Does your little one like to help out in the kitchen? Are you looking for some easy recipes that you and they can make over the season? Here are 5 Simple Warming Winter Recipes that Kids (and You) will Enjoy Making and Eating!
Cooking with kids is fun all year round, but is the perfect activity when it’s cold and wet outside. Kids love experimenting, and they love it more if they have permission to get messy, so encourage their creativity by letting them try out new dishes.
1. Turkey & Noodle Soup
Nothing is more heart-warming than soup on a cold winter’s day. Also kids tend to be more receptive to trying dishes that they have made themselves, so soups can be a great way to ensure they get their daily vegetables.
Turkey is a lean meat, lower in saturated fat, and facilitates muscle building, so it’s good to include more variants of lean meat like chicken and pork tenderloins in the diet to help increase your kid’s body mass.
- 8 cups of Turkey stock (or Chicken Stock)
- 1 cup of leeks, chopped (use only the white ends of the leeks)
- ½ cup of chopped carrots
- 2 celery ribs, chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 2 cups of cooked noodles.
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
- Chopped fresh parsley and grated parmesan for garnish
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- Salt & pepper
- In a deep base vessel like a Dutch oven, add the olive oil and sauté the leeks, carrots, and celery for 2-3 minutes.
- Next, add the garlic and rosemary, and sauté for another minute.
- Add the turkey stock and let it simmer. Partially cover the pot and let it simmer for ten minutes, on medium-low heat till the vegetables become tender.
- Add the cooked noodles, and season with salt and pepper. Let it sit for another minute before serving.
- Garnish with the freshly chopped parsley and shredded parmesan cheese, and serve while the soup is still piping hot.
2. Hot Cocoa Mix
If you’ve been out for a winter walk, or playing in the snow, then a warm chocolate drink works a treat for warming little hands up again. And the milk is great for growing kids.
- 1 ½ cups of unsweetened cocoa
- 1 ¼ cups of sugar
- 6 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Blend cocoa, sugar, salt, and the chocolate in a food processor with a knife blade. Make sure the mixture attains a smooth and creamy consistency.
- You can store this mixture in an air-tight container for as long as 6 months.
- When serving, add 3 tablespoons of the hot cocoa mix to 1 cup of milk and microwave. You should microwave on high for about a minute and a half to 2 minutes. Make sure there are no clumps. Stir once, just to be sure.
- If you want the spiced version, add 2 teaspoons of cinnamon and ¼ teaspoon of ground cayenne pepper before blending. Swirl a dollop of whipped cream and serve piping hot!
3. Sweet Pea Lasagna
Imagine piping hot cheese oozing from your food along with the slightly baked smell of sweet peas! Paradise! Lasagnas have always been on the top of the list of comforting foods, and kids will love helping with this recipe.
Although there is a lot of cheese in this dish, the peas contain enough dietary fiber and other nutrients to compensate for the excess fat.
- 10 ounces of fresh or frozen peas
- 16 ounces of marinara sauce – shop bought or make your own
- 16 ounces of ricotta cheese
- ¼ cup of shredded mozzarella cheese
- 9 ounces of lasagna noodles
- Salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF / 200ºC.
- Wash the peas properly. If you are using frozen peas, wash them under running water in a strainer until they have thawed.
- In a medium-sized bowl, mix the ricotta cheese with the peas and ¼ teaspoon each of salt and pepper.
- Spoon half the marinara sauce onto 8 inches square baking dish.
- Top 2 layers of the lasagna noodles over the marinara. Layer the lasagna with the peas and ricotta combination.
- Add another layer of lasagna and top it all off with the remaining marinara.
- Sprinkle shredded mozzarella on top before putting it into the oven.
- Loosely cover the baking dish with foil and let it bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the lasagna is tender.
4. Polka Dot Pea Soup
This recipe from Martha Stewart is another great winter soup for kids to make. Fresh peas in warm chicken stock have the potential to relieve every heartbreak, injury, and fever!
Sour cream helps soothe digestive distress, and is a good substitute for people who are lactose intolerant.
5. Hoppin’ John’s
This particular recipe is probably most associated with New Year’s Eve dish in many households, due to the dried black-eyed peas that go into the recipe. These beans look like little coins and are regarded as symbols of prosperity for the new year.
This version of the Hoppin’ John’s however, is much richer on the nutrient content as well as crunch from all the fresh veggies included in it. Black-eyed peas contain a host of vitamin A that boosts your immunity.
- 1 cup dried black-eyed peas
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions (optional)
- 1/2 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
- 1/2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 2 cups water, divided
- 1 1/2 cups fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
- Freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (such as Tabasco)
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 3 ounces andouille sausage that have been cut into 1/4-inch cubes
- 5-ounces of diced tomatoes, fresh or canned, that have been drained
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup uncooked long-grain rice
- Sort the black-eyes peas thoroughly and set them aside in a large bowl. Add water into the bowl so that the peas are submerged, and let them soak overnight, or for at least 8 hours. Then, strain the peas.
- Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium flame. Add the onions, bell peppers, garlic cloves and the jalapeño.
- Sauté until the vegetables are tender.
- Add the paprika and cumin and continue to sauté.
- Add the peas, diced tomatoes, bay leaf, 1 cup water as well as the chicken broth. Allow the mixture to simmer.
- Add the thyme, and season with salt and pepper.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, cover it and let it simmer for about 50 minutes; or until the peas are tender.
- Discard the bay leaf.
- In a separate vessel, combine one cup of water and the rice. Bring it to a boil. Cover it, reduce the heat to medium and allow it to simmer for around 12 minutes, until it has absorbed the water and is cooked. Fluff the rice with the help of a fork, and stir it into the pea mixture.
- Top it with green onions and serve it hot.
Over to you! Have you tried these recipes or have you favourite winter recipes you’d like to add? Let us know in the comments below.