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Alexandra’s Top Notch Mango Salad.


From right around the time Alexandra could say “da da”, I’ve made a point of teaching her as much as I can about food.

By the time she blew out the candles for her second birthday, I could put a pizza dough in front of her, a bowl of sauce and some grated cheese and after a few minutes of eating the ingredients, she would also present to me a pretty decent pizza ready for the oven.

She’s been told for years what ingredients are going into each meal we feed her.  It’s developed a diverse palette of tastes and she knows what her favourites are.  She also knows she doesn’t really like mushrooms.

And so tonight, she wanted to help out with dinner. Yesterday after I came home with three mangos (three for $5 at Superstore at the moment), she came up with the idea of using them in a salad.  She thought some chunks of sweet mango would be great with some mixed salad greens, almonds and a little punchy flavour in the form of goat cheese.  I offered up a suggestion of a simple vinaigrette of honey, lemon, rice vinegar, poppy seeds and oil, and supper appetizer plans began to take shape.

I presented her with the ingredients she came up with and she assembled them in a bowl.  I showed her a trick for hand tossing the ingredients to blend them together. I slapped together the simple dressing  and she took it all to the table.

The salad was truly great – a perfect match of healthy ingredients that are simply some of Alexandra’s favourites.  She wrote out the recipe and put it in the family recipe box and told me I can look it up any time I felt like having the salad.

I definitely will. Nice work Alexandra, and as always, I can’t wait to see what’s next.


Alexandra’s Mango salad with almonds and goat cheese

1 mango, diced by the best dad ever (best moms ever will also work)

2 or 3 seven-year-old’s handfuls of mixed lettuce greens

1 seven-year-old’s handful of sliced almonds

2 or three tablespoons of crumbled goat cheese

Put all ingredients in front of the closest seven-year-old. Have them toss them together. Serve with dressing on the side.

Honey, lemon and poppy seed dressing:

2 teaspoons honey

1 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar

1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds

Juice of half a lemon

1/4 to 1/3 cup vegetable or other light oil

Combine honey, rice vinegar, poppy seeds and lemon juice.  Slowly add the oil while vigorously stirring or whisking.  Serve with the salad.