Kid-friendly meals for the whole family

If you are the chef in charge of family meals, finding something that everyone enjoys can be a challenge. These ideas from Rosetta Sun will put a smile on the face of young and old alike.

Rosetta has two young grandchildren who love her peanut butter noodles with homemade chicken fingers. When she described these recipes for chicken and noodles, my mouth was watering. Once I followed her easy, flexible instructions I discovered they were indeed irresistible. Hope that these ideas fill the menu in your peanut-friendly home!

Peanut Butter Noodles

Fast, colourful and ohhh, so tasty, these peanut butter noodles are quite addictive, providing you can tolerate peanuts. (If not, substitute almond butter!)

8 oz spaghetti
Sauce:
1/2 cup (125 mL) peanut butter
1/2 cup (125 mL) warm water
1/4 cup (60 mL) soy sauce
2 – 3 tbsp (30-45 mL) peeled fresh ginger root, finely chopped
2 tbsp (30 mL) white wine vinegar
1 tbsp (15 mL) sesame oil
1-2 cloves fresh garlic finely chopped
Pinch, up to 1/4 tsp (1 mL) cayenne pepper
Veggies (substitute your favourites):
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 carrot, peeled and coarsely shredded
1/2 red pepper, diced
1/4 cucumber, sliced
1/4 cup (60 mL) coriander leaves

In a large saucepan bring water to a boil. Cook spaghetti in boiling water, 10 to 14 minutes or according to package directions, until al dente.

Meanwhile, while pasta is cooking, add peanut butter, warm water, soy sauce, ginger, vinegar, sesame oil, garlic and cayenne pepper to food processor. Puree until smooth. Drain pasta. Immediately toss pasta with enough sauce to coat generously, about 3/4 cup. Reserve the remaining sauce to toss with noodles later if needed.

Add prepared vegetables: onions, carrot, red pepper, cucumber and toss again to incorporate veggies evenly.

Serve in bowls with a sprinkling of coriander leaves. Makes four servings.

Chicken fingers

You cannot go wrong with homemade chicken fingers.

1 lb (500 g) boneless, skinless chicken breast
2 slices of whole wheat bread
1 egg
2 tbsp (30 mL) milk

Pre-heat oven to 350˚F (180˚C). Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a sharp knife, cut chicken breasts cross-wise into half-inch strips. Make bread-crumbs in food processor or blender and place them into a bowl. Whisk egg and milk in a small bowl; set aside. Dip chicken pieces into egg mixture then coat in bread crumbs. Arrange chicken on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining chicken, placing each coated strip on baking sheet in single layer, leaving a little space between each piece. Bake in oven 20 to 25 minutes, or until no longer pink inside. Serve immediately. Makes four servings.

Any fruit crisp

When in doubt – make fruit crisp! This never-fail dessert is always popular. It can be made with a variety of fruits but the rich buttery, brown sugar and cinnamon topping is its crowning glory.

If you want the ultimate approval, serve warm with ice cream or, if you are watching your waistline, lightly sweetened yogurt.

Topping:
1/2 cup (125 mL) melted butter
1 cup (250 mL) each brown sugar, all-purpose flour and quick oats
1-2 tsp (5-10 mL) cinnamon

Fruit:

6 cups (1.5 L) prepared fruit (peeled, cored and sliced apples, or mixture of frozen fruits such as strawberries, rhubarb, blueberries or peaches)
3/4 cup (180 mL) granulated sugar
1 tsp (5 mL) cinnamon

Pre-heat oven to 350˚F (180˚C). Spray 8 cup (2 L) baking dish or 13 x 9 inch (3 L) pan with baking spray.

In large glass bowl, melt butter. Stir in brown sugar, all-purpose flour, quick oats and cinnamon until well combined. Set aside. Sprinkle prepared baking dish evenly with fruit. Sprinkle crumble topping evenly over fruit. Bake crisp 45 minutes or until golden brown and bubbling. Serve immediately or warm with desired topping. Makes four to six servings.

Caramel Yogurt Sauce

1 cup (250 mL) plain yogurt
2-4 tbsp (30-60 mL) brown sugar

In mixing bowl stir yogurt and brown sugar together until brown sugar dissolves. Serve with dessert. Any left over can be covered and refrigerated.

 

Jan Main is an author, cooking instructor and caterer  ~  janmainskitchen@yahoo.ca

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