Cooking is a great stress buster. It is also a great way to bond with the kids. Prepping the food, putting ingredients together, buying fruits and vegetables and all the tasks involved, are known to calm the mind, whereas the healthy food you prepare is great for the body, and fulfils essential nutritional requirements.
Rather than making cooking a chore by labouring over it for hours or cooking separately for kids and adults, it is great to know a few recipes that are easy and quick, tasty and healthy.
The below three amazingly simple, yet scrumptious recipes can be prepared in just under 30 minutes and will be a lifesaver on busy workdays.
Pepperoni Pizza Puffs
Pizza puffs are great pick-me-ups, can be stuffed with many different ingredients and can be healthy when made at home. And the best part is that your kids won’t find it boring!
3/4th cup of Flour (any type)
3/4th teaspoon of Baking Powder
1 tablespoon of Pizza Seasoning
3/4 cup Whole Milk
1 Egg, lightly beaten
1 cup shredded Mozzarella Cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
1 package mini Pepperoni rounds (or 1 cup cubed pepperoni)
1/2 cup store-bought Pizza Sauce
- Begin by preheating the oven to 375 degrees
- Grease a 24-cup mini-muffin pan. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and pizza seasoning; whisk in the milk and egg. Stir in the mozzarella, parmesan and pepperoni; let it stand for 10 minutes.
- Stir the batter and divide among the mini-muffin cups. Bake until puffed and golden, for around 20 to 25 minutes.
- Meanwhile, microwave the pizza sauce until warmed through. Serve the puffs with the pizza sauce for dipping.
Italian-Style Stuffed Red Capsicum
Red capsicums or bell-peppers are very good for health. They are high in antioxidants, Vitamin B and Vitamin C. These micronutrients are great for good tissue growth as well as to build immunity. To make them interesting, stuff them with something interesting that your kids will love.
1⁄2 kg boneless Chicken
3 red Capsicums
2 cups Spaghetti Sauce
1 tsp Basil/ Oregano seasoning
1 tsp Garlic powder or 1 pressed Garlic clove
1⁄2 tsp Salt and Pepper
1⁄2 cup Spinach
2 tbsp grated Parmesan Cheese + 4 tbsp for garnish
- Begin by preheating the oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil (for easy clean up), and coat with a non-stick cooking spray. Wash red peppers, and cut around the stem.
- De-seed and remove stems from the bell peppers. Cut peppers in half lengthwise and set peppers on baking pan.
- Meanwhile, cook the ground chicken in a large non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Stir and break up the meat while it’s cooking. When it is almost completely cooked through, add the sauce and seasonings to the pan. Stir and continue to cook until the chicken is completely cooked (when it is no longer pink). Add the spinach and stir until everything is well combined
- Next, you can put this filling in the bell peppers, and then top them with parmesan. Bake them until the cheese melts.
Quick Lime Coriander Chicken
Everyone tends to love chicken! Besides being high in protein, this lime chicken recipe is super tasty too.
3 breasts Boneless Chicken
4-6 Garlic cloves
1 tsp Olive Oil
1⁄2 tsp Chili Powder
1⁄4 cup chopped Cilantro
1 Avocado, optional
- The recipe can be started by mincing the garlic, snipping the cilantro and taking the zest of a lime. Juice the lime carcass along with two more limes. Cut a lime into wedges.
- Cut the chicken into chunks. You can cook it whole but chunks cook faster and better.
- Once this is done, pour a little olive oil into a large skillet or saute pan, just enough to cover the bottom. Heat it over medium-high heat until it’s very hot, almost smoking. Add the chicken and let it cook undisturbed.
- Once the chicken is browned nicely on the bottom and doesn’t stick to the pan, sprinkle it generously with cumin and chilli powder or pepper. Turn the chicken and let it cook another couple of minutes, long enough to brown.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low and sprinkle in the garlic and lime zest. Stir it little and let it cook another couple of minutes but be careful not to let the garlic burn.
- Once the chicken is cooked through add the lime juice and stir up all the browned goodness from the pan.
- Remove the chicken to a bowl or platter and sprinkle it with cilantro.
- Serve with a slice of avocado if desired.
Whether eaten by kids for a birthday or adults for a get-together, these recipes are easy to make, very healthy and use minimal ingredients to build taste. They also use little oil and no frying. To add another boost of nutrition, serve these with some fruit juice - and if you don’t have time to make this, there’s always Tropicana Essentials fruit juice, which is also iron-fortified and has no added sugar!
Healthy eating doesn’t have to be boring or tasteless. Make it fun and delicious, and your kids will definitely take to the habit!