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Salad for kids: Strawberries and Lamb Lettuce

Salad for kids: Strawberries and Lamb Lettuce

.salad_strawberries-kidfriendly from More Than Just Carrots

Salad for kids – it isn’t always the most obvious choice, but when it works, it is just brilliant:

  • It is usually fairly quick and easy to make.
  • It often doesn’t require any cooking.
  • You can sometimes use up leftovers out of the fridge
  • Then we didn’t even mention the density of nutritional goodness in it!

What is in it?

It is just the greens themselves, it is the lettuce that makes it a challenge for most kids. That is why I think you need to serve it together with things they really do love. Adding pieces of their favourite fruit or favourite nuts, adding lardons and croutons makes the whole dish interesting and appetising to the kids. The lettuce simply becomes part of it. It is just always there, and that is how it will also become absolutely normal.

There are many different types of lettuce, some are easier to like than others. In my opinion lamb lettuce, together with pea shoots and baby spinach are the best choices for raw green leaves for kids. They are all very soft, easy to chew and have a mild, fresh taste.

So do you see?  Serving tasty kid friendly salads is a way you teach kids to enjoy leafy greens!

Waste?

Stopping serving salads because the lettuce is always left is when it goes wrong. Yes, there will be some waste, but isn’t that where mum’s appetite comes in? It is definitely worth it in the long term. If you stop serving lettuce to the kids, it will always be seen as these strange greens that look like you have to stay far away from.

Strawberry and lamb lettuce salad

This particular strawberry and lamb lettuce salad is a popular salad for kids in my house because everything but the lettuce is super popular with the kids.  It doesn’t require any cooking and it is super fast to assemble. That makes it ideal for when you don’t feel like cooking at all on a warm summer day.

Yes, some of the lettuce will be left on my kids’ plates, but accepting to have it on their plate at first, having a little bit the 5th (or even 10th) time and enjoying it from the 25th time and then for the rest of their lives is what we are aiming for!

If you are looking for more kid friendly salads have a look at the with mango, avocado, pomegranate and roasted chicken, the one with tangerines or the one with roasted beetroot and sweet potato.

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Belgian waffles with fruit and yoghurt for breakfast

Belgian waffles with fruit and yoghurt for breakfast

Belgian waffles

Are you looking for a healthy treat for breakfast? These Belgian waffles may be just what you are looking for!  As in the traditional recipe, these waffles do have quite some butter in them. Sugar-wise on the other hand, these contain only a little bit. With the yoghurt and fruit on top they do make quite a healthy breakfast and are absolutely super delicious, I promise!

10 years ago my husband and I moved from Belgium to London.  To celebrate, I wanted to post a real Belgian recipe. Waffles is something I always had when I lived in Belgium and never realised how Belgian they were until I moved abroad. Suddenly waffles seemed to always get the adjective ‘Belgian’ in front of it.

Belgian waffles with fruit and yoghurt

Old fashioned versus modern

I inherited my grandma’s waffle maker and it still works perfectly! It explains the different look they have compared to most waffles these days.

This recipe is inspired by both my grandmother’s recipe and a new recipe I discovered on a Belgian food blog called Cuisine-à-vous which I love now! That helped to make my grandmother’s recipe a bit more modern as in soooo much less sugar. To put it in numbers: there is 20% of the original amount of sugar left! How have the times changed!

Do you need more sweetness?

These Belgian waffles really are not very sweet, but for my taste they are sweet enough, definitely with the yoghurt and fruit. If the kids are unsure and you suspect it is because they aren’t sweet enough, you could perhaps add a little drizzle of honey on the yoghurt. You could also scatter some icing sugar over them, like is traditionally done on Brussels waffles.

In the UK and elsewhere (not in Belgium as far as I know) waffles are often served with Nutella. That would of course sweeten them up as well, but if that is what you would like, why not try with a less processed version like our homemade chocolate spread?

Enjoy!

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One pot veggie pasta

One pot veggie pasta

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This one pot veggie pasta is a quick and easy meal to make that the kids will love. It is ready in less than half an hour and you won’t have heaps of washing up to do afterwards. The veggies blend in with the spaghetti, so it feels very natural to eat them for picky little vegetable eaters.

You boil the vegetables in the same water as the pasta, you simply add them later as they need less time. Use less water than usual, ideally only just as much as you need for the pasta to boil nicely. The water that is left will be used for the sauce, flavoured with vegetable stock and cream cheese.

If you have used too much water, you can drain some, but not all. Keep as much as you want for the sauce. The reason you want to avoid draining too much is that by boiling, some of the nutrients of the vegetables would go into the water. You don’t want to loose them by draining it and pouring it into the sink.

I used carrots and courgettes to boil with the pasta. When I took this picture I had some leftover purple sprouted broccoli that I had steamed before. Otherwise I would boil it together with the pasta and the rest of the vegetables.

I absolutely love this purple sprouted broccoli I get at the farmer’s market. It is absolutely packed with nutrients and taste. You can steam it, boil it, roasted, it is all are super delicious!

Purple sprouted broccoli

 

You could of course add any other vegetables your fridge or garden has to offer: think peas, cabbage strips, broad beans, runner beans cut into strips, french beans,…

 

If you like this one pot veggie pasta you may also like the pasta with broccoli, sundried tomatoes and homemade pesto with, the celery spaghetti or the spaghetti with cherry tomatoes and roquette pesto.

 

 

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Celery and apple crackers

Celery and apple crackers

Celery is one of those vegetables that are tricky for many children. How many kids do really like celery? I do wonder! Most adults do, so when does it change and how? How can we help kids to learn to like it? That is the question I ask myself all the time and for many vegetables. Celery is just one of them, but definitely a tricky one.

