cooking with kids

Purple potato and crunchy lentil Salad (Katchumber Salad inspired by Cookbook INDIAN-ish

indian food can be a hard sell for children, but it can also be a really fun way to introduce new an vibrant spices. I love Priya Krishna’s new Cookbook, INDIAN-ISH, because it’s excatly that! With recipes like Roti pizza the breakdown of each Indian spice, even how to cook rice, INDIAN-ish is a must! I choose to riff a bit on her Katchumber salad with mung beans and add a purple sweet potato and cook the beans to almost al-dente. The mini-chefs were a bit hesitant at first, but loved the sweetness of the potato, tangy tomatoes, and the crunchy mung beans! Served with a side of Peanut Chutney.

Purple Potato and Crunchy Lentil Salad (Katchumber salad) Salad:

Serves 4

Prep 20 including Boiling Potato

Ingredients :

  • 1 medium-large purple sweet potato, peeled, boiled, and cooled

  • 1 cup green lentils, rinsed under cool water, cooked with 2 cups of water for about 15, just until al-dente

  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro

  • 1 persian cucumber, chopped

  • 1 cup cherry tomatos, chopped

  • 1 ripe avocado, diced

  • 1 tablespoon rough chopped pistachio nuts (if no allergy is present)

  • juice from 1/2 of a lime

  • salt to taste

  • optional-chopped mint leaves (we left out for the mini chefs)

Directions

  1. Break the potato into large chunks using your hards (this is a fun job for the mini-chefs) once the potato is cooled.

  2. Place the cooked lentils, cucumber, tomato, avocado, potato, and cilantro in a large bowl.

  3. Add lime juice, salt, and pistachio nuts, toss and serve!

close up kachumber.jpg

Mini rainbow cashew cheesecakes

Spring is in the air (literally) and I am back to working with with the vibrant colors of SuperNaturals plant based food dyes. They use food and plants to create beautiful colors which the kiddos can’t get enough of. Not a sponsored post, just a brand I stand by. They are sold on Amazon and in NYC Whole Foods.

Recipe for mini rainbow cashew (some matcha) cheesecakes

Serving 10

Prep time 20 mins

Freeze time 20 mins

Ingredients

Base Layer:

  • 1 cup gluten free oats, dry toasted

  • 1/4 cup raw pecans

  • 1/4 cup raw almonds

  • 1 cup pitted and soaked dates (soaked in water to soften)

  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil

  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon salt

Cheesecake layer

  • 1 cup cashews ( I can be soaked in water overnight for easier digestion and better blending)

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut cream

  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil

  • 3 dated, pitted and soaked

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

  • pinch of salt

  • natural food dye, like SuperNatural Brand, can also use turmeric for yellow, we used matcha for green, beet powder for pink.

  • Sprinkles optional (I used SuperNatural brand)

Directions

  1. To make base layer, blend all ingredients together in a food processor or high speed blender. When the mix resembles a ball or clumps spoon into a mini muffin pan or small silicon mold and fill up half way (I used a heart shaped mold).

  2. Set in the freezer to take shape while you bake the base.

  3. Mix all ingredients together for the base except the food dyes in a food processor. Let the food processor run for about 5 mins until the cheesecake mix is smooth and creamy. You may need to add more coconut cream.

  4. Divide mix into for small mixing bowls and add food dyes.

  5. Once you have your desired colors, place cheesecake layer on top of base and let freeze for about 20 mins.

  6. Top with sprinkles and serve!

    **These treats to do need to kept either frozen or in the fridge. They will melt at room temp.

Stuffed Squash Blossoms

Wow your little ones with this stuffed summer squash blossom recipe! The squash blossoms help to create a really pretty dish, but it will be so fun to make alongside your kiddos with this very easy and hands-on recipe. 

Stuffed squashed blossoms are a traditional Cretan dish that I discovered while on a trip to Greece, and after loving every bite of them, I knew I had to try this recipe with my mini chefs at cooking camp. In the camp, we "traveled" to a different country every day, and this dish was a part of the menu for Greece! We made Greek fry bread stuffed with feta and herbs, souvlaki, and these stuffed squash blossoms. Luckily, squash blossoms are in season right now and I was able to pick up these up at my local farmers market. They can really be stuffed with anything, but this recipe incorporates lots of veggies and rice in a really fun way.   

stuffed squash blossom.jpg

 

Stuffed Squash Blossoms Recipe

  • Serves 6-8
  • Prep time: 20 mins
  • Cook time: 45 mins

Ingredients

  • 10-15 Squash blossoms (the blooms from summer squash). I purchased these at my local farmers market.
  • ½ cup red or white onion grated
  • 1 cup tomato grated
  • 1 cup wild parboiled rice
  • 1 cup water plus 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Fresh oregano
  • ½ cup good olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 potato peeled and quartered

