Tuesday, April 1, 2014

An Open & Creative Kitchen = Healthy Minded Children

We've created a green monster!

Guacamole Fiesta - Nutritious, Delicious and Fun!

Guacamole is a great way to let your children into the kitchen, roll up their sleeves and make a mess, right? Right! So, let's get started. 
The following steps are designed for you and your children to have fun, while learning the basics of food preparation & how to be creative & tasty -  all at the same time. Let the young ones do as much as possible, making as many decisions as you can possibly stand. Give them choices as guidance when necessary, like "would you like to chop the tomatoes smaller or do you think that's a good size?"


Step 1 - Go to the grocery store with the young chefs to specifically make guacamole. Make a list (Have a child who is able write the items down) before you leave. Be sure to have them check the list with ingredients you may already have in stock. 

Suggested List 

Don't buy if hard - only yielding to your squeeze
Plan:  make two separate batches and compare the flavors - one simple and one with pizzazz!

Four small avocados - make sure they are ripe (the flesh yields to your squeeze), not green and hard. 
Two roma tomatoes - firm or soft, it doesn't matter.
One lime - lemon is okay
One cilantro bunch - fresh cilantro is fun & the rest can be used in many ways (pesto!).
One red onion - sweet yellow is fine 
One bunch of garlic - you'll only need two cloves
One jalapeno - this is optional if the heat level is a big factor
Pepper - fresh cracked is best and most fun!
Salt - Kosher or sea salt is best
Cumin - coriander is a fine substitute. This is optional but I love it!
Cayenne - this is red pepper and adds a lot of flavor. You can substitute a few dashes of hot sauce.
Chips - You choose your favorite. I like the black corn chips. 
Veggies - If you don't want chips - celery, carrots, sweet peppers, etc. all work.

Step 2 - Get everything prepared on the kitchen counter. Wash avocados, tomatoes, jalapeno & cilantro in colander.

Kitchen tools - knife(s), spoon(s), 2 large forks, cutting board(s), 2 bowls, towels, colander. 
Holy Guacamole!!!

Recipe - Simple 
2 avocados , 1 tomato, 1/2 lime, 1 tablespoon onion, 1 clove garlic, pepper & salt to taste.
Recipe - Pizzazz  
2 avocados, 1 tomato, 1/2 lime, 1 tablespoon each onion & cilantro, 1 clove garlic, 1 teaspoon jalapeno, 1/4 teaspoon each cumin & cayenne (to taste), pepper & salt to taste

Step 3 - Go to it!

1. Cut the avocado from end to end all the way through to the pit. Twist (and shout "guacamole-here we
come") halves of avocado to separate. pull out pit and discard. Scoop out flesh with spoon into bowls.
2. Dice tomato any way the kids see to do it (this should be interesting). I keep all the tomato seeds & juice (some people use only the flesh). Add to bowls.
3. Cut lime in half and squeeze 1/2 into each bowl.   
4. Dice 1 T cilantro and add to Pizzazz bowl.
Some peppers are too spicy - T or F?
5. Mince 2 T onion and split between bowls. 
Note: chopped is largest, diced is next smallest, minced is the tinniest, but it's not that important.
6. Mince 2 cloves garlic (use of garlic press is allowed) putting half into each bowl. I crush the garlic with the flat of the knife & then mince because it's faster and I hate cleaning the press.
7. Mince 1 t of jalapeno and add to Pizzazz bowl.
8. Grind some pepper into both bowls
9. Sprinkle a pinch or two of salt into each bowl.
10. Measure 1/4 t each of cumin & cayenne (or tabasco) putting into Pizzazz bowl. 
11. Take large forks and smash all ingredients together within each bowl. The simple & the pizzazz bowl will be easy to identify. 

Step 4 - Taste test!

Time for a taco bar!
There are many variations to try with more or less of each ingredient, naturally. Let the children come up with their own ingenious ideas. They may fail but the scientific experiments will prove worthwhile in the long run! Guacamole is a great starter for creating a taco bar as an entire meal. The children will love being in charge of preparing and setting up a full fiesta for the family!

Buena Gusta! Papa Green Bean