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chicken marsalaWhen planning meals for the week, some families like to stick with a rotation of the weekly staples. While there’s nothing wrong with this approach to meal planning, it can be fun to introduce your family to new and exciting dishes from around the world. Not only is it fun to try something new in the kitchen, but depending on age, you can even get your kids involved in preparing the meals and transition into conversation about the culture about the places that they come from in the process! Below is a list of healthy recipes from around the world to introduce to your weekly meal planning.

Kid-approved Chicken Rice Paper Rolls

Recipe by Katie Rainbird for Kidspot.com.au

Prep time: 10 minutes

Makes: 16 rolls

What you’ll need:

  • 16 rice paper sheets
  • 5 tbs hoisin sauce
  • 1/2 barbecue chicken (skin off, finely diced)
  • 1 cucumber (medium, cut into ribbons)
  • 1 carrot (medium, cut into ribbons)
  • 1 avocado (thinly sliced)

Directions:

1.Place one rice paper sheet in a shallow dish of warm water, let it soften for 15 seconds, or until just soft. Place the rice paper sheet on a damp tea towel.

2.Spread 1tsp of hoisin sauce across the center of the rice paper, then place a heaped tablespoon of chicken on top, a few ribbons each of cucumber and carrot and then top with a slice of avocado.

3.Fold the shorter edges of the sheet up over the filling at both ends to secure, then fold one of the long edges straight up and over, and finish by rolling it all toward the other long edge.

4.Serve immediately on a platter or cover with a damp tea towel and refrigerate until needed 

How kids can help: laying out rice paper sheet, helping with adding ingredients to sheet, and rolling

Other Notes:

  • These rice paper rolls aren’t authentically Asian, but in my time I have found that most kids just aren’t into shredded raw cabbage (if yours are then high five!), but you can always amp up the flavor with a sprig of coriander, a mint leaf or two or some snow pea sprouts.

  

Healthy Pita Falafel with Cucumber Sauce

Recipe from Chefmom.sheknows.com

What You’ll Need

  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1 cucumber - peeled and diced
  • 1 teaspoon dill weed
  • 1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), rinsed and drained
  • 1 onion, cut into wedges
  • 1 handful fresh parsley
  • 1 handful fresh cilantro
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 egg 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 pinch (or more) cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup dry bread crumbs (you can also use flour)

Directions

  • Whisk together yogurt, mayonnaise, cucumber, dill, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Chill for at least 30 minutes.
  • In a large bowl mash the chickpeas until they are thick and pasty. Alternatively, you can (gently!) mash the beans in a blender, but take care you don't over-mash. They should have a coarse, broken texture. If you choose this method, remove mashed chickpeas from the blender to a large bowl.
  • Add the onion, garlic, parsley and cilantro to the blender and process until smooth. Stir into mashed chickpeas.
  • In a small bowl whisk egg, cumin, coriander, salt, pepper, cayenne, lemon juice and baking powder. Stir into chickpea mixture along with olive oil. Add bread crumbs or flour gradually until the mixture is holds together - firm but malleable. It should form a small ball in the bowl and not stick (too much) to your hands. Add more or less bread crumbs or flour as needed to achieve the proper texture. You can do this step in advance and refrigerate the dough until mealtime.
  • Form falafel dough into balls approximately 2 inches in diameter and gently flatten into patties. Place on a greased cookie sheet and bake at 375F for 20 minutes. (I flipped the patties halfway through for even browning.)
  • Stuff pitas with lettuce and falafel. Drench generously with cucumber sauce. Top with any or all of the following: Chopped raw peppers (red, yellow and/or green), Chopped or sliced onion, Diced tomato, Bean sprouts, Tahini

How kids can help: Have them mash the chickpeas! An older child could be entirely responsible for making the cucumber sauce. It's very simple, but so satisfying because it is an important flavor contribution to the meal.

  

Chicken-Spinach Quesadillas

Recipe from Parenting.com 

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 5 minutes

Serves: 4

What you’ll need:

  • 10-oz box frozen spinach, thawed
  • 8 six-inch flour tortillas (you can substitute corn tortillas for a more authentic experience)
  • 1/2 cup prepared pesto sauce (in deli section of supermarket)
  • 1 cup shredded reduced-fat monterey jack cheese
  • 1 cup leftover diced cooked chicken

Directions:

1.Squeeze excess liquid from the spinach. Place 4 tortillas on a work surface. Spread 2 tablespoons pesto on each tortilla, then top with 1/4 cup spinach.

