Updated: Mar 26
I know everyone is going a little stir-crazy right now, kids included. I also know that many people are looking for fun activities to do with their kids while everyone is home. SO, why not share with them the joys of cooking?
These recipes are simple, healthy, and use everyday ingredients you should be able to easily find in your local grocery store.
To get the kids involved, read through the recipe with them, allow them to help prepare the ingredients (measure, chop, etc.), and let them add the ingredients to the pots/pans.
I hope this helps you find some fun and healthy ways to entertain the kids during this crazy time, and maybe even give you some new staple meal ideas!
Chocolate Chip Pancakes with Blueberries
(Yields 8 pancakes)
-1 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
-1 Tbsp baking powder
-1 1/2 cup nondairy milk (I used almond milk)
-1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-1/3 cup dairy-free chocolate chips (or regular chocolate chips if preferred)
-1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen**)
-In a small bowl, mix non-dairy milk with apple cider vinegar. This creates vegan 'buttermilk'. Set aside.
-Combine all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Add mix-ins.
-Add vanilla extract to the vegan 'buttermilk' mixture.
-Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, mix with a wooden spoon until just combined. Set aside for 10 min to let the vegan buttermilk do its magic with the baking powder.
-Preheat a nonstick pan or a griddle. Once the surface is hot, spoon out the pancake batter onto its surface, about 1/4 - 1/3 cup per pancake. Cook over medium-low for about 3 minutes, or until the top surface 'sets', then flip and cook another 2 minutes.
-Enjoy with your favorite toppings: more fruit, peanut butter, maple syrup, etc.
Crispy Roasted Chickpeas in the Oven
-2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas
-2 tablespoonsolive oil
-1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
-2 to 4 teaspoons spices or finely chopped fresh herbs, such as chili powder, curry powder, cumin, smoked paprika, rosemary, thyme, or other favorite spices and herbs
-Heat the oven to 400°F -Rinse and drain the chickpeas. Open the cans of chickpeas and pour the chickpeas into a strainer in the sink. Rinse thoroughly under running water. -Dry the chickpeas. Pat the chickpeas very dry with a clean dishtowel or paper towels. They should look matte and feel dry to the touch; if you have time, leave them to air-dry for a few minutes. Remove any chickpea skins that come off while drying, but otherwise don’t worry about them. -Toss the chickpeas with olive oil and salt. Spread the chickpeas out in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with the oil and sprinkle with the salt. Stir with your hands or a spatula to make sure the chickpeas are evenly coated. -Roast the chickpeas for 20 to 30 minutes. Roast, stirring the chickpeas or shaking the pan every 10 minutes. A few chickpeas may pop – that’s normal. The chickpeas are done when golden and slightly darkened, dry and crispy on the outside, and soft in the middle, 20 to 30 minutes total. -Toss the chickpeas with the spices. Sprinkle the spices if using over the chickpeas and stir to coat evenly. Serve while the chickpeas are still warm and crispy. They will gradually lose their crispiness as they cool, becoming addictively chewy.
Cinnamon Roasted Chickpeas
-1 can (16 ounces) low-sodium chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans)
-1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
-1 teaspoon pure maple syrup (or honey or agave)
-3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
-Optional: pinch of salt
-Drain and rinse chickpeas.
-Spread out on a towel and dry well. If you have time, let them air dry for 30 minutes. -Remove any loose skins.
-Preheat oven to 400°F.
-On a rimmed baking sheet, toss chickpeas with melted coconut oil.
-Bake for 17 minutes or until crispy and golden brown.
-Remove from oven and drizzle with syrup and sprinkle with cinnamon and salt if desired. -Stir to evenly coat all chickpeas.
-Return to oven for two minutes.Let cool completely before enjoying or storing in airtight container.
-2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
-1 medium red onion, chopped
-1 large red bell pepper, chopped
-2 medium carrots, chopped2 ribs celery, chopped
-½ teaspoon salt, divided
-4 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
-2 tablespoons chili powder
-2 teaspoons ground cumin
-1 ½ teaspoons smoked paprika
-1 teaspoon dried oregano
-1 large can (28 ounces) or 2 small cans (15 ounces each) diced tomatoes, with their juices
-2 cans (15 ounces each) black beans, rinsed and drained
-1 can (15 ounces) pinto beans, rinsed and drained
-2 cups vegetable broth or water
-1 bay leaf
-2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnishing (optional)
-1 to 2 teaspoons lime juice, to taste
-Garnishes: chopped cilantro, sliced avocado, tortilla chips, guacamole, etc.
