Mixed-Vegetable Stir-Fry

Mixed Vegetable Stir-Fry (2)

Serve this dish with sesame tofu and brown rice for a well-rounded meal.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger, minced
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 cup thinly sliced bok choy
  • 1 cup thinly sliced cabbage
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the water and cornstarch. Add the soy sauce and rice vinegar; set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and ginger; cook for 30 seconds.
  3. Add the onions, carrot, and broccoli; cook for about 2 minutes.
  4. Add the bok choy and cabbage; cook for 2 minutes.
  5. Stir in the cornstarch mixture and continue to cook until the vegetables reach desired tenderness for your child.

The kids love this directly over brown rice!

Mixed Vegetable Stir-Fry (3)

Homemade Limeade

Homemade Limeade

This toddler-friendly version of limeade has just the tiniest bite from sour lime, and no added sugars. You can use the same method to make lemonade, too! Add 1 teaspoon agave nectar if your kids do want a little extra sweetener.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup fresh-squeezed lime juice
  • 2 cups white grape juice
  1. Stir together the ingredients in a pitcher, and serve over ice.

BBQ Chick’n Wrap

BBQ Chickn Wrap (2)

My kids devour this savory sandwich wrap. In other words, it’s the perfect way to refuel between in-person school mornings and remote afternoon learning sessions!

Ingredients:

  • 1 flour tortilla
  • 4 Gardein chick’n strips, cooked and sliced
  • 1 tablespoon BBQ sauce
  • 1/4 cup shredded cabbage mix
  • 1 tablespoon vegan ranch dressing
  1. Arrange the chick’n strips down the center of the tortilla, and drizzle with the BBQ sauce.
  2. In a small bowl, toss together the cabbage mix with the dressing. Sprinkle over the chick’n, then roll up tightly and cut in half to serve.

BBQ Chickn Wrap (1)

Grilled Cheese with Squash & Corn Puree

Grilled Cheese with Squash and Corn (1)

Take grilled cheese to the next level with this easy upgrade.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cubed butternut squash
  • 1/2 cup corn
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 slices whole wheat bread
  • 2 tablespoons Earth Balance butter
  • 4 slices vegan smoked provolone (such as Violife)
  1. To prepare the puree, combine the squash, corn, and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then continue to cook for 8 minutes, or until the squash is tender.
  2. Transfer the squash mixture to a blender and process until smooth. Set aside.
  3. To prepare the sandwiches, heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Spread 1 and 1/2 teaspoons Earth Balance over each bread slice. Spread the other side of each slice with 1 tablespoon puree; reserve the remaining squash puree for another use.
  4. Place two slices of bread in the skillet, buttered side down. Top each with 2 slices provolone, then cover with the remaining bread slices, buttered side up.
  5. Cook for 3 minutes on each side.

Grilled Cheese with Squash and Corn (2)

You Pick Popcorn Mix

You Pick Popcorn (2)

Kids can mix and match to make the version they like best for this fun popcorn snack mix. It packs up great for snack at school, or just keep it on hand at home if you need to fuel through a marathon Zoom session.

Before even eating, this recipe was so fun to make. First, Travis loved watching the bag of popcorn pop in the microwave. I fooled him into thinking we had a dud bag in the first minute, until all those pop pop pops began, and then he was ecstatic.

You Pick Popcorn (1)

Now add mix-ins to taste, using a ratio of 1 cup popcorn to 1/3 cup nuts or seeds, 1/3 cup dried fruit, and 1/3 cup healthy sweets. Here were the four variations that we tried.

Version 1: 1 cup popcorn + 1/3 cup peanuts + 1/3 cup dried cranberries + 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips + 1 tablespoon melted butter

You Pick Popcorn (3)

Version 2: 1 cup popcorn + 1/3 cup sunflower seeds + 1/3 cup banana chips + 1/3 cup coconut flakes + 1/2 teaspoon salt

You Pick Popcorn (4)

Version 3: 1 cup popcorn + 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds + 1/3 cup raisins + 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips + 1 teaspoon cinnamon sugar

You Pick Popcorn (5)

Version 4: 1 cup popcorn + 1/3 cup slivered almonds + 1/3 cup dried cranberries + 1/3 cup coconut flakes + 1 tablespoon melted butter

You Pick Popcorn (6)

You can even throw in a few math problems as you nosh so this counts toward math home school of the day! For example, count the number of kernels in 1 cup of popcorn, then multiply that by a factor of 2.

You Pick Popcorn (7)

Big kids can try making up their own equations! And the littlest kids can just enjoy the taste.

Hummus Veggie Wrap

Hummus Veggie Wrap (2)

This quick wrap makes the perfect lunch on a school day.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tortillas
  • 2 tablespoons hummus
  • 1/4 cup chopped or sliced tomato
  • 2 tablespoons sprouts
  • 1/2 cup avocado
  1. Spread the hummus evenly over the two tortillas.
  2. Divide the tomato, sprouts, and avocado evenly down the middles, then roll up tightly and cut in half to serve.

Hummus Veggie Wrap (1)

Butterfly Pasta Salad

Butterfly Pasta Salad (1)

Butterfly-shaped farfalle pasta add a whimsical touch to this easy lunch. With my son home from in-person school by lunchtime now, we’ll be making lots of new midday recipes in the weeks to come!

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces farfalle pasta
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups frozen mixed vegetables
  • 1/2 cup vegan Parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  1. Combine the pasta and water in a large skillet. Bring to a boil; continue to cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed.
  2. Add the mixed vegetables, Parmesan, and olive oil, stirring to combine. Let cool before serving.

