywhere (dads too) that salad night rocks.

Anyone agree? Disagree? Is there hope for the common family war between “health food” and “good food”?

See my recipe for Cobb Salad.

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Posted in Dinner, Fast, Kid Friendly, Raw Food
12 comments on “Loving Salad: The Cobb Salad Compromise
  1. Seth says:

    Best line I’ve read in a while: “Vegetables are too important to serve without reinforcements.”

    Plus, I’ve always felt that bacon should be classified as veg.

  2. Mark says:

    Salads are good! Sometimes they’re the first vegetables you can get the kids to eat. I remember being so happy when we went out to a buffet and our high school age guys made their own salads–by choice, without prompting. Years later, they still roll their eyes at most veggies, but they’ll eat salads!

    • Avatar photo Ryan says:

      Yes, the great power of choice. We lay out different salad leaves for them to tell us which they prefer. Let them slice their own eggs with the wire cutter, choose their “dipping sauce” dressing. Any time we can get what we want without pushing them, it’s a big win-win.

  3. Krista says:

    I agree! I prefer my veggies and fruits crunchy and fresh. I am less excited about squishy, cooked produce. So, bring on the salad! I am also careful to serve veggies that I don’t particularly like, because why should my preferences be pushed on my kids? (All except beets, that is. I just can’t do beets.)

    • Avatar photo Ryan says:

      I’m disappointed that raw-food diet concepts seem to be all-or-nothing for some reason. As if the only point of eating raw food is to avoid cooked food entirely. There are big benefits to incorporating lots of raw items, plus it saves energy both on the stovetop/oven, and for the cook!

  4. Shetha says:

    We love salads! If it’s not a fresh green salad, then it’s a slaw (broccoli, red cabbage, carrot). I’ve got my veggie-averse husband eating broccoli with the right “reinforcements” on that slaw. That said, my picky eaters will not do avocado, egg, or tomato. I tried to top my greens with pears, goat cheese, and cranberries but that got poo poo’d too. Tried even adding nuts for crunch: no go. What do I add these days? Cheese (Goat or feta), green onions, and slivered red cabbage. The other option is greek type toppings (quick pickled red onions, kalamata olives, cucumbers but NO tomato!). Those toppings + a yummy dressing get them eating their greens, and usually asking for more 🙂

    • Avatar photo Ryan says:

      Thanks Shetha – reinforcements help but there are no guarantees, right? One of my friends has a rule that the kids need to try each new thing 11 times before deciding what they think of it. Holding the line on this can help, and over time they may find that there’s an aspect of something that they do like, or a different preparation (candied pecans?). Sometimes we will introduce something with heavy adornments, then dial it back over time until they’re comfortable with a food by itself. The app which launches tomorrow has an amazing poppyseed coleslaw recipe from my brother in law. There’s a reason that traditional barbecue comes with a portion of raw slaw to help digestion and such. Good luck, it sounds like you’re doing great just keep it up!

  5. Lori says:

    My recent favorite way to eat a salad is in a spring roll (just roll up lettuce, carrots, cukes, peppers, chicken, herbs, etc in rice paper like a burrito). Fun to make, easy to put any sort of veggies in, taste great with the right dipping sauce, and healthy!

  6. Amanda says:

    Your cobb salad looks amazing! It was a good reminder that I can feed my family salad and meat at the same time. Meat is a required food group in my house and I get bored easy with chicken.

  7. Sophie says:

    This looks like a lovely & appetizing salad! Yum! You have a great blog!

    Many greetings from a foodie from Belgium! 🙂

  8. melissa@onlinecookbook says:

    Hi Ryan,
    I guess everybody loves salad! Most of our members, foodies around the world.
    We all love it so much. It’s fresh and delicious. The most important thing is we believe that fresh salad is very healthy food. Perhaps you are interested to join us and share your favorite salad recipe? Thanks,

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