Instructions: -In a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat, warm the olive oil until shimmering.
-Add the chopped onion, bell pepper, carrot, celery and ¼ teaspoon of the salt.
-Stir to combine and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender and the onion is translucent, about 7 to 10 minutes.
-Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika and oregano.
-Cook until fragrant while stirring constantly, about 1 minute.
-Add the diced tomatoes and their juices, the drained black beans and pinto beans, vegetable broth and bay leaf.
-Stir to combine and let the mixture come to a simmer.
-Continue cooking, stirring occasionally and reducing heat as necessary to maintain a gentle simmer, for 30 minutes.
-Remove the chili from the heat and discard the bay leaf.
-Add the chopped cilantro, stir to combine, and then mix in the vinegar, to taste. Add salt to taste, too—I added ¼ teaspoon more at this point.
-This chili will keep well in the refrigerator for about 4 days or you can freeze it for longer-term storage.
-Corn (canned is fine, drained and rinsed)
-Red bell pepper
-Spices (cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper)
-Corn tortillas, for serving
-Taco toppings of choice (salsa, avocado, guacamole, etc.)
-Prep the fresh veggies and place on roasting sheet.
-Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with spices.
-Toss to combine.
-Roast for 20 minutes, stirring the veggies halfway through.
-Once the vegetables have finished roasting, add the black beans, lime juice and cilantro to the pan and stir.
-Serve veggie taco filling with warm tortillas and your favorite toppings.
*You can also cook all veggies in a pan on the stove.
if you prefer.
*Add any other veggies you like, let the kids choose!
-1 cup non-dairy milk
-1 small banana, fresh or frozen
-1/2 cup fresh or frozen fruit (blueberries, strawberries, mango, apple, or kiwi)
-1/2 cup veggies (kale, spinach, raw fresh or frozen chopped cauliflower, raw fresh or frozen sliced zucchini, raw fresh or frozen sliced summer squash, roasted sweet potato, roasted butternut squash, steamed diced beets)
-Optional add ins (pick 1-2): 1 teaspoon hemp seeds, chia seeds, or ground flaxseed 1 tablespoon nut butter 2 tablespoons avocado 1-2 teaspoons cocoa powder 1-2 teaspoons honey or maple syrup 1 tablespoon rolled oats
-Add chosen ingredients to a blender and blend until very smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl and adding more liquid if needed. Serve immediately.
Chocolate Chip Cookies
-1 1⁄2 cups almond flour (can sub whole wheat flour or other gluten free flour if gluten free and allergic to
-2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1-⁄4 cup pure maple syrup (can sub honey if preferred)
-3 tbsp Enjoy Life brand dairy free dark chocolate chips (can sub regular choc chips if preferred)
-Preheat oven to 350 degrees
-Place parchment paper on cookie sheet or spray cookie sheet with cooking spray
-Add all ingredients to large mixing bowl and combine
-Scoop cookies even onto cookie sheet using a ice cream scooper, table spoon measuring spoon or
-Bake for 8-12 minutes. Keep checking at 8 minutes. Cookies will appear soft and uncooked, but remember they will continue to cook once taken out of oven
Peanut Butter Banana Ice Cream
*If you or your child has a peanut allergy, keep reading for more options!
-3 large, ripe bananas
-3 tablespoons natural peanut butter
-1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
-Dash of cinnamon
-Sea salt to taste
-Roasted peanuts for topping (optional)
-Cut the bananas into small chunks and freeze until solid, at least 1-2 hours. Transfer the bananas to a very strong blender and blend until smooth and creamy. This will take a few minutes and may require periodic pauses and adjustments. It’s very loud and intense since the bananas are frozen, similar to adding ice cubes to a blender. Within a few minutes, you should be seeing a thick, creamy ice-creamy mixture in the blender.
-Add the peanut butter, vanilla extract, cinnamon, sea salt, and anything else you might like in there. Pulse the blender quickly to stir the ingredients all together and when everything is mixed, serve immediately. Top with additional peanut butter and crushed roasted peanuts
**With this recipe, you can get creative!
Some more examples:
Chocolate Banana Ice Cream: 3 ripe bananas, 1/4 tsp vanilla extract, pinch of salt, 3tbsp cocoa powder
Mint Chocolate Chip: 3 ripe bananas, 1/8 tsp peppermint extract, stir in dairy-free chocolate chips or cacao nibs after blending.
Very Berry: Same recipe as 'peanut butter banana ice cream" but without the peanut butter, add 1 cup frozen berries, 1/8 tsp vanilla extract