2.Sprinkle each tortilla with 1/4 cup each cheese and chicken. Top with remaining tortillas and press firmly.

3.Heat a large skillet over medium heat and cook each quesadilla until cheese melts and tortillas are golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate. Cut each into quarters before serving.

How kids can help: Measure ingredients; squeeze spinach; assemble quesadillas.

 

Easy Chicken Masala

Recipe by Maria Helm Sinskey on Bonappetit.com

Serves: 6

What You Need:

  • 1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
  • 1 large garlic clove, pressed
  • 1 4- to 4 1/2-pound roasting chicken, cut into 8 pieces, backbone removed
  • 2 small onions, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices

Directions:

  • Mix yogurt, chopped cilantro, olive oil, garam masala, salt, and garlic in 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish.
  • Add chicken to marinade, 1 piece at a time, coating all sides. Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate at least 2 hours (DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep refrigerated).
  • Position racks in top third and bottom third of oven; preheat to 400°F. Arrange onions in thin layer on large rimmed baking sheet to form bed for chicken. Top with chicken pieces in single layer, spacing apart for even roasting (chicken will still be coated with marinade). Discard remaining marinade.
  • Roast chicken on top rack until cooked through and juices run clear when thickest portion of thigh is pierced with knife, about 1 hour. Serve chicken atop onion slices. Spoon pan juices around.

How Kids Can Help: Identifying and mixing marinating ingredients (can be done 1 day ahead while preparing another meal with your children).

 

Written by Derek Mooney - Founder of Potsafe

Derek Mooney is the founder and inventor of POTSAFE. He was born in Dublin Ireland in 1969 and emigrated to Australia in 1994. Derek is a qualified sheetmetal worker and eventually started his own air conditioning business. He thought of the idea for Potsafe about four years ago, and now has been able to bring the invention to life!

For more information, visit www.potsafe.com

teach kids cookingAs a parent, it’s up to you to teach your kids all the important skills they need to learn in life like how to read, how to drive, and yes – how to cook! It’s ever too early to start teaching your kids how to cook; even toddlers can learn how to put together a sandwich or a salad. This is a skill that they will use forever and they will be so grateful when they’re in college and can actually cook up a decent meal that doesn’t involve a microwave! Plus, it’s also a good way to teach them to be more independent, especially if they can make their own healthy lunches or after school snacks. Here are some tips for introducing your kids to cooking.

 1. Let them choose the meal

If your child isn’t exactly eager to help out in the kitchen, let him choose his favorite meal you can learn to cook together. Seeing all the steps it takes to put together a delicious meal will help your child learn to appreciate all the love you put into making his meals.

 2. Teach the basics

Start with something simple your kids can do that doesn’t involve any sharp objects or heat. Show them how to properly crack an egg without getting any shells into the bowl. Help them learn to measure oil or water in a measuring cup. Have them whisk together ingredients in a bowl so they can see how everything comes together.

 3. Teach kitchen safety

A number one aspect of cooking in the kitchen is safety. Teach your kids to always wash their hands before and during cooking, especially when working with raw meat and eggs. Show them the right way to hold a knife and where to place it on the counter. Also teach them to keep pot handles towards the back of the stove instead of sticking out. Potsafe is a great kitchen safety accessory that helps prevent kids from accidentally tipping over pots to keep everyone more safe in the kitchen.

 4. Be patient

When cooking with kids for the first time, the cooking will end up taking a lot longer than you are used to. Kids must take their time to carefully chop vegetables for the first time or peel potatoes and although you might feel inclined to just take over for them, they’ll never learn if you don’t give them the time and space to practice it themselves. They will get faster with time.

 5. Embrace the mess

Along with it taking more time, cooking with your kids will also become quite the messy task. Kids will be too busy focusing on the task at hand to think about cleaning up as they go. It’s ok to make a mess sometimes as long as you teach your kids to clean up at the end. Or, you can put out separate bowls for trash to try and keep things tidy while cooking. 

Written by Derek Mooney - Founder of Potsafe

Derek Mooney is the founder and inventor of POTSAFE. He was born in Dublin Ireland in 1969 and emigrated to Australia in 1994. Derek is a qualified sheetmetal worker and eventually started his own air conditioning business. He thought of the idea for Potsafe about four years ago, and now has been able to bring the invention to life!

