Cooking with kids – Mexican salad

cooking with kids mexican salad

I like this recipe as it is a healthy salad you can make from scratch and it introduces children to Mexican food and using herbs.  It includes avocado, which is perfect for young kids to practice their cutting skills, and lime, so they can use a lemon squeezer (or their hands!) .  And of course it is delicious whatever age you are, served perhaps with tortilla chips (see below for easy recipe!), fish fingers or sausages.

cooking with kids mexican salad

For lots more ideas and tips for cooking with kids check out the category on the right side of the blog.  And if you like Mexican food you can try these other recipes (including one for homemade tortilla chips – easy!)

cooking with kids mexican salad

Ingredients for Mexican salad (serves around 4 adults or 6-8 children)

1 avocado

8 cherry tomatoes

4 spring onions

Small tin sweetcorn

Tin black eyed beans

1 tsp sugar

Small bunch coriander

1 lime

Cut the avocado, tomatoes and spring onions in to small pieces and finely chop the coriander (this might need doing in advance for your child, but even very small children can have a go at the avocado).   You could use scissors for the spring onions.  Get your child to put the ingredients in a bowl, sprinkle over the herbs and mix it all together with a spoon or their hands.  Squeeze the lime using a lemon squeezer (they love this!) or cut it in half and use hands to squeeze.  Add to the bowl with a tsp of sugar.  Drain the sweetcorn and black eyed beans, rinse and add to the bowl.  Give it all a final mix before serving.


Egyptian bread and butter pudding (Om Ali)

om ali egyptian nigella lawson

I have had my eye on this dessert ever since I bought a bargain copy of Nigella Lawson’s How To Be A Domestic Goddess.  She describes it as an ‘Egyptian bread and butter pudding’, which I suppose it is.  You make it by cooking (shop-bought) filo pastry then breaking it up, layering it with dried fruit and nuts, pouring over some cream and sprinkling the top with nutmeg.

It is a fragrant, delicious and refined comfort pudding, and it’s Middle Eastern twist will be sure to impress!  I think I will make it for my mum, and will be recommending it to my niece/budding chef Tess (she has blended her own Indian spices so this will be a doddle..)  Allow about 40 mins to make Om Ali, and serve it with cream.

om ali nigella lawson

For two equally fragrant main dishes from nearby Morocco (coley with couscous/baked feta with tabbouleh) click here

Ingredients for Egyptian bread and butter pudding (serves 8)

200g ready rolled filo pastry (available in supermarkets)

100g butter, melted, plus more for greasing

60g raisons/sultanas

75g dried apricots, diced small

75g flaked almonds

50g pistachios, chopped

50g pine nuts

600ml full-fat milk

300ml double cream

100g caster sugar

Ground (or fresh) nutmeg

Preheat the oven to 150 degrees/gas mark 2.  Paint the filo sheets with melted butter and crumble loosely like wet rags, dividing them between 2 baking sheets.  Cook for about 20 mins until they turn crispy and golden.

Now turn up the oven to 240 degrees/gas mark 9.  Butter the dish you’re using and crumble one third of the filo pastry in to it to cover the bottom, then sprinkle the raisons, apricots and nuts on top, and continue layer by layer until it is used up (the top layer should be the crumbled filo).  Heat the milk, cream and sugar in a saucepan and bring to the boil, then pour it over the filo and fruit layers and sprinkle with several generous shakes of nutmeg.  Put the dish back in the oven for about 15 mins until the top is lightly browned and billowed up with the heat.  Serve.

My fishcakes with caper mayo (25 mins)

asian tuna fishcakes

I made up these Asian inspired fishcakes a few weeks ago and am very happy with the results.  They are cheap to make and go beautifully with some caper mayo, lemon wedges and a salad.  Great for adults and kids alike, including babies who are weaning and ready for some texture (you could make them small ones for tiny hands!)

If you want to try variations on these fishcakes, just use the breadcrumbs, tuna and egg as a base and experiment with what else you add.  Hope you like them!

Ingredients (serves 4)

For the fishcakes

2 cans tuna

2 slices blended bread or 50g breadcrumbs

Small finger sized piece ginger, very finely chopped

Small bunch coriander, chopped

4 finely chopped spring onions

Small shake dried mixed herbs

One egg, lightly beaten

Salt and pepper

For the caper mayo

3-4 tbsp mayonnaise

1/2 tsp lemon zest

1 tbsp capers, roughly chopped

Mix all the fishcake ingredients together in a bowl (add finely chopped fresh chilli if you like a kick!), shape in to burger shapes and then fry for a few minutes on each side on a medium heat until golden brown.  For the caper mayo mix all the ingredients together and serve with the fishcakes.

Strawberry mojito

strawberry mojito

I decided to try this drink after a lady on facebook posted details of all the amazing things she had made with her homegrown strawberries, including strawberry mojito.  So I invested in some Bacardi, mint, lime, soda and strawberries and here it is.  The strawberry gives the drink an interesting consistency and adds a British twist to this tasty Caribbean classic!  Plus drinking it will make you feel all sophisticated…

Feel free to omit the rum if you want an alcohol-free version.

Ingredients (serves 1)

Juice of 1½ limes

Bunch fresh mint leaves

2 tsp granulated sugar

Handful ice

Big splash white rum (e.g. Bacardi)

Splash soda water, to taste

Approx 6 strawberries, pureed

Place the mint and sugar into a sturdy glass and mash with the end of a rolling pin, to bruise the mint.  Add the lime juice.  Add the ice and pour over the rum.  Add soda water, the pureed strawberries, and stir well.  Decorate with lime wedges/umbrellas and serve.