Get outside, Family!

Get outside, Family!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Kids can grate ginger, chop chicken, scrape carrots

The Chef and I tried a fun new recipe for Chicken Chow Mein from a book he received from friends, "Children's Quick & Easy Cook Book" by Angela Wilkes (DK Publishing Inc., 2003). The picture looked terrific, and the finished dish looked a lot like the picture, which doesn't usually happen. Better still, it tasted just as good.

Was it Quick & Easy? Not exactly. At least not if you are trying to keep a nearly walking 1-year-old out of trouble at the same time you are cooking. There were a whole lot of veggies to prep, plus the chicken, garlic and ginger. Fortunately, this was a day I was able to do some of the washing and chopping earlier while Baby Zi napped.

What I really like about this dish is that any of the individual steps (up to the stir frying) are something a child of at least 6 can do, and many of them can be handled by younger cooks. We have a neat ginger grater in the shape of a fish. It's ceramic so even a little little guy could use it without grating his knuckles. And we got to try eating with chopsticks.

I didn't obtain permission to reprint the recipe, but any stir fry recipe can be adapted to include carrots, green beans and other foods your kids can prepare and/or will eat. Broccoli, cabbage and apples would work well, too. Squishing garlic cloves in a press is fun, and with ginger and soy sauce makes for great seasoning. We've been trying liquid aminos instead of soy sauce for a milder, MSG-free taste. It sounds like a non-food to me, but it actually worked well.

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