Citrusy Rice Salad

Citrusy Rice Salad

This salad makes a nice introduction to citrus fruits for toddlers. Veronika hesitantly asked “Apple?” when I spooned some onto her tray. Close but not quite!

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon agave nectar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped green beans
  • 1/4 cup chopped orange
  • 1/4 cup chopped pineapple
  • 2 chopped green onions
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  1. To prepare the dressing, whisk together the orange juice, agave, and olive oil in a large bowl. Set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, steam the green beans for about 6 minutes, or until tender.
  3. Add the green beans to the bowl with the dressing, along with the remaining ingredients, stirring to coat.

 

Samosas

Samosas (4)

These hand-held treats make a fantastic after-school snack, or can be part of a larger meal packed in a lunchbox. They’re the perfect size for kids’ hands! Try Wholly Wholesome’s pie crusts for a vegan version.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup prepared mashed potatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Dash black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced cilantro
  • 2 chopped mint leaves
  • 2 (9-inch) pie crusts, thawed
  1. To prepare the filling, stir together the mashed potatoes, cumin, salt, black pepper, cilantro and mint leaves in a large bowl. Set aside.
  2. Roll the pie crusts out on a flat surface and trim slightly to form a rectangle. Cut with a pizza wheel into a tic-tac-toe board, for 9 squares in each crust.Samosas (2)
  3. Spoon the filling evenly into the center of the squares. Fold over into a triangle shape, pinching the edges to seal.Samosas (1)
  4. Transfer to baking sheets and bake at 350 degrees F for 18 minutes, until lightly brown.

Samosas (3)

Matoke (Plantain Stew)

Matoke.JPG

This hearty stew brought international flair to our kitchen tonight; the plantain-based dish is similar to those traditionally served at birthday celebrations in Kenya, a nice little addendum to some birthday learning Travis has recently enjoyed.

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 8 ounces meatless crumbles
  • 3 ripe plantains, peeled and chopped
  • 2 baking potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cups water
  1. Heat the canola oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the tomatoes and meatless crumbles; cook for about 10 minutes.
  3. Stir in the chopped plantains and potatoes, then cover with the water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, until the potatoes are very tender.

 

 

Strawberry Applesauce

Strawberry Applesauce (2)

This chunky applesauce is a great homemade alternative to store-bought pouches, and a nice way to introduce berry flavor to toddlers.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup peeled and chopped apple
  • 1 cup chopped strawberries
  • 1/4 cup apple juice
  1. Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer and continue to cook for 12 minutes, until the fruit is very tender.
  2. Mash with a potato masher and cool before serving.

Strawberry Applesauce (1).JPG

Fairy Bread

Fairy Bread (2).JPG

If children could invent a snack, Fairy Bread would probably be it. This treat, apparently popular at birthday parties in Australia, sure made our after-school snack feel like a treat!

Spread Earth Balance butter on slices of white bread. Trim off the crusts.

Fairy Bread (1)

Sprinkle with rainbow sprinkles to taste, then cut into triangles. I prepared the first slice for Travis, but let him be in charge of the sprinkles for the second.

Fairy Bread (3)

Clearly this indulgence is meant to be a once-in-a-while treat, but it sure put a big smile on his face today!

Split Pea Curry

Split Pea Curry alt.JPG

This protein-packed vegan curry introduces your toddler to new flavors and spice without overwhelming little taste buds.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup split peas
  • 2 baking potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1/2 cup carrot, chopped
  • 1 cup cauliflower, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
  1. In a large pot, combine the split peas, potatoes, carrot, cauliflower, and garlic.
  2. Add the water, tomato sauce, and curry powder, stirring to combine.
  3. Bring the mixture to a simmer, then continue to cook for 1 hour, or until the split peas are very tender. Let cool before serving.

Split Pea Curry

Toddler Chick’n Dinners

 

Chickn Pea Potato (1)

Here are two ways I love to serve vegan chick’n strips to my Baby Led Weaning toddler for a full meal.

Parsnip & Chicken Dinner

Chicken Parsnip (1)

Peel and chop 4 small parsnips. Cover with water and bring to a boil; continue to cook for 20 minutes, until very soft.

Drain and return to the pan, then add 1 teaspoon Earth balance butter and mash until smooth. Serve with finely chopped Gardein chick’n strips.

