Kids in the Kitchen

It’s the first week of February and I don’t want to brag but I’m happy to report I’m keeping up with my New Years Resolution. My resolution for 2013 was to cook more with my daughter.

Don’t get me wrong for the last six (or so) years I have involved her in the kitchen is many ways - from grocery shopping, setting the table, to stirring batter, cracking eggs and measuring out ingredients. This year I plan to get her involved with dinner prep and chopping vegetables. I also want to teach her how to cook on the stove top. We started on New Year’s Day with grilled cheese for lunch and it was a success!
I truly believe that cooking is a life skill that everyone should have and it is never too early or too late to start. Learning to cook or teaching your kids should be fun. Remember it’s a learning process, it will be messy and not everything will turn out perfect and that's ok! Being able to follow a recipe is a great place to start.
 Over the last few weeks Hanna has made (by herself with only a little supervision) grilled cheese, hummus, granola bars, and a chocolate banana loaf.

Together we have made breaded chicken, two pasta dishes (one Mexican and one Thai), faux chicken wings, and fresh spring rolls – I’ll share that next week.
I was given a copy of The Looneyspoons Collection (2011) by Janet & Greta Podleski, for Christmas and Hanna and I have been trying a few recipes each week. Last night for dinner we made Thai a Yellow Ribbon (page 132) with some slight variations. This meal made enough for two dinners and was delicious!

Hanna made the sauce while I chopped the vegetables and cooked the chicken.
½ cup low sodium chicken broth
¼ cup peanut butter
2 tbsp each minced cilantro and minced fresh basil
1 tbsp sugar
2 tsp each grated gingerroot and lemon zest
1 tsp each sesame oil and cornstarch
1 tsp minced garlic
½ tsp ground cumin
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes

12 oz (340g) uncooked whole wheat pasta – we used rotini
2 tsp olive oil
2 ½ chicken breasts – boneless and skinless and cut into bite size cubes

2 large peppers cut into strips – we used one red and one green
1 head of broccoli cut into florets
2 large carrots cut into thin (julienne) strips
1 package (226g) sliced mushrooms

·         Combine all sauce ingredients in a blender and whirl until smooth. Set aside.

·         Cook pasta according to the package. Drain and keep warm.
·         While the pasta is cooking. Heat olive oil on med-high in a large skillet or wok until no longer pink.

·         Add vegetables and cook about 3-5 minutes until tender-crisp.

·         Add sauce and cook until thick and bubbly. Remove from heat and mix with pasta in a large bowl. Serve immediately. Delish!

Food Safety Tips
·         Chop and prepare the vegetables first before handling raw chicken. Be sure to wash with hot soapy water the cutting board, knives, and all surfaces that came into contact with raw chicken.
·         Pieces of chicken should be cooked to 74 C (165 F) before serving.

                    Shannon RD