We are facing challenging times, and finding things to do all day with the children can be difficult. In this article, we’ve put together something a little different, in the form of a 7 day recipe challenge! We encourage you to try one recipe each day as part of your planned activities at home this week. As we mentioned on the vegan ‘Spitzbueb’ recipe post, cooking with children is a great way to keep them entertained and also a wonderful way to encourage their social-emotional development, cognitive development, fine motor and eye-hand coordination skills.
Children of any age can help with all the dishes in the 7 day recipe challenge (older ones more than very little ones, of course) – and naturally under the guidance of an adult.
Monday: Scrumptous zucchini fritters (vegetarian)
Image credit – Just Taste
Scrumptious, healthy and super simple, made with just 6 ingredients!
Ingredients (makes 8-10)
- 4 medium zucchini, grated
- 85g all-purpose flour
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- Bunch spring onions, sliced (green and white parts)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 100g grated cheese
- Sour cream, for serving (optional)
- Place the shredded zucchini in a colander set over a bowl and sprinkle the zucchini lightly with salt before leaving to stand for 10 minutes. Squeeze out as much liquid from the zucchini as possible before transferring to a large bowl.
- Add the flour, eggs, cheese, spring onion, pinch of salt and pinch of pepper to the bowl, stirring with a fork until the mixture is combined. Line a plate with paper towels.
- Add the olive oil to large sauté pan set over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, scoop 3-tablespoon mounds of the zucchini mixture into the pan, pressing them lightly into rounds and spacing them at least 2 inches apart. You can also use an ice cream scoop to do this.
- Cook the zucchini fritters for 2 to 3 minutes, then flip them once and cook an additional 2 minutes until golden brown and cooked through. Transfer to the paper towel-lined plate and immediately sprinkle them with salt. Repeat the scooping and cooking process with the remaining zucchini mixture.
Tuesday: Bananas in Pyjamas (vegan)
Image credit – Epicurious
These are a energy boosting treat – the banana provides most of the sweetness. Bananas in Pyjamas also allow kids to get really creative with the toppings.
Ingredients (makes 8)
4 x bananas (peeled and cut in half)
2 x 400g blocks of dark chocolate
Toppings of choice like crushed nuts, sprinkles, desiccated coconut, granola
You’ll also need wooden skewers (or ice lolly sticks)
- Line a baking tray with baking paper and set aside.
- Push a wooden skewer into the thickest end of the banana halves. Lay out on tray and freeze for 2 hours or overnight if you can.
- Melt the chocolate in a glass bowl. Give it a 1 minute heat on HIGH and then stir. Microwave at 20 second intervals, stirring in between until all is melted.
- Set out coatings on plates, such as the sprinkles, nuts and coconut.
- Remove bananas from the freezer and dip in chocolate mixture. Roll in the different toppings before placing back on the tray to store in the freezer for a minimum of 30 mins.
Wednesday: Pitta pizza (vegan/vegetarian)
Image credit: Kidspot
A really simple and scrummy meal, which requires no dough making and can be whipped up in no time. Plus, it encourages you to use ingredients already in the fridge as toppings. Children love being a ‘pizzaiolo’, too…
Ingredients (serves 4)
- 4 pita bread (small)
- 180 g tomato pasta sauce
- Grated cheese or sliced mozzarella – sliced raclette is also perfect for this! To veganise this meal, use vegan (or no) cheese
- Toppings of choice – leftovers are also great for this recipe. Some of the favourites in our house include sliced capsicum, grilled aubergine, sliced mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, basil, small florets of broccoli, sliced leftover cooked potato, and feta cheese.
- Preheat oven to 200°C.
- Place the pita breads onto a baking tray. Spread tomato pasta sauce over the base of each pita.
- Now the fun part! Scatter toppings of choice over the tomato sauce before adding the cheese and herbs.
- Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden and cooked.
Thursday: Fruit kebabs (vegan/vegetarian)
Another healthy treat, this is almost a ‘cheat’ recipe – no cooking required! Children love ‘poking’ the fruit onto skewers and drizzling the chocolate on at the end with a wooden spoon.
- Fruit of choice, for example strawberries, kiwi, pineapple, banana, pear, apple, watermelon… literally anything you like!
You’ll also need wooden skewers (or ice lolly sticks)
- Cut the fruit into chunks before laying out on plates
- Thread pieces of fruit onto each skewer, keeping them fairly close together so they don’t fall off. Stack on a plate.
- To finish, melt some dark chocolate (see method in Tuesday’s recipe) before drizzling over the kebabs with a wooden spoon.
Friday: Soft, baked pretzels
Image credit: Sally’s baking addiction
This is one of the easiest ways to prepare homemade soft pretzels. The best part is, the dough only needs to rest for 10 minutes before shaping. The quick baking soda boil gives the pretzels their traditional flavour.
