Tidewater Kitchen - September 2010

 

Cooking With Kids
by
Pamela Meredith-Doyle

 

My cooking journey started with children in the kitchen. To be able to express my passion for cooking with so many children has been such a blessing! The skills that are taught in the kitchen are life lessons and make great family memories.
When you have children in the kitchen you create traditions. They learn more than just how to follow a recipe, they learn to create.

Tips for Cooking with Children
Make sure they always wash their hands with soap and water.
Start with simple recipes that don’t require too many ingredients, or no cooking at all. Children as young as three can start helping in the kitchen.
As children get older you can move on to more complicated recipes that require more advanced techniques. Teach them about menu planning, food shopping and food’s nutritional value.
Make sure you are closely supervising when using appliances or knives.
Baking is a great way to get children involved. They can see how things go together from start to finish and it gives them a great sense of accomplishment.
Repetition of recipes gives children confidence. It won’t take long before they have a “specialty.”

Banana Pancakes with Blueberries
1-1/2 cups whole wheat white flour
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/3 cup quick cooking oats
1 T. baking powder
1/2 t. ground cinnamon
1/8 t. salt
2 large eggs, beaten
1-1/2 cups 1% low-fat milk
1 ripe banana, mashed
2 T. pure maple syrup
4 t. canola oil
1 cup frozen or fresh blueberries

Whisk together the flour, wheat germ, oats, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl until well combined. Set aside.
Whisk together the eggs, milk, banana and maple syrup in a medium bowl until blended.
Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and stir until just moistened.
Meanwhile, heat 1 t. of the oil in a large nonstick skillet or griddle over medium-high heat.
Pour the batter onto the hot skillet or griddle using a measuring cup, forming 4-inch pancakes. Using a spoon, arrange the blueberries evenly on each pancake. Adjust the heat if the skillet gets too hot.
Cook until bubbles begin to appear on the surface of the pancakes and the bottoms turn golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. Flip and cook until golden brown, an additional 2 to 3 minutes.
Repeat with the remaining oil, batter and blueberries.

Hearty Cornmeal Apple Pancakes
2 large eggs
1-3/4 cups 1% low-fat milk
2 cups whole wheat white flour
2/3 cup cornmeal
1/3 cup wheat germ
1/3 cup organic sugar
1 T. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1 large organic apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped
4 t. canola oil

Whisk together the eggs and milk in a medium bowl and set aside.
Whisk together the whole wheat white flour, cornmeal, wheat germ, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl until well combined.
Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until well blended. Add the chopped apple and stir together.
Heat 1 t. of the oil in a large, nonstick skillet or griddle over medium-high heat.
Pour the pancake batter onto the hot skillet or griddle using a small measuring cup, forming 4-inch pancakes. Adjust the heat if the griddle gets too hot.
Cook until bubbles begin to appear on the surface of the pancakes and the bottoms turn golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. Flip and cook until golden brown, an additional 2 to 3 minutes.
Repeat with the remaining oil and batter.

Pumpkin Spice Waffles
3 eggs, beaten
1-1/2 cups 1% low-fat milk
1/2 can (approx. 7 oz.) organic canned pumpkin
1 T. canola oil
1 t. vanilla extract
1 cup whole wheat white flour
2 t. baking powder
3/4 t. gound cinnamon
1/4 t. salt
Pure maple syrup

Preheat the waffle iron according to the manufacturers instructions.
Whisk together the eggs and milk in a medium bowl. Add the pumpkin, canola oil and vanilla and stir.
Combine the whole wheat white flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl.
Add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until just moistened.
Coat the waffle iron with nonstick cooking spray. Pour the batter onto the hot waffle iron, to cover about 2/3 of the grid surface. Cook for approximately 3 minutes or until golden brown. Repeat with the remaining batter.
Serve hot with pure maple syrup.

Fruity French Toast
1 15-oz. can unsweetened pear halves
2 t. cornstarch
1/4 t. ground cinnamon
1/4 cup golden raisins
4 large eggs
2 T. 1% low-fat milk
2 T. apple juice
1/2 t. ground cinnamon
1/4 t. vanilla extract
1 T. canola oil
8 slices 100% whole wheat bread

Drain the pear halves and reserve the liquid. Slice the pears into quarters and set aside.
Combine the reserved liquid, cornstarch and cinnamon in a small saucepan and whisk until well blended.
Place the saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the raisins and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat and continue to simmer and stir gently until the mixture thickens slightly, about 2 minutes. Add the pears. Stir and warm through. Set aside, covered, until the French toast is cooked.
Meanwhile, whisk together the eggs, milk, apple juice, cinnamon and vanilla in a large bowl.
Heat half the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
Dip the bread in the egg mixture, one slice at a time, and coat evenly. Place the bread in the skillet and cook until the bottom turns golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes per side.
Remove to a plate, cover and set aside. Repeat with the remaining oil and bread slices. Serve with the pear topping.