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3 Ingredient Rhubarb Compote

3 Ingredient Rhubarb Compote

Rhubarb compote from More Than Just Carrots

I have got another rhubarb recipe for you today, just because I am totally in love with rhubarb at the moment! I love it! This time I made the most easy rhubarb compote possible.

Our own rhubarb has only just started popping out of the soil now, but on the market and in the shops it has been available for a few weeks now. I hope ours will look as lovely as the one on the market, but last year it wasn’t as pink if I remember correctly. Apparently (as read on Wikipedia) the pinkness can come from growing it indoors. Indoor grown rhubarb usually looks more pink than outdoor rhubarb.

Some varieties tend to be more pink than others as well. The taste of the greener ones is just as good though and their stalks are sturdier and stronger.  I am not sure which variety we have, but here it is sprouting and it was super delicious last Summer, so I can’t wait to cook with it very soon.

Rhubarb sprouting

Let’s talk rhubarb compote now.   This 3 ingredient recipe is almost to easy to share, but then again, aren’t those the best ones as well? Apart from being ridiculously easy, it is super yummy and kid friendly as well. Basically, you clean the rhubarb, cut it up, juice an orange and briefly stew the rhubarb in the juice. Mash it up a bit, sweeten a bit to taste and your compote is ready, dead easy!

It is really lovely with yoghurt as in the picture above.

Check my Rhubarb Crumb Bar as well if you feel like baking.

 

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Rhubarb crumb bar

Rhubarb crumb bar

Rhubarb crumb bar by More Than Just Carrots

Pinks and greens

Rhubarb is back in season, already! It is such a pretty vegetable, I absolutely love the combination of pink and green in it. We do eat with our eyes as much as with everything else don’t we? But how do you eat this fruity vegetable? Yes, technically it is a vegetable, not a fruit, because it doesn’t have seeds in it.  Nevertheless, we tend to eat is as fruit.

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Leek in Ham Gratin

Leek in Ham Gratin

Leek in ham gratin by More Than Just Carrots

Chicory or Belgian endives in ham gratin is a traditional Belgian dish. We Belgians love chicory, cooked or raw in a salad, we eat lots of it. Because chicory is a fairly bitter vegetable not many kids go crazy for it. Neither did my husband when he was a kid. So as mums sometimes do, his was flexible about it and made some rolls with leek instead of chicory.

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Venezuelan Arepas or corn cakes

Venezuelan Arepas or corn cakes

Venezuela

These corn cakes are a traditional recipe from Venezuela recommended by a lovely Venezuelan friend. She used to have them every day in Venezuela, just as I used to eat bread every day in Belgium.  ‘Arepa’ is simply the Spanish name for these corn cakes as used in most of South America.

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Soaked Pancakes with Grapefruit and Blackberries

Soaked Pancakes with Grapefruit and Blackberries

 

grapefruit and backberry pancakes

 

Pancake Day

Pancake Day is coming up, so I want to share my latests favourite recipe for pancakes. Any excuse is good enough for pancakes for me, but which one is better than Pancake Day?? At the moment I love our soaked pancakes with grape fruit and blackberries. I make part of the batter on the night before I bake the pancakes, leave then to soak overnight and add the fruit in the morning.

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Nutty Jammy Dodgers with Chia Jam

Nutty Jammy Dodgers with Chia Jam

Chia Jammy Dodgers from More Than Just Carrots

Valentines Day

So next week is Valentines Day!  Are you celebrating Valentines Day this year?  Maybe you have some time off next week with the kids and you have time to do some baking? Making these jammy dodgers will provide some fun entertainment for at least half a day, that is for sure. These heart shaped treats would also work great on a Alice in Wonderland themed party!

Valentines Day is just another date in the calendar for me really, but this time I thought it would be a good occasion to finally make these jammy dodgers I have wanted to make for a while. Since we had the Linzer torte at Christmas and New Years, I have had this idea to make a healthier version of jammy dodgers.

Chia Jammy Dodgers from More Than Just Carrots     Chia Jammy Dodgers from More Than Just Carrots     Chia Jammy Dodgers from More Than Just Carrots

Chia Jam

For the jam, I made some chia jam from frozen strawberries. As it is the middle of winter now, that is the best way to get berries I find. You boil a sauce of the strawberries, sweeten a bit with honey. The chia seeds add some extra nutritional value to the jam, but they are critical for the texture. When added to a liquid, these tiny seeds generate a gel, this makes the jam thicken without having to add loads of sugar.

If you use quantities in the recipe for the jam, that will give you a an extra pot for other use. Keep it in the fridge for at least a week.

Nutty Pastry

The pasty I used is very similar to the one of the Linzer torte. I had a little play with the cookie cutters, some circles, some hearts and that was all there was to it! As with the Linzer torte these biscuits become better as they get the chance to sit for a while. I made plenty to make sure there are some left for when they are at their best, which is after about 1 week.

Healthier?

So all in all, these are not what you could call ‘really healthy biscuits’ as they still contain quite a lot of sugar.  Nevertheless, they are definitely a lot better than shop bought ones because they have:

  • wholemeal flour as opposed to white flour
  • a big part of the flour is replaced by hazelnuts
  • the jam is only a little bit sweetened with honey as opposed to 60 % of refined sugar in most shop bought jams
  • the chia seeds bring in some extra nutritional value to them

Conclusion, there is still a fair amount of sugar and calories in these biscuits, but less of it. They contain more fibre and more nutritional value. So if you are planning on indulging anyway, why not enjoy making these chia jammy dodgers with the kids and have the treat a little bit healthier and definitely far richer in flavour as well!

Enjoy!

Chia Jammy Dodgers

Chia Jammy Dodgers from More Than Just Carrots

Chia Jammy Dodgers from More Than Just Carrots

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