Friday, May 16, 2014

Cooking with Helen for Food Revolution Day 2014

One proud chef!

I was inspired by Food Revolution Day's theme this year of getting kids worldwide excited about good food. What better way than to get kids in the kitchen cooking, tasting, and learning about delicious real food?  I was thrilled to be invited by Brianne DeRosa of Red, Round, and Green and Bettina Siegal of The Lunch Tray to collaborate with other bloggers on a Flipsnack virtual cookbook to celebrate the day. We each had our kids cook up different easy dishes at home and shared our experiences with photos and step-by-step recipes. Here's our story and a fun cookbook for you and your kids to get cooking at home in your own kitchen!

Click link to access free cookbook. 

My daughter loves cooking but in the busy daily rush of making dinner, I often forget to include her. Sometimes I think after the fact, "Oh, she could have really helped with this one. Darn!" I am on a mission to teach my teenage daughter full-scale recipes and meals, but I have to remind myself to capture the energy and enthusiasm of my eight year old while I still can.

One afternoon I had hurt my hand and even doing simple tasks in the kitchen was challenging. Perfect time to call in the kids to help! My teenager diced the tomatoes, but my eight year old wanted to make the tomato bruschetta all by herself. With this simple recipe, she could do it! I just told her what to do, step by step, and--viola!--she did it.  She was so proud and the result was a kid-friendly, good food snack that can be a quick bite or an appetizer. 

Another great thing about this recipe is that it can be varied and amended in many ways to suit your budding chef's creativity. Add spices or fresh herbs, lemon juice or use a different cheese (just not too much!). Also, as long as you don't burn the bruschetta in the broiler, it is impossible to "screw up." Some tomatoes fall to the tray, not problem! They'll get roasted too. The rustic look doesn't stop them from getting gobbled up.

Tasting is the best part!

Roasted Tomato Bruschetta
(Time approx 15 mins)

This delicious snack was made entirely by my 8 year old daughter, except for help with dicing tomatoes and using oven.

  • Slices of thick, hearty bread, if large slices, half or quarter slices as desired. (Bread can be day-old and best to use baguette, country, wheat, sourdough-type bread that can hold weight of topping)
  • 1 cup of diced tomatoes (must be fresh, not canned)
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Optional: Lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, fresh herbs
1. Set oven to broil (low setting, if possible).
2. Arrange bread slices on baking sheet. Use a spoon or pastry brush to “paint” each bread slice with olive oil. (If bread is soft, it will not hold tomatoes well. You can lightly toast bread in a toaster if needed.)
3. Spoon tomatoes over each bread slice, piled high; it’s ok if tomatoes fall off toast as they will be roasted on tray anyway.
4. Sprinkle a bit of salt on each toast and also sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
5. Have adult or older teenager place tray in hot oven and broil for 3-5 minutes. Check to be sure it is not burning. Heat until tomatoes and cheese are lightly browned but not burned. Depending on the temperature of your oven, you may need to add 2-4 additional minutes.
6. Let cool a moment and serve. Any tomatoes that have fallen off can be re-piled onto the toast slices. Enjoy!
7. Optional variations: Add squeeze of lemon juice or a splash of balsamic vinegar to tomatoes and stir prior to spooning on bread. Fresh herbs can be added to tomatoes or sprinkled on finished bruschetta as a garnish.


Many thanks to the other great bloggers who contributed to this effort and of course to Food Revolution Day team which is tirelessly working to expand awareness about food choice and to teach and inspire kids and families everywhere to eat good food and to cook for themselves.

Participants in the Food Revolution Day Kid's Cookbook 2014

Bettina Siegal, The Lunch, @thelunchtray  
Bri DeRosa, Red, Round,, @redroundorgreen 
Sally Kuzemchak, Real Mom, @RMNutrition 
Mia Moran, Stay Basic, @StayBasicblog
Lynn Barendsen, The Family Dinner Project, @FDP_Tweets 
Caron Gremont, First, @FirstBites 

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