Cooking with kids: Healthy fall recipes

September 20, 2012 in activities,cooking with kids,lessons for daughters

I love the ministry of Hearts at Home. They tell me, as often as I need to hear it, that my job as a mom is important and valuable. They publish books, have conferences (check to see if one is near you because I know you want to hear Michelle Duggar, Dr. Juli Slattery, and The Fly Lady), and maintain a website. The founder, Jill Savage, has a new book coming out in February: No More Perfect Moms. I can’t wait to read the book, because Jill never gives me a formula to be better, rather she points to Christ and reminds me of grace. I need that.

Today, is the Hearts at Home monthly blog hop. The topic is fall recipes (click here to see recipes from other bloggers).  I almost posted our scrumptious 100% whole wheat flour chocolate chip cookie recipe (don’t get too excited about healthy cookies, because the amount of butter cancels any health benefits). But as mom, I really want to model healthy eating.  Probably, the cookie recipe would gather more comments. Most women collect dessert recipes– maybe because desserts bring praises. Still, while they ooh and ahh at dessert recipes, they groan if I bring dessert, They are trying to be healthy and my cookies are just another temptation to break their diet.
To help you and your girls eat healthy, I decided to share with you a cookbook and two of its recipes that the girls and I love. The recipes are simple, easy, and healthy. There is nothing more effective than cooking healthy and eating healthy together.


The Cookbook: 
Williams-Sonoma: the kid’s cookbook is a hardcover book that is spiral bound. It has beautiful images of EVERY recipe, a great intro to cooking section in the front, and the recipes are simple to follow (the language in the recipes is more detailed than the average cookbook).
Oodles of Noodles (vegetarian).
My bug, the 8-year-old, is my child who loves to cook. She is also the picky eater of the family. She hates chicken (except in nugget form), pork, and most meats. She loves beans, peanut butter, eggs and carbs. And after discovering this recipe, tofu. Or maybe she just likes the opportunity to slurp noodles! This Asian-inspired soup is simple, fast, and light. Bug can make it herself. If it is the main course, we serve it with a hearty salad and cornbread muffins. The recipe is very forgiving. We add more noodle, more tofu, more chives. It is always good. Note that the recipe as written only serves two.
4 cups of veggie or chicken broth
2 ounces dried vermicelli (we sometime use rice threads instead which makes the soup gluten-free)
3/4 cup fresh or frozen peas
1/2 cup diced firm tofu
1 tbsp chopped fresh chives (green onions work too!)
1 tsp Asian sesame oil.

1. Pour the broth into the medium saucepan, cover, and set over high heat. Bring the broth to a boil. When it boils, reduce the heat to medium.
2. Remove the lid. Add the vermicelli and peas. Simmer, uncovered, stirring frequently with the wooden spoon to keep the pasta from sticking together, for 5 minutes. 
3. Add the tofu and continue to simmer until the noodles are al dente (tender but firm to the the bite) and the peas are tender, about 2 minutes longer. To test, using a slotted spoon, scoop out a few noodles and a few peas. Set them on the cutting board to cool for a few seconds. Taste them. If they are tender, they are done.
4. Using the pot holder, carefully remove the saucepan from the heat. Stir in the chives and sesame oil. Ladle into soup bowl and serve immediately. 
*Recipe from William Sonoma: the kids’ cookbook

easy recipes for kids to cook

Baked Pork Chops with Apples
Picky Bug doesn’t like pork and didn’t even try this recipe. But everyone else loves it. Moist pork chops with baked apples is delicious.  This recipe is so easy and foolproof.  After making it with me once, Bird can easily just this recipe together and bake it.  It serves four.

4 red-skinned apples
1 tablespoon sugar
pinch of ground cinnamon
4 boneless pork chops, each about 3/4 inch thick
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces

Baked Pork Chops and Apples just before baking. 

1. Preheat the oven to 375 F. Have ready the 8-inch square baking dish.
2. Set 1 apple on the cutting board and cut it in half length-wise with a sharp knife. Cut each half in half again to make quarters. Place each quarter on its side and cut away the core. Cut each quarter lengthwise into 1/2-inch think slices. Repeat with the other apples. Pile the slices into the baking dish.
3. Sprinkle the sugar and cinnamon evenly over the apples.
4. Generously sprinkle both sides of the pork chops with salt and pepper. Tuck the chops into the pile of apples, rearranging the slices around them. Scatter the butter pieces over the tops of the pork chops and apple slices. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil.
5. Bake for 40 minutes. Ask an adult to help you remove the foil from the baking dish. Be careful: The steam is very hot! Continue to cook until the pork chops are lightly browned and the apples are tender, about 20 minutes longer. Using oven mitts, remove the baking dish from the oven.
6. To serve, use the table fork to transfer each chop to a serving plate. Scoop up the apple slices and the juices with the serving spoon and place them around the chop. 
*Recipe from William Sonoma: the kids’ cookbook

I forgot to snap the after picture of the pork chops; you’ll just have to make it! What do you cook with your kids? What are your favorite healthy recipes

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Mandy September 20, 2012 at 12:06 pm

Thanks for posting this~ this cookbook looks like something I need to get my hands on. I have a couple of very picky eaters too…but I’m finding they eat so much better when I ask them to make meals with me!


pruningprincesses September 20, 2012 at 7:30 pm

We’ve loved all the recipes in this book. I bet they might have it at your library if you wanted to check there first.


Susan Heim September 20, 2012 at 12:36 pm

I love the combination of fruit and pork. Pork can be dry and bland, and the fruit really adds moisture and flavor to the dish. Thanks for the recipe!


pruningprincesses September 20, 2012 at 7:31 pm

I love apples and cooked and any excuse to add a little cinnamon sugar to cooked apples is my kind of recipe.


Melissa Bedell September 20, 2012 at 1:22 pm

I’ve never heard of hearts at home, but it sounds like exactly the kind of emotional support I need right now!

And the recipe looks darned good too!


pruningprincesses September 20, 2012 at 6:51 pm

They are good, Melissa. And my daughter is 10. She catches typos and a few grammatical mistakes. Thanks for stopping by.


misssrobin September 20, 2012 at 2:26 pm

How wonderful that you make an extra effort to feed everyone in a healthy way. It makes such a difference. Thanks for sharing these.

Stopping by from SITS. Have a great day.


pruningprincesses September 20, 2012 at 7:32 pm

Thanks for the encouragement Miss Robin. It is nice to “see” you again.


Tristi September 20, 2012 at 7:01 pm

I’m going to try the pork chop recipe!


pruningprincesses September 21, 2012 at 2:03 am

I hope you love it. The first time we made it I was amazed at how simple and yummy it was. It’s great busy day recipe that can be prepped before work and popped in the oven when you get home. Thanks for stopping by.


Lisa G September 20, 2012 at 11:16 pm

I like the pork chop and apples. Trying to teach my kids to do some cooking for their own survival later.


pruningprincesses September 21, 2012 at 2:01 am

Lisa, best of luck on teaching your kids to cook. I wish I’d known more recipes before I left home! Thanks for stopping by.


swingers April 9, 2013 at 8:53 pm

I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you create this website yourself
or did you hire someone to do it for you? Plz reply
as I’m looking to create my own blog and would like to find out where u got this from. kudos


Stacey June 4, 2013 at 11:12 pm

Great post! I bookmarked your site so I can look around when I have more time. I’m looking forward to it 🙂


pruningprincesses June 5, 2013 at 11:19 am

Thank you, Stacey.


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