Ingredients (makes 12)
- 360ml warm water
- 1 packet active dry or instant yeast (2 and 1/4 teaspoons)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted and slightly cool
- 460-500g all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
- coarse sea salt for sprinkling
Baking soda ‘bath’
- 120g baking soda
- 2 litres water
- Whisk the yeast into warm water. Allow to sit for 1 minute before whisking in the salt, brown sugar, and melted butter. Slowly add the flour, around 150g at a time. Mix with a wooden spoon (or dough hook attached to stand mixer) until dough is thick. Add a little more flour more flour until the dough is no longer sticky. If it is still sticky, add more, as needed. Poke the dough with your finger – if it bounces back, it is ready to knead.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Knead the dough for 3 minutes and shape into a ball. Kids love this bit! Cover lightly with a towel and allow to rest for 10 minutes. (Meanwhile, you can get the water + baking soda boiling as instructed in step 6.)
- Preheat oven to 400°F (205°C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper, lightly spray with nonstick spray or grease with butter. Set aside.
- With a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut dough into 12 pieces.
- Roll the dough into a 20-22 inch rope. Take the ends and draw them together so the dough forms a circle. Twist the ends, then bring them towards yourself and press them down into a pretzel shape. Here’s a very useful video on how to create the pretzel shape.
- Bring baking soda and water to a boil in a large pot. Drop 1-2 pretzels into the boiling water for no longer than 20-30 seconds. Any more than that and your pretzels will have a metallic taste. Using a slotted spatula, lift the pretzel out of the water and allow as much of the excess water to drip off. Place pretzel onto prepared baking sheet and sprinkle each with coarse sea salt. Repeat with remaining pretzels.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.
Saturday: Yoghurt ‘ice lollies’ (vegetarian/vegan)
Image credit: Sally’s baking addiction
Made with just three ingredients, these are really yummy – and healthy, too! The berries can be swapped out for another alternative – and the Greek yoghurt can be substituted with a plant based version to veganise this recipe.
Ingredients (makes six)
- 200gs blueberries*
- 2 Tablespoons agave or honey*
- 500g vanilla Greek yogurt (or any flavor)
You’ll also need an ice lolly tray (if you don’t have one, enjoy this recipe as smoothies, instead
- Blend the blueberries in a food processor or blender on high speed until nearly liquified into a smoothie-like consistency.
- Pour the thick blueberry liquid into a large bowl. Stir in the agave/honey.
- Add the yogurt and very gently mix everything together. If you want a tie-dye, swirly look to your lollies, don’t fully blend the yoghurt and blueberries to retain some patches of white and blue. The mixture will be lovely and thik – if you’d like it sweeter, just add a little more honey/agave.
- Pour mixture evenly into each lolly mold. If your lolly mold has slots for sticks, you can insert them before freezing – if not, freeze for 2 hours, then put a wooden stick in the middle (that is what I did). Continue to freeze for an additional 4-6 hours or overnight.
- Run lolly molds under warm water to easily remove. Eat on a hot day. Enjoy!
Image credit: Sarah’s vegan kitchen
Light, crispy, fluffy roll ups of yumminess – some with hidden ‘treasure inside’. Some ready made puff pastry is ‘accidentally’ vegan, too (keep an eye out for non ‘all butter’ varieties).
- All-purpose flour for rolling
- 397g box frozen puff pastry, thawed (check to make sure it’s vegan)
- 1 tablespoon non-dairy milk (such as soy or almond)
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup or agave
- Optional fillings, such as jam, chocolate spread, grated cheese with ham
- Preheat your oven to 350F (180C). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Lightly flour a clean work surface. My puff pastry came in two blocks. Taking one block of puff pastry at a time, roll it out to a rectangle about 10″ high x 16″ wide. Using a knife or pizza cutter, cut the puff pastry into 3 tall rectangles, then cut each rectangle diagonally from corner to corner so that you have 6 triangles. For plain vegan croissants: roll up the triangles tightly from the wide end of the triangle to the point. For stuffed croissants: put a bit of your filling along the wide end of a triangle. Roll up the triangle tightly around the filling. Repeat with the remaining block of puff pastry to make 12 croissants total.
- Space the croissants out on the parchment paper lined baking tray bending them into a crescent shape. Mix together the non-dairy milk and maple syrup in a small bowl. Liberally brush the tops of all of the croissants with the mixture, and also use it to glue down the points of the croissants. This will help them get golden in the oven. Bake 22 to 27 minutes until lightly golden and browned on the bottom. Serve straight from the oven. SO YUMMY!
We hope you enjoy this 7 day recipe challenge!