Cooking with Kids: Homemade Pasta

The kids enjoyed a delicious lunch of homemade pasta this week. As always, they helped make it and if you’d like to try this at home with your kids, here’s the recipe. The lines in italics are for grown-ups only.

Ingredients
2 stalks of celery
2 carrots
A packet of cherry tomatoes
A clove of garlic
A handful of basil
A can of beans – roman, cranberry, kidney or chickpeas
Store-bought sheets of fresh pasta

Method
Chop up the celery, carrots, tomatoes and basil.
Place these in a pot and start to cook them. Add the beans and basil as the sauce begins to boil. We used red beans.
Slice the pasta sheets into shapes of your choice.
Add the pasta to the sauce and let it cook for three minutes.

 

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Cooking with Kids: Pizza

Pizza is a favourite lunch of ours at school. We relied on a trusty recipe, which you can find here. Instead of tomato sauce, we diced tomatoes and mixed in some basil. On one pizza, we scattered diced zucchini and mozzarella cheese and the other was just sauce and mozzarella cheese. It was delicious and made for a cozy meal on a winter’s day!

 

Cooking with Kids: Cauliflower Soup

A bowl of warm soup is comforting and healthy. We made a batch for lunch this past week, and you might like to try this at home over the weekend. Remember that the steps in italics are for adults only.

You will need:
1 head of cauliflower
2-3 cups vegetable broth
1 yellow onion
3-4 garlic cloves, smashed
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
Olive oil
Salt

To make the soup:

Clean and chop all the vegetables and herbs.

Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to a medium pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and a pinch of salt.

Cook garlic and onion, stirring occasionally until soft and beginning to brown.

Add cauliflower and rosemary

Turn the heat up just a little bit and cook the veggies for another 3-5 minutes. Add just enough vegetable broth to cover the cauliflower. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat so the broth is simmering.

After about 5 minutes, remove the soup from the heat. You can also choose to blend the soup until it’s creamy and smooth in consistency.

Taste for seasoning

Cooking with Kids: Rice Bowl

We had a lovely afternoon recently cooking with Reo, the mom of Thomas, one of our students. She helped the kids make a yummy rice bowl, and was kind enough to share the recipe for others to try out. The steps in bold are for adults only. 

Bon appetit!

Peel and chop 2 bulbs of garlic.
Chop 2 bunches of asparagus.
Chop some salted black beans.
Set aside cooked rice.
Break 12 eggs in a bowl but do not beat them.

In a wok, heat oil and fry the garlic until aromatic but not brown.
Add the asparagus and stir fry. Then, add the eggs, and stir gently to start cooking.
Add the black beans, and cooked rice.
Cook until the eggs are done.
Serve in a bowl.

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A Friday tradition

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“I don’t know why, but the meals we have on picnics always taste so much nicer than the ones we have indoors.”

– Enid Blyton

Weather permitting, we love our Friday picnics. The kids get finger foods from home. We head out into our custom-designed yard to eat lunch al fresco. It’s a wonderful way to end the week. Spending time outdoors, of course, has its benefits. What we love even more is just watching the kids soak in the sun, in the company of their friends, being comfortable in the natural world. It is one of our key endeavours at Elements Preschool, as an urban nature school, to help children reconnect with nature. A Friday picnic is one of the nicest ways to do that.

If you’re inspired to host a picnic for your kids, or with friends and family this weekend, here are some great resources:

12 Secrets for the Perfect Picnic

13 Quick and Easy Recipes for Picnics

8 Outdoor Games for a Picnic

Cooking With Kids: Pizza

We made pizza for lunch and it was delicious. As always, the kids helped out, and if you’d like to try this at home with your children, here’s the recipe we followed. The steps in bold are for adults only – the kids can help with everything else. Have fun! We sure did.

Ingredients:

Pizza dough
Peppers
Pepperoni,
Cheese
Olive oil
Back pepper
Olives
Onions
Tomato sauce.

Pre-heat oven to 550 degrees.

Slice all the vegetables.

Sauté the peppers and onions with olive oil and black pepper.

Roll out the pizza dough.

Spread the tomato sauce and top with the vegetables and meat. Sprinkle black pepper, cheese and olives.

Bake in the oven for 5-10 minutes.

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The world on a plate

We started a new tradition at Elements Preschool this year – introducing our children to a new cuisine every week.

The first country our palates visited was India, via a delicious lunch of roti and raita – traditional Indian flatbreads, and a yoghurt dip.

Our eager students helped us knead the dough – a simple one of flour, water, oil, a pinch of a spice called ajwain (carom seeds) and salt.

They then had a lot of fun taking turns rolling it out. The making of small rounds of dough, which were then flattened, helped them use their motor skills, and sense of coordination.

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They watched as the rotis were cooked on a pan. There was lots of enthusiasm in the room!

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For the raita, the children peeled and chopped potatoes. The task took up all of their concentration, and dexterity! The potatoes were then blended with yoghurt, and a little salt.

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And lunch was served!

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Even the pickiest eaters wiped their plates clean. The new flavours that they had helped create were just too yummy to resist.

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Several studies have shown that taste education in children needs to start young, in order for them to appreciate all kinds of foods. Our new tradition at Elements aims to do just this.

Have a wonderful weekend – we will see you back next week, with more stories and adventures.