Pasta Salad
1 lb. dried bow tie or your favorite pasta
4-5 cups fresh or frozen broccoli florets
2 cups cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1 14-oz. bag of Trader Joe’s frozen artichokes cut into bite-sized pieces
6-8 oz. Feta cheese, crumbled
3/4 cup pitted Kalamata olives, chopped
1/2 cup Caesar salad dressing
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil

Cook the pasta according to package directions. Five minutes before the pasta is done, add the broccoli. Bring back to a boil and cook until the pasta is done. Drain and place in a large bowl.
While the pasta is still warm, add the tomatoes, artichoke hearts, cheese, olives, salad dressing and herbs. Stir to combine.
Serve warm or refrigerate for a cold salad.

Cheese Ravioli with Pumpkin Sauce
1 15-oz. can 100% pure organic pumpkin
2 cups all natural chicken or vegetable broth
3 T. brown sugar
1 T. butter
1/2 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. ground ginger
1/2 t. ground cinnamon
1/8 t. ground nutmeg
1 30-oz. bag frozen cheese ravioli
1/4 cup reduced fat sour cream
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Place a large saucepan of water over high heat. Cover and bring to a boil.
While the water is coming to a boil, combine the pumpkin, broth, sugar, butter, garlic powder, ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg in a medium saucepan and stir to combine. Place over medium heat and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, until the butter melts and the mixture is heated through, about 10 minutes.
When the water comes to a boil, add the ravioli and cook according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
Just before serving, stir the sour cream into the pumpkin mixture. Serve the ravioli on individual plates and top with the pumpkin sauce. Sprinkle the top with Parmesan cheese.

Flaky Fish Sticks
2 cups corn flakes
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 t. garlic powder
1/4 t. salt
3 T. canola oil
1-1/4 lbs. firm white fish such as cod or halibut

Preheat oven to 500°.
Lightly oil or coat a large baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
Place the corn flakes in a resealable plastic bag and crush to a fine texture using a rolling pin or the bottom of a small saucepan, or place in a food processor and pulse several times until finely crushed.
Combine the corn flakes, Parmesan cheese, garlic powder and salt in a medium bowl and mix well.
Skin the fish and cut it into strips on an angle.
Place the oil in a small bowl. Lightly coat each piece of fish in the oil, then coat evenly with the corn flake mixture.
Arrange the fish on the prepared baking sheet and bake until golden brown, about 10 minutes.

Linguini with Clam Sauce
8 oz. dried linguini
1 T. olive oil
1 t. crushed garlic
8 oz. asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 14.5-oz. can diced tomatoes
1/4 cup 1% low-fat milk
2 T. whole wheat white flour
1 6.5-oz. can minced clams, drained
1 6.5-oz. can minced clams, undrained
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and return to the pan.
While the pasta is cooking, heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and asparagus and cook, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes.
Add the tomatoes, raise the heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the asparagus softens, about 10 minutes.
Combine the milk and flour in a bowl and whisk until well blended. Add the milk mixture, 1 can of drained clams and 1 can of undrained clams to the skillet.
Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat and continue to simmer and stir gently until the mixture thickens slightly, about 2 minutes.
Pour the sauce over the linguini and toss to combine. Serve in individual bowls and top with Parmesan cheese.

Apple and Pear Crisp
3-4 large firm, ripe pears, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch slices
3-4 large firm, tart apples, peeled and cut into 1/8-inch slices
2 T. lemon juice
1/2 cup raisins
2 T. granulated sugar
2 T. whole wheat flour
1 t. ground cinnamon

Topping:
1/2 cup quick cooking oats
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup wheat germ
1/2 t. ground cinnamon
1 large egg, beaten
2 T. canola oil

Preheat oven to 350°.
Combine the pears, apples, lemon juice, raisins, granulated sugar, whole wheat flour and cinnamon in a large bowl and stir gently.
Coat a 7” by 11” baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Transfer the fruit mixture into this pan and set aside.
To make the topping, combine the oats, brown sugar, wheat germ, cinnamon, egg and oil in a medium bowl and mix well. Spread evenly over the fruit mixture.
Bake for 40 minutes, or until the fruit bubbles and the top turns golden brown.

Brownie Mix Makeover
1 box of low-fat brownie mix
2/3 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt
1/2 cup wheat germ
1 ripe banana, mashed
2 large eggs

Preheat oven to 350°.
Lightly oil or coat the 7” by 11” baking pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
Place the brownie mix, yogurt, wheat germ, banana and eggs in a large bowl and beat with a spoon until the dry mix is moist and the ingredients are well combined, about 2 minutes.
Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan and bake for about 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Transfer the pan to a rack and cool for 10 minutes before slicing.