Chicken, Sweet Pea, & Sweet Potato Dinner

Chickn Pea Potato (2).JPG

Microwave 1 sweet potato for about 6 minutes, or until very tender. Let cool slightly, then scoop the flesh from the peel and mash to desired consistency.

Serve with finely chopped Gardein chick’n strips and cooked green peas.

 

Chocolate-Eating Game

Chocolate-Eating (2).JPG

Travis learned about this hilarious game from his latest Highlights magazine, traditionally played at birthdays in Germany. It sounded so silly and fun we had to give it a try just for an after-school snack!

If you’re playing with multiple players, you’ll need a dice. Anyone who rolls a 6 quickly puts on a hat, mittens, and scarf, and tries to unwrap a chocolate bar with a knife and fork. The next player to roll a 6 takes that first person’s turn, and if the bar is unwrapped, then whoever rolls a 6 now gets to eat the chocolate with a knife and fork. Silly, right?

Because it was just me and Travis, we took turns donning all the winter gear and working at the wrapper with the utensils.

Chocolate-Eating (1)

Mommy got us in! Time to fork into our chocolate.

Chocolate-Eating (3)

Whoever manages to eat the most chocolate wins, of course! I can see this being just delicious to play with a batch of kids at a party.

Tomato & Orzo Soup

Tomato Orzo Soup.JPG

I love this hack for making a hearty family dinner: Start with a canned creamy soup, add a few ingredients for added nutrition, and dinner seems gourmet in minutes flat.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups creamy tomato soup
  • 1 cup canned black beans
  • 2 cups cooked orzo
  • Plain non-dairy yogurt
  1. Heat the soup in a saucepan until warm. Add the beans and cooked pasta, stirring until combined.
  2. Ladle the soup into bowls, and top each with about 1 tablespoon yogurt.

Mini Tamale Pies

Mini Tamales (7).JPG

The final recipe from Travis’s Holiday Traditions Raddish Kids’ kit were these mini tamales, to make honor of Three Kings’ Day!

The vegan suggestion to replace 1 pound chicken was 1 can of unseasoned jackfruit. It was unclear if this needed to be baked in advance, as the chicken was. Instead, we skipped ahead to making the dough and then preparing the filling. We also could not find masa corn flour at the store, which meant using regular cornmeal. Although I knew this meant our dough base wouldn’t quite taste authentic, I also knew Travis wouldn’t notice the difference. Use true masa flour if you can find it!

Ingredients:

  • 1 and 1/4 cups yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup vegetable broth, divided
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 (14-ounce) can jackfruit
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup diced mild green chiles
  • 1 cup shredded non-dairy cheese
  • 1/2 cup canned corn
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, optional
  1. To prepare the dough, stir together the cornmeal, baking powder, 2/3 cup broth, and canola oil in a large bowl. Stir to form a soft dough.Mini Tamales (3)
  2. Divide evenly among 12 muffin cups, using about a heaping tablespoon per cup. Press carefully into the bottoms and up the sides of the cups.Mini Tamales (4)
  3. To prepare the filling, drain and chop the jackfruit. Combine the jackfruit in a bowl with the garlic powder, salt, green chiles, cheese, corn, and remaining 1/3 cup broth. Spoon a heaping 1/4 cup filling into each muffin cup.Mini Tamales (6)
  4. Bake at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes. Let cool in the pan at least 10 minutes, then gently remove.
  5. Sprinkle with the cilantro before serving if desired. We skipped this step because our cilantro was a bit wilted!

The recipe card featured additional information on traditional tamale-making parties, as well as a matching game for holiday foods from other countries.

After the recipe, Travis and I did a mini lesson on Winter Festivals Around the World, starting with this kooky video. I checked out a host of books from the library about winter festivals, and as we read each one we pinpointed the corresponding country on a world map.

Mini Tamale Pie (1)

This was a nice way to place our recent Christmas and New Year’s celebrations in context of the multitude of festivals worldwide. Raddish provided a helpful chart to make notes of where each holiday was celebrated, along with any traditional foods or celebration highlights.

Mini Tamale Pie (2)

We wish we’d been able to attend a real Three Kings’ Day celebration, but perhaps next year!