Wednesday, April 10, 2013

For kids and adults

I’ve said it before, and it’s still true: I enjoy reading children’s cookbooks!

The recipe instructions are always user-friendly, and the recipes are easy to prepare. Ingredients are usually simple, and the photography is enticing.

The latest one to cross my desk at work is "Kids in the Kitchen Cookbook,” from Time for Kids.

The first thing I made from this cookbook was wrapped tight turkey bites. I made the easy wraps in just a few minutes for my lunch Tuesday and thoroughly enjoyed them.

The filling includes chunks of deli turkey, corn, mixed lettuce and red pepper stirred together with a little ranch dressing and rolled in a tortilla.

I loved that I had most of the ingredients on hand, including red pepper, which I keep in the freezer. I did use 6-inch flour tortillas instead of 8-inch whole wheat tortillas because it’s what I had in my refrigerator, but I think the wraps would hold together better with the whole wheat version.

I never would have thought corn would be good in a turkey wrap, but the crunch of the corn made a good addition to my lunch.

That’s the thing about trying new recipes — you never know when someone’s good idea will become a favorite with you as well. And so, that’s why I might try a few other things from this cookbook that I don’t normally eat.

For instance, I might try pesto presto pasta salad. The dressing for this salad is pesto sauce. I’ve never been a big fan of pesto, but this summer, when I have plenty of basil in my garden, I might just try this recipe and make my own pesto.

And what do you think of rice with chicken, mango, grapes and pineapple? The photo of tropical breeze chicken salad certainly looks yummy, especially with almonds sprinkled on top. I like all of the ingredients, I just haven’t had them together in one dish before!

I made pigs in a blanket for my family for lunch Sunday, but I didn’t use pizza dough for the "blanket,” and I used cheese slices rather than shredded mozzarella cheese. Who knows? My family might like it if I switched up the ingredients and tried the "Kids in the Kitchen Cookbook” version.

This is really a nice cookbook, and I think most kids could find something in this book they’d like to try, including on the go munchies mix, grilled cheese made with Parmesan, provolone and mozzarella cheeses and decadent chocolate cupcakes that start with a doctored German chocolate cake mix.

At the beginning of the book, young readers will find cooking tips, healthy food ideas and ways to avoid kitchen disasters. (We should all read those pages!)

I encourage parents and grandparents to buy cookbooks for the children in their lives, to spend time letting them choose new recipes to try and then to work side-by-side with them to prepare meals. This summer would be a great time for this project!

"Kids in the Kitchen” has 80 recipes and the cover price is $19.95, although it’s cheaper online. It’s available at www.timeforkids.com/cookbook and from retailers.

Wrapped Tight Turkey Bites
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped deli turkey breast*
  • 1 cup mixed salad greens
  • 1/4 cup frozen whole-kernel corn, thawed and drained
  • 1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions (I omitted)
  • 2 tablespoons light ranch dressing
  • 2 (8-inch) whole-wheat flour tortillas
Combine turkey, salad greens, corn, red pepper, green onions and ranch dressing in a large bowl, tossing well to coat.

Warm tortillas according to package directions. Divide turkey mixture evenly between each wrap. Roll up and cut in half diagonally.

“Kids in the Kitchen Cookbook”

*Some tips: At the deli, I requested 1/4 to 1/3 pound of turkey in one slice so that I could cut the turkey in small chunks. While at the grocery store, I got enough mixed lettuce from the salad bar for this recipe; I think it cost around 50 cents. If you don’t have peppers at home, you could get these from the salad bar as well. Next time I make this, I might try fat-free raspberry vinaigrette instead of ranch dressing.

Lisa Boykin Batts


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