Kids in the Kitchen

If you’re reluctant to get your son into the kitchen for fear of the extra mess or you just need to get dinner on the table as quickly as possible, we understand. 

But, cooking with your son is not only a lovely way to spend time together, it can also improve their communication skills, boost their confidence and even help with picky eating.

We’ve listed a few easy dinner recipes to make together – or for older boys to try by themselves.

Zucchini Fritters

  • 2 cups shredded zucchini
  • 2 cups shredded carrots
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup sliced spring onions (green and white parts)
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • Sour cream or yogurt, for serving
  1. Place the shredded zucchini and carrot in a colander and sprinkle it lightly with salt. Let them sit for 10 minutes then using your hands, squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Using a new chux cloth is very effective.
  2. Transfer the zucchini and carrot to a large bowl then add the garlic, flour, eggs, spring onions, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Stir the mixture until it is combined.
  3. Line a plate with paper towels. Place a large sauté pan over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Once the oil is shimmering, scoop 3-tablespoon mounds of the vegetable mixture into the pan, flattening the mounds slightly and spacing them at least 1 inch apart.
  4. Cook the fritters for 2 to 3 minutes then flip them once and continue cooking them an additional 1 to 2 minutes until they’re golden brown and crispy. Transfer the fritters to the paper towel-lined plate, season them with salt and repeat the cooking process with the remaining mixture.
  5. Serve the fritters immediately topped with sour cream or yogurt.

Fried Rice

  • 4 cups of water
  • 2/3 cup rice
  • 1 egg
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 cup selected vegetables (eg. carrot, corn, peas, capsicums – frozen mixes are perfect for this)
  • ¼ cup protein food (eg. cooked chicken, bacon, ham)
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • ½ onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • Spring onion or coriander for garnish
  1. Bring the water to the boil in a saucepan.
  2. Add the rice. Stir once or twice to separate the grains. Simmer for 12-15 minutes or until tender. Do not overcook.
  3. Drain and spread the rice in a thin layer on a tray or plate. If time permits, refrigerate uncovered until required. (This process helps to dry out the rice, so grains remain separated.)
  4. Beat the egg with a fork in a small bowl to combine the white and yolk.
  5. Crush the garlic and prepare the vegetables and protein food.
  6. Gently heat the oil in a wok or a frying pan. Add beaten egg and cook until set.
  7. Remove egg from the wok and finely dice the omelette.
  8. Add the onion, garlic and any yellow, red or other hard vegetables to the wok. Stir-fry for 2-3 minutes or until onion is transparent.
  9. Add the cooled rice, green vegetables, protein food, diced egg and soy sauce. Toss over the heat until the ingredients are well combined and heated through.
  10. Serve immediately garnished with sliced spring onions or coriander.

Beef Empanadas 

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 200g beef mince
  • 1 Tbs tomato paste
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp chilli flakes
  • ¼ cup beef stock
  • ½ cup cooked, diced potatoes
  • 6 diced olives
  • 2 sheets puff pastry
  1. Heat oven to 180 deg.
  2. Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Cook onion and garlic, and stir, until onion softens.
  3. Increase heat to high. Add mince and tomato paste, breaking up any lumps until browned.
  4. Stir in paprika, cumin and chilli flakes. Cook 1 min.
  5. Add stock and cooked potato.
  6. Simmer for 2mins or until sauce thickens. Stir in olives. Remove from heat.
  7. Cut 6 circles of pastry using a small glass bowl. Drop 2 tablespoons of the mixture in the centre of each disc. Fold in half to enclose filling, pinching the edges to seal. Place empanadas, seam-side up, on the prepared trays.
  8. Bake for 25mins or until golden.

Brought to you by Brighton Grammar School

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