Gado Gado Salad

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Gado Gado is an Indonesian dish, consisting of a platter of mixed vegetables and protein with peanut dip for serving. It’s perfect for kids to pick and choose what to dip in the yummy sauce with each bite!

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Ingredients:

For the sauce:

  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoon fresh-squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 sliced garlic clove
  • 1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger

For the salad:

  • 1 pound small red potatoes
  • 8 oz asparagus, trimmed
  • 1 cucumber
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 (14-ounce) package extra-firm tofu
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  1. To prepare the sauce, combine the peanut butter, water, rice vinegar, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, lime juice, sugar, garlic, and ginger in a blender; process until smooth.
  2. Meanwhile, place the potatoes in a large pot and cover with water;. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cook for 20 minutes, until tender. Add the asparagus in the last 5 minutes of serving.
  3.  Drain and let the potatoes cool slightly, then cut in half. Cut the cucumber into 2-inch sticks. Arrange the potatoes, asparagus, and cukes on a platter.
  4. Meanwhile, heat the canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cut the tofu into 2-inch pieces and add to the skillet; cook for 8 minutes, until browned. Add the soy sauce and continue to cook for a final few minutes.
  5. Add the tofu to the vegetable platter, along with the peanut dip.

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Tofurky Cream Cheese Roll-Ups

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These wraps are perfect for school lunches: veggies, protein, and bread all wrapped up in one delicious bite.

Ingredients:

  • 4 spinach (or sun-dried tomato) tortillas
  • 1/2 cup non-dairy veggie cream cheese (such as Kite Hill)
  • 1 package vegan turkey deli slices
  • Thinly sliced cucumber
  • Shredded carrots
  1. Spread each of the tortillas with 2 tablespoons of the cream cheese. Divide the turkey slices evenly among the tortillas, then top with cucumber and carrots to taste.
  2. Wrap up tightly and slice each tortilla into thirds for perfectly kid-sized handheld portions.

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Tissue Paper Easter Eggs

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I’m always looking for ways that my vegan kids can decorate eggs for Easter without dyeing real hen’s eggs. This particular method works great on plastic eggs!

I set out a few eggs (from Eco Eggs), and Veronika first wanted to explore them, of course. She loved the way they opened and closed, and that favorite toys could nest inside. While she played, I cut small squares of tissue paper in pastel colors.

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Pour a little white glue into a small paper cup and add water to thin it slightly. I showed Veronika how to brush this glue mixture on the eggs, and she was quickly an expert.

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Now the tissue paper sticks easily, making the eggs look almost like stained glass. We learned quickly, though, that our first egg came out the best. That’s because the more we worked, the more gluey our fingers became, and the tissue tender either to wad up on the egg, or stick to us!

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Of course, this only made Veronika gleeful about her pink fingers.

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For an easy way to dry the eggs, snip an empty toilet paper tube into a few segments and place the eggs upright until the glue is dry.

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Thick Paper Triangles for Towers and Play

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These beautiful paper triangles take a bit of time to make, but lend themselves to such wonderful play that it’s worth the effort!

To make the triangles, you’ll want to use thick cardstock, not construction paper or craft paper. I had a sheet of cardstock for each color of the rainbow, although that’s by no means necessary. Feel free to stick to all one color, or just a few. Veronika immediately wanted to “help” as I pulled out a ruler and tape.

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Cut strips of the cardstock that are 1 inch high x 4 inches wide. Use a ruler to make a mark at 1 inch intervals, width-wise.

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Fold up along these marks to form a triangle, and tape closed. Repeat until you have the desired amount of triangles. We made 12 of each color!

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First, I just wanted Veronika to explore them. She loved scattering them in and out of a bucket, or burying tiny toys in a pile of them. We also color-sorted them into piles.

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But the real fun comes when you try to stack them into towers. For this we enlisted the aid of big brother Travis.

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The challenge was to make a tower sturdy enough that it could hold a sweet treat (hint: a cookie) on top. I promised him the cookie to eat if he could make it work! He puzzled out how to build sturdy layers arranging three triangles in a sort of pyramid, with a flat surface for the cookie on top. We built up a structure that was several layers deep and tall like this.

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The cookie stands! We tried our luck to see if it could hold two cookies, but alas the tower crumbled.

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What will you build balance atop your paper towers? Please share in the comments!

 

Toddler Style Painted T-Shirts

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Last year, the siblings worked together to make painted t-shirts… but they’ve since outgrown them! I picked up a few blank shirts from the craft store and this time they were Veronika’s works of art, as a surprise for big brother Travis.

Before she could paint the shirts, I marked out their first initials with masking tape (you could also use contact paper) so a V and T would be left behind.

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The only fabric paint I had on hand was puffy paint, but this worked fine if I squirted it onto paper plates. We had a few novel painting methods to test out! First up was shape sponges. She loved pressing these into the paint and then pressing down onto the shirts to see the stars and circles left behind.

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Next, we made car tracks over the shirts! Run a toy car’s wheels through the paint and then drive across the shirts.

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This was a big hit, accompanied by lots of vrooming engine noises of course. And sometimes she wanted to paint the cars with the sponges, too!

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She wasn’t as interested in the third option, which was rolling a ping pong ball through the paint and then along the shirts.

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Mostly the design was her own creation; I only helped out enough to make sure the fabric was covered all around the V and T in tape, so that the images would be left behind once the tape was removed.

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Set the shirts aside to dry… and then stage a fashion show!

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Veronika was so proud she wanted to keep hers on all night.

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