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit 
  2. Bring water to a boil 2 to 3 cups of water and the salt. Add rice and boil for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain. Refrigerate if it will be more than a couple of hours before you use it.
  3. While rice is cooking, grate tomatoes and onions and place them in a boil. Add salt, pepper, thyme and 1 tablespoon of olive and stir to combine.
  4. Peel potato and quarter. This will help keep the squash blossom soft and moist (these bake along side, not inside).
  5. When the rice has cooled, add into the onion tomato mixture.
  6. Peel back the petals and stuff with the filling. Place in a pyrex baking dish alongside potatoes. Top with olive olive and salt.
  7. Bake for 30-40 mins until tender and rice is cooked through. Top with feta cheese.

 

Avocado Ice Cream (vegan)

Happy (belated) National Avocado Day!

The mini-chefs I worked with this week were eager to celebrate the holiday by eating a ton of creamy avocado, but they also wanted to beat the NYC summer heat with a yummy frozen dessert. We found the perfect solution with this vegan avocado-based ice cream.

To fully embrace the spirit of the holiday, we whipped up the avocado ice cream and then crafted this treat to look like it's original source. We saved the avocado shell, spooned the ice cream back into it, and created a chocolate coconut ball for the "pit." The end result was adorable and so satisfying. And, of course, these were so much fun to make! 

avocado ice cream-1.jpg

Avocado Ice Cream Recipe

  • Serves 4
  • Prep time: 10 mins 
  • Freeze Time: 3 hours

Ice Cream Ingredients: 

  • 2 avocados (reserve avocado skin for serving)
  • 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh lime juice
  • ½ of a can of full fat coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons of maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon of salt

"Pit "Ingredients (Optional):

  • ¼ cup unsalted sunflower seeds
  • ¼ cup sunbutter
  • 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoon of maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Handful of mini chocolate chips

Directions:

Blend all ingredients together in a high speed blender and transfer to a loaf pan, wrapped in plastic. Freeze for an hour or up to 1 week. Let soften at room temperature 20 minutes before serving.

To make the pit: place all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. Scoop out with either a spoon or cookie scoop and roll into 2 inch balls.

When ice cream has set but hasn’t quite frozen spoon back into avocado skin and place the pit in the middle!

Summer Time, Summer Rolls

And the heat goes on...

Ahhh, summer in NYC. Sticky, humid, kinda smelly, perfect for ice cream, popsicles, chilled soups, and summer rolls! These are especially wonderful for the days when turning on the oven or stove make you want to jump in the Hudson (JK). I love to fill them with fresh and colorful produce from my CSA (community supported agriculture) and the kids love to pack each one with the different veggies and herbs. Kids love to dip, and the real star of the show is the dipping sauce. Which can alternatively be made nut free. I have experimented with a few ways to "wet" the rice paper wrapper. For me, I find that laying two wrappers on a plate and brushing them with very hot water using a pastry brush works the best. Making sure the wrapper is completely wet but not exses water remains on the palte

Prep: 20 mins Serves: 4-6 Ingredients:  12 rice paper wrappers 1 large haas avocado, sliced into strips 3 cups shredded carrot  3 cups shredded red cabbage 3 cups cucumber, julienned 1 head of butter leaf lettuce, one leaf per roll 1/2 cup basil leaves 1/2 cup mint leaves  Peanut Dipping Sauce:  1/3 cup  natural, creamy peanut butter* 1 tablespoon reduced-sodium, wheat free, soy sauce 2 tablespoons lime 1 tablespoon rice vinegar 1 teaspoon grated ginger 1/2 cup of green onions, diced for garnish 6 tablespoons hot water, to thin   Directions: Blend the ingredients together for the dipping sauce and reserve. Place the rice paper wrappers on a plate and make sure they are completely wet using a pastry brush and hot water. I use two because one always breaks!  Begin by place the filling on the edge closest to you, I like to start with the leafy greens and work my way to the carrots and last the avocado. It is important not to fill the roll to much or it will burst at the seems. Fold the bottom half of the wrapper over the filling, hold the fold in place, tuck in the sides and roll tightly.  Continue rolling with the remainder of the rice paper, I like to change the filling and herbs, and the kiddos like to experiment with different combinations!  Serve with dipping sauce! *To make sauce nut free, replace peanut butter with 2 tablespoons of sesame oil and 1 teaspoon of sesame seeds.   


