cooking, cooking with kids, preschool activities, recipes, weight loss, Weight Watchers, zerotohero
Earlier this month, I posted about the cooking epiphany I experienced last year.
Briefly? I accepted reality, grew up, and stopped being THIS person:
Because I have kids.
And they have to eat.
Or – more accurately – multiple times daily.
And as much as I “wish I may wish I mighted” apparently a graduate degree in Political Science doesn’t assure you a personal chef and maid service.
So, last year, I finally rolled up my sleeves and learnt how to cook.
It was good.
Point #1: It helped me lose weight.
Point #2: It opened a WHOLE. NEW. WORLD. of activities to do with my then 3-year-old.
Sure. Cooking with a preschooler is messy. But we’ve been at it for about a year, and she now mixes muffins like a master (with minimal spillage) and knows the ingredients for any number of baked goods or other “mix” recipes.
She loves it.
It’s one of the “things” we now do together.
So tonight? I give you a quick salad we’ve made together a number of times.
I’m in no way original. It’s from the incredibly awesome Better Food for Kids: Your Essential Guide to Nutrition for All Children from Ages 2 to 6.
I originally got it out from the library.
Then: Renewed. Renewed. Renewed. Bought (from a bargain bin for $7.99).
As a novice cookbook – I’d say it’s gold.
Here’s one of the recipes I love from this book:
Garden Pasta and Relish Salad
2 cups fusilli or small shell pasta
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup diced red or green bell pepper
1 green onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup sweet pickle relish
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tbsp. plain yogurt
Pinch of salt
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
1. Cook pasta. Drain. While pasta is still hot, stir in peas, red/green pepper and onion. Set aside.
2. In a small bowl, stir together relish, mayonnaise and yogurt. Stir mixture into pasta; add salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for several hours or until ready to serve.
Nutritional Info (per 1/2 cup serving): 161cal; 4.3g protein; 24.3g carb; 5.0g fat; 2% CDV calcium 7% CDV Iron
And for anyone interested in WW+ points: 4 pts per serving.
And here we are cooking it up:
It ain’t classy. But it’s fun and functional. And it’s served for school lunch twice already this week. And for (on the run) dinner once.
Recipe says to chill (and it’s certainly best cold) but I’d note my kids have also happily eaten it while the noodles were still warm. I think it has to do with pride in having helped make it. But maybe I’m projecting a wee bit here.
Either way? Quick, easy, kids eat it, yummy, and won’t blow your diet.
Special thanks to Time Thief for the tips re: embedding recipes. Appreciated!
I am definitely going to check out that book. And an MA in Communication Studies hasn’t delivered the cook or housecleaner either. 😦 And my daughter is currently noshing on string cheese and hasn’t really had regular meal times in her life. Sad, but true. It is one of the things I really want to work on this year. Hence…the book.
String cheese is very popular over here too! And I wish you all the best with cooking. I’m still not in any way great at it – but I find it way less intimidating than I did two years ago. I’m still a little awed by the people who can meal plan and bulk cook and freeze. But I figure I’ll get there. Good luck to you too!
Martha Kennedy said:
I know this salad. I think I learned to make it as a kid. Now I add tuna and/or a hardboiled egg. Voila! A meal! 🙂
Okay – that’s a fabulous idea! I am certainly going to try that. Thanks so much!
Leah J's said:
That does look yummy and something that kids and adults would enjoy.
Thanks! And yes – nothing fancy but if I’m having a bit of a carb craving its awesome!
Looks like a great book. I have a struggle every day trying to get nutritious lunches into my children. Thanks for the tip.
I hear you! If you have any tips on the lunch for kids front I’m open to suggestions too!
I will let you know 😊 have a great weekend!!!
Lizzy - Muddle-Headed Mamma said:
Oh, Louise, I can identify so much you regarding cooking! For so long, I thought for some reason that feminists with university degrees didn’t and probably shouldn’t learn how to cook. Out of absolute necessity, I later learnt a few things and when people asked if I could cook, I’d answer ‘um, I can prepare hot food … does that count?’ And then one day, I woke up and realised that my kids need to eat at least 21 times a week and that it would be pretty sad if my son told everyone at school that I only knew four recipes. And, just like you, that realisation opened up a whole new world to me. I am far from being an amazing cook, but at least no-one eats toast for dinner round here:) I love that you do so much cooking with your little girl. I’m really looking forward to that when my daughter’s a couple of years older.
I laughed at this because it honestly sounded like you were writing about me. That EXACTLY summed up my thoughts on cooking 🙂
And I’m by no means a good cook – but I found once I learnt a few basics it was easier to branch out. Although there are still recipes I read where I have to then go google what the ingredient in question should “look like” in the store because I have no idea what it is (fuyu persimmons comes to mind as an example…).
I trust your taste in recipes. We cooked the chickpea curry with peanut butter dish last week and it was fantastic. I’m a little nervous about the pickle in this dish but I’m keeping it for when I feel brave 🙂 Also, I’m pinning this.
Ah! Thanks so much. For the record I wouldn’t put this in the same category of awesome as the chickpea swimming rama. This is more the quick and dirty “we gotta eat and this’ll double for lunches” sort of thing. That said I was surprised how much I liked it (I thought the relish was a bit weird on first read too but it worked!)
I love baking but cooking is not my thing. I do it out of necessity not enjoyment haha. I’ll have to pick up that cookbook – I love new recipes, especially I they’re easy and healthy!
I’m not sure that either baking or cooking is “my thing” so you are one up on me 🙂 I find I do baking a lot with my daughter – ie: simple muffins and cookies and such – because mix recipes are easy for her to do. I have a few healthy cookies I’ve done – and I did a cake decorating class last year – but that’s about the extent of my baking knowledge.
As for recipes – yes, easy is wonderful 🙂
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