 

For more information, visit www.potsafe.com

When kids come home from school the first thing they usually ask for is an after school snack! They’re hungry after a long day of learning and could use something to fuel them until dinner time and so they can complete their homework. You want to choose something to give them that boost of energy but that won’t make them too full to eat their dinner. Here are three ideas for quick and healthy afternoon snacks that are easy to make.

Yummy Smoothie

making smoothies

Most kids love drinking smoothies and they’re fun to make! You can really get creative with a smoothie or just toss in whatever you have on hand. Fruits like strawberries, banana, pineapple, and blueberries all make for delicious smoothies. Add some yogurt and almond milk, orange juice, or coconut milk to get the right consistency. For a cold, icy smoothie make sure the fruit you’re using is frozen or add some ice cubes to the mix. You can even add chia seeds or flax seed for more nutrients.

Turkey Pinwheels

turkey pinwheel

This recipe is just a basic turkey wrap that is cut up into smaller “pinwheel” shaped pieces. The more fun your snack looks, the more eager your children will be to eat it – even if they aren’t usually a fan of turkey. For this recipe, you can make your own condiment spread using cream cheese and chutney to spread on the tortilla wrap. Then add pieces of lettuce, sliced turkey, cucumber slices, and tomato. You will roll up the wrap tightly and then leave it in the refrigerator for a couple of hours. Then you can take it out and cut it up into pieces.

Recipe Source: http://www.familycircle.com/recipe/turkey-pinwheels/

Apple Sandwiches

apple with pb

This snack is super simple to make and will satisfy any child, even younger picky eaters! All you need is an apple that is cored and cut across into thick slices. Then you will take some peanut butter and spread it on each of the slices and finally top it off with some nuts or granola. Voila! You have a delicious snack made with only three ingredients that you probably already have at home!

 

Written by Derek Mooney - Founder of Potsafe

Derek Mooney is the founder and inventor of POTSAFE. He was born in Dublin Ireland in 1969 and emigrated to Australia in 1994. Derek is a qualified sheetmetal worker and eventually started his own air conditioning business. He thought of the idea for Potsafe about four years ago, and now has been able to bring the invention to life!

 

For more information, visit www.potsafe.com

Kitchen safety rules for when you're cooking with kids in the kitchen: Here are some ideas—and a cool product—that can help keep everyone safe. | Cool Mom Picks

We’re big fans of pulling kids into the kitchen early and often. But that also means setting kitchen safety rules for kids — and for you. Not just because it keeps them safe (though that’s obviously the most important thing), but because it’s the essential foundation of learning vital cooking skills that they can use for a lifetime.

And hey, it also lets them help us out around the kitchen too.

The way we see it, there’s no reason why kids as young as 5 years old can’t help make their own school lunch or even help cook breakfast on busy weekday mornings.

While some kitchen safety rules are obvious, others may be less so, and we love any tools or accessories that help on that front. That’s why we love the idea behind our latest sponsor, Potsafe, a kitchen safety accessory created by two parents who totally get how important it is to get kids in the kitchen while keeping them safe.

Potsafe is designed to help prevent stove burns by locking pots into place on ceramic and glass induction stovetops, as well as on smooth surface cooktops. Smart!

So on their behalf, I’m putting together these 10 important kitchen safety rules that are good to have locked down before you even flick on the kitchen lights.

Hopefully your child will be cooking up a storm — safely — in no time. Good for them and, yes, for you too.

As parents, our number one priority is to keep our children safe from harm. Safety around the house is so important when you consider how many injuries commonly occur right in your own home. More than 3.4 million children experience an unintentional household injury every year. The top causes of these injuries? Suffocation, drowning, falls, poisoning, fires, burns, and more. That’s why dad Derek Mooney invented Potsafe – a safety accessory to help prevent children and adults from accidental burns in the kitchen. Now Derek is sharing his picks for holiday gifts to help protect the ones you love.

now available 1

Potsafe is an innovative safety product attaches to cooktops to secure saucepans in place and protect children, pets, and the elderly from accidentally tipping pots and burning themselves. Once in place it locks the pots in position and stops anyone from pulling pots from the cooktop and potentially harming themselves. No tools are required, it is extremely easy to use, and it does not get in the way of the cooking experience.

www.potsafe.com

It has been a long journey these last 7 years to develop, prototype and test the Potsafe. We are so pleased to announce that we are now in stock and ready to ship.

Our container has been unloaded at our warehouse, managed by eFulfillment.com at 807 Airport Access Road, Traverse City, MI.

We are ready to take your order and ship the 1 ring 1 pot model right now!