Prep: 20 mins
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients:

12 rice paper wrappers
1 large haas avocado, sliced into strips
3 cups shredded carrot
3 cups shredded red cabbage
3 cups cucumber, julienned
1 head of butter leaf lettuce, one leaf per roll
1/2 cup basil leaves
1/2 cup mint leaves

Peanut Dipping Sauce:

1/3 cup  natural, creamy peanut butter*
1 tablespoon reduced-sodium, wheat free, soy sauce
2 tablespoons lime
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1/2 cup of green onions, diced for garnish
6 tablespoons hot water, to thin


Directions:
Blend the ingredients together for the dipping sauce and reserve.
Place the rice paper wrappers on a plate and make sure they are completely wet using a pastry brush and hot water. I use two because one always breaks! 
Begin by place the filling on the edge closest to you, I like to start with the leafy greens and work my way to the carrots and last the avocado. It is important not to fill the roll to much or it will burst at the seems.
Fold the bottom half of the wrapper over the filling, hold the fold in place, tuck in the sides and roll tightly. 
Continue rolling with the remainder of the rice paper, I like to change the filling and herbs, and the kiddos like to experiment with different combinations! 
Serve with dipping sauce!
*To make sauce nut free, replace peanut butter with 2 tablespoons of sesame oil and 1 teaspoon of sesame seeds. 
 

Orange Cranberry Yogurt Muffins

Just the mention of muffins sends my mini chefs yelping and cheering for joy. I am not a huge muffin fan, but I do enjoy when they come out of the oven super warm, with chunks of fruit and I can slather some jam or nut butter across the top. The cranberries and oranges in this recipe have a nice amount vit. c which keep our skin looking young and healthy, also help us recover faster when we are sick and heals cuts and scrapes (I hear you boo boo' and ouchies).

Prep Time 10 mins
Bake time 15 mins
Servings 10
 

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of orange juice
  • 1 cup full fat yogurt
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange peel
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 cup white flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Pre heat oven to 350 degrees
  2. MIx together Dry ingredients until fully incorporated. Set aside. 
  3. In another bowl mix together wet ingredients. 
  4. Fold wet ingredients into dry, 
  5. Grease a muffin tin with butter, coconut oil or no stick stray. Scoop batter in tin about 3/4 the way full. 
  6. Bake for 15-20 until muffins are cooked through, test after 15 mins for doneness, let cool on a cooling rack.
  7. Serve plain or with your favorite jam, butter or nut butter. 

Gluten Free Coco-Nana Waffles

Coco-Nana Waffles

I love waffles, kids love waffles, and the best part is about baking them is that are done with in minutes. Perfect for hungry kido or busy parent. These are favorite among my mini-chefs for their light and fluffy texture, and kids love to mash the bananas. I like to use coconut flour in gluten free baking not only for the flavor but for the amount of fiber and protein per serving. Try swapping out the chocolate chips blueberries, raspberries or strawberries for tart and tangy taste. 

Serves 8
INGREDIENTS

  • ¼ cup coconut flour I like Bobs Red Mill
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 bananas, mashed
  • 1/4cup of honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 3 tablespoons of coconut oil or butter, one reserved for greasing the waffle iron


Directions

  1. 1.In a large mixing bowl whisk the coconut flour, baking soda, cinnamon, chocolate chips, and salt together and set aside.
  2. 2. In a separate bowl mix together eggs, milk, vanilla, coconut oil, and mashed bananas.
  3. 3.Mix the wet ingredients with dry until they are all incorporated.
  4. 4. Heat and grease waffle iron. 
  5. 5. Spread mix evenly in iron and bake until done (about 1-2 minutes). For a little some extra special, serve with banana slices, yogurt, and dried coconut!  

Veggie Pizza Faces

Veggies Pizza Faces

Pizza making is favorite amongst my mini chef's and one of the ways I introduce knife skills. We use  these salad knives for teaching littles hands how to chop and slice. They are large enough to grip tight with a bear claw and they are made out of BPA free plastic, making them safe for little hands.  Remember the game Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head? Veggie faces are very reminiscent, the tomato eyes can swap for ears, the zucchini nose can be a silly beard! 

Serves 4-6
Prep Time 10 Mins
Cook Time 7-10 Mins
 

Ingredients :

  • 1 package of whole wheat pita (large if making dinner, small if making snack)
  • 1 jar of pizza sauce or tomato sauce (or make your own!) I like Muir Glen Organic for the short list of ingredients and no added sugars. 
  • Mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • Spinach
  • 1 zucchini, sliced into circles and cut into half moons (or you can let you mini chef do this part)
  • Cherry tomatoes, cut in half (same as above, having a helper in the kitchen is half the fun!)
  • 1 green and 1 red pepper, cored and seeded, sliced the long way to form a mouth

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400F and set rack to middle.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  3. I like to chop the veggies first, calling out the names and colors of produce.
  4. Place about two-three tablespoons of sauces on the pitas and cover with cheese. 
  5. Decorate your face with veggies and fruit, spinach for hair, zucchini for eyes, tomatoes for nose and ears, peppers for a mouth.
  6. Toast for 7 mins or until cheese is bubbling.  
  7. Serve!