When routine is once again disrupted and leaving the house is no longer an option, cooking with the kids can really save the day! It’s creative, fun, helps the kids move around and become responsible in the house, but most of all, it is tasty!
Here are some tips for lockdown days in the kitchen.
If you can’t go shopping too often, you can cook in bulk and repurpose food differently the second (and third!) day.
Fry your leftover risotto or add leftover rice to a vegetable soup for a healthy dinner.
Any leftover pasta can be topped with parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs to make wonderful Pasta al Forno when grilled in the oven.
Zero Waste Cooking Ideas
Pineapple core crisps – fruity snacks
When you are left with a pineapple core, cut it in thin slices (a few millimeters each), place on a baking tray at lowest oven temperature for just over 4 hours. They are ready to be devoured by children and they make a healthy snack for TV time!
Carrot top pesto
If you are used to buying vegetables in bulk, and you never know what to do with the large amount of green top of carrots, you are not alone. You can add it to your vegetable stock, or even make it the protagonist of your pesto. Wash the carrot tops with plenty of water, cut in smaller pieces and place into a blender. Add some salt, pepper, a handful of nuts of your choice (cashew, pine nut, walnut, almond), a garlic clove, some mint leaves and parmesan. Blend adding some extra virgin olive oil and your pesto is ready when it has a smooth homogenous texture. Ideal on fish or on grilled vegetables.
Banana Ice Cream
When your bananas go too ripe (any colour to full brown) and the little ones won’t eat them, you can peel them and cut them in small pieces and store them in a container in your freezer. Take them out when they are frozen, blend them adding some milk of choice – I recommend oat milk – and voilà! Your banana ice cream is ready to be served 😀 It doesn’t contain any added sugar so it’s a nice and healthy treat. Add dark chocolate chips to make it even tastier.
The dough is very easy to make: 500g 00 flour, 600ml water, 2g dry yeast, 10g salt, 35g extra virgin olive oil. Then kids can knead it as much as they like! Then leave it to grow in a warm place. The children can then help roll it out, add chopped tomatoes and put in a very hot oven (250 C) for 4 minutes! Then add topping of choice (including mozzarella) and bake for another 5 minutes in the oven… and voilà, homemade pizza is ready. Making pizzas requires strength and manual skills for the dough, patience while waiting for it to grow, and creativity to add toppings. It requires a lot of counting too… try counting to 4 minutes!
You can regrow carrot tops, onions, fennels, parsley, lettuce and potatoes from scraps. You just need room on the window sill 🙂
Ask your children to plate dishes in a different and creative way! E.g. mashed potatoes can turn into any kind of shape! A star, a cat, a house, etc.
Here is an easy recipe that’s going to keep the children entertained and tastes very good!
In other languages: Pesce Finto, Faux Poisson, Gefaelt Fish, Falso Pescado
Ingredients (6 people):
White Potatoes 680g
Tuna Chunks in Oil 240g
Parsley (to taste)
Salt (to taste)
Thyme (to taste)
White Pepper (to taste)
Dill (to taste)
Lemon zest (to taste)
Capers/olives (to taste)
Messiness level: 1
1. Peel and cut the potatoes in half, with an adult’s aid, and then put them in a large pot with a lot of water. Boil water has boiled, leave the potatoes in for a further 12 minutes.
2. In the meantime, drain the tuna with a colander and add to a mixing bowl. Squish it with a fork, making it a homogeneous pure.
3. When the potatoes are ready, add them to the mixing bowl, and with a fork, start squishing them, adding them to the tuna puree.
4. The supervising adult can then chop some thyme, dill and parsley and grate some lemon zest, and add it to the mix. Make sure to add salt and white pepper too! If you do not have all the spices, do not worry, it will still be very tasty!
5. Use your hands to make the paste homogeneous. Then get 6 small plates out and, with a spoon, divide the mix onto the 6 plates, making sure you leave some behind in the mixing bowl for crucial finishes! Now it’s your turn to use some creativity and shape the six balls into 6 fish! You can make an oval shape first. Then on one side, open up the tail. And on the other, add a caper or olive as an eye. You can then use the leftover mix to make fins on top and bottom of the fish. Use a spoon to lightly carve fish scales.
Serve as a starter or as a main at your preference. Best accompanied by some green vegetables!
Images from Nauticareport and Larderlove
Corinna Co-founder and Director @CocoRio