Cherry Apple Coconut Rice Pudding

Cherry Coconut Rice Pudding (1)This dessert pudding couldn’t be easier to put together or bake, making it easy enough for even a weeknight.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • 1 (15-ounce) can coconut milk
  • 1 cup frozen cherries, thawed
  • 1 cup applesauce
  1. Combine all the ingredients in a 2-quart casserole dish.
  2. Cover and bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour.

Pizza Pockets

Pizza Pockets (6)

Today is one of those wacky random holiday, National Kids Take Over the Kitchen Day! It was the perfect excuse to prepare the final recipe from Travis’s Lunchtime Love set from Raddish Kids. Travis and Veronika sure did take over with this one, including a messy buffet of all the different types of vegan cheese we needed to make the recipe!

Pizza Pockets (2)

We needed to make a few vegan adjustments to Raddish’s original recipe, including the use of prepared pizza dough instead of puff pastry, whipping up a batch of vegan tofu ricotta, and using tempeh bacon in place of pepperoni.

Ingredients:

For the ricotta:

  • 1 (1 pound) package firm tofu
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 2 teaspoons nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For the pizza pockets:

  • 1/2 cup chopped baby spinach
  • 1/4 cup shredded non-dairy mozzarella
  • 1/4 cup vegan Parmesan
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 slices tempeh bacon
  • 1 pound pizza dough
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce
  1. To prepare the ricotta, combine the tofu, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic powder, oregano, basil, nutritional yeast, and salt in a blender; process until smooth and creamy. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  2. To prepare the pizza pockets, spoon 1/3 cup prepared ricotta into a large bowl; reserve the remaining ricotta for another use.
  3. Stir in the spinach, mozzarella, Parmesan, garlic powder, oregano, and salt.
  4. Cut the tempeh bacon into 12 pieces; set aside.
  5. Divide the pizza dough into 6 portions on a lightly floured surface. Roll each into a rectangle.
  6. Top each portion of dough with 2 tempeh pieces, 1 heaping tablespoon ricotta mixture, and 2 teaspoons tomato sauce. Fold in half, and press a fork around the edges to seal.
  7. Transfer the pizza pockets to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 425 degrees F for 15 minutes. Let cool before serving.

Pizza Pockets (4)

Little Passports: England

LP England alt

Travis enjoyed learning about England in this month’s kit from Little Passports, not least of all because it involved lots of puzzles (and I mean lots!). As with the India package, he had a personal interest, too, because he has some English heritage.

After familiar finds in his package like a world coin and stickers for his map, passport, and suitcase, we turned to the booklet.

LP England (7)

This month’s booklet allowed him to tackle a crossword puzzle, spot four-of-a-kind images, and do a mapping activity.

LP England (12)

That last is the only one I would say was beyond his grade level.

LP England (11)

Souvenir:

The souvenir was a 3-D puzzle of Big Ben, a huge hit because Travis once had an obsession with this clock tower (yes, we used to watch videos of it chiming). Now we could build it!

LP England (8)

The puzzle slots together easily, but a parental note of caution: it didn’t last long because Travis wanted to play with it more like an action figure.

Further Activities:

I was happy to see a wide variety of activities this month, both in the booklet and continued online. For science, we printed out a template for Newton’s color wheel. After learning briefly who Newton was, Travis colored in the provided circle in a rainbow.

LP England (17)

Glue onto cardboard for sturdiness and then thread onto a string that is 30 inches long. Wind the string up and then let it spin until unwound; it rotates fast enough that the colors blur back to white.

The website also had a printout of a British afternoon tea spread to color, which you can then cut apart and re-do as a puzzle.

LP England (18)

Travis wasn’t terribly interested, but it was nice to color side by side.

LP England (19)

There were two available add-ons from the company with the England kit, and we opted for both. To extrapolate on the theme of Shakespeare and the theater, Travis made shadow puppets. He loved slotting together and decorating the cardboard theater first.

LP England (1)

Turn on the battery-operated lights, and then it’s time for felt puppets to take center stage! This is sure to be a great toy to play with even completely separate from this Little Passport’s package.

LP England (4)

The second add-on circled back to themes of mapping and puzzles: a 3-D puzzle of London.

LP England (10)

The puzzle was far beyond my 6 year old’s ability, but he loved slotting the landmarks into their spaces, and we read about each one in the provided insert.

LP England (6)

And after all that, the neatest project by far was to make Stonehenge from homemade play dough! We mixed 2 cups flour and 1 cup salt in a large bowl. We wanted to make it black, so added red, blue, and green food coloring to 1/2 cup water. It turned our mixture more gray than black, but that’s probably closer to Stonehenge’s hue anyway. Stir until the color is incorporated, then add an additional 1/4 cup water. Knead until you have a workable play dough.

LP England (14)

We arranged the plinths and monoliths on a piece of cardboard and left it to dry for about 1 day. Not only did this look awesome, but it was a great background for his Lego figures to play in, too!

LP England (15)

Recipe:

We always end these country kits in the kitchen. This month’s recipe was for Awesome Apple Crumble, which lived up to its name!

Awesome Apple Crumble (4)

Ingredients:

For the topping:

  • 1 and 1/2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup Earth Balance butter, cubed

For the filling:

  • 1 pound Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  1. To prepare the topping, combine 1 and 1/2 cups flour, 3/4 cup brown sugar, and the salt in a bowl. Add the Earth Balance butter and use your fingers to mix until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs; set aside.
  2. To prepare the apples, place the slices in a large bowl. Add the remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1 tablespoon flour, and the cinnamon, stirring to coat.
  3. Spoon the apples into a 9×9-inch baking dish. Sprinkle the topping over the apples and bake at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes.
  4. Serve warm and drizzle with a little non-dairy creamer, which is closer to how the Brits would serve it than serving American-style with ice cream.

Awesome Apple Crumble (5)