Strange times have fallen upon us and the best we can do now is to make the most of our quality time together as a family. This lockdown, offers us a great opportunity to reconnect with one another and work together as a family unit, and that means daily household tasks too. Cooking has always proven to be a fun and relaxing activity, even more so if you get the whole team together to make delicious and wholesome meals you'll all enjoy. Here are five easy recipes that are guaranteed to get the party going in the kitchen! Made with simple ingredients and things most of us always have stocked in our cupboards and freezers, these recipes are bound to get your kids excited about cooking. So, throw on your aprons, turn up your favourite tunes and get creative!
Who doesn't like to start the day with a pancake breakfast? Now that our daily routines are changing somewhat, we should all take full advantage of the extra time we have in the mornings and prepare and have breakfast together as a family. Pancakes are an all-time favourite, for both parents and children - they require minimal ingredients and minimal fuss to make. Banana pancakes come with even more advantages: they only need five simple ingredients, they are gluten-free (depending on your brand of baking powder), and they offer a delicious way to get rid of the super-ripe, browning bananas no one wants to eat.
1 ripe banana
A pinch of baking powder
A pinch of vanilla sugar
Butter or oil for cooking
Optional Extras: Chocolate chips, nuts, cocoa powder, honey, berries, granola etc.
This recipe requires a few fun activities for kids to get to help with, including peeling the banana, mashing it up and getting creative with all the extra ingredients that can be used as toppings. They're going to love coming up with their own personal spins on banana pancakes!
Get the recipe from The Kitchn.
Falafels in Gorilla Wraps
As far as easy recipes go, falafels are unbeatable - they are super fun to make and require ingredients we all have laying around in our kitchen. Your kids are going to love making these little, flavourful balls made up of chickpeas, onions, garlic and spices. Served in "gorilla wraps" - roman lettuce leaves - with a fresh dip, these are as fun to eat as they are to make. Turn it into a theme evening: a jungle-style cooking session whilst listening and singing along to The Jungle Book classics like "The Bare Necessities" and "I Wanna Be Like You", followed by eating your falafel-filled gorilla wraps whilst watching Planet Earth or Mighty Joe Young.
1.5 cups (400g) cooked chickpeas (garbanzo beans)*
1/4 cup (35g) raw sunflower seeds**
1/2 small red onion
2 cloves garlic**
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/2 cup (2g) fresh dill, packed**
1 tsp (5g) ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (or sub chili pepper)
For the dip:
2 cups plain Greek yogurt
1 garlic clove
1 tablespoon mayonaise
1/4 of a cucumber (de-seeded)
pinch of salt, cumin and pepper
This recipe includes the all-time-favourite kitchen activity for kids - mashing the chickpeas! - and can be served in many different ways. If you all fancy a heartier meal, stuff the falafels into a pita or create a colourful "nourish bowl" and encourage the children to choose their own ingredients.
Rights reserved: Pick Up Limes
According to a song by alternative rock band, Ween, "Tuesday is pizza day" - so we might as well incorporate that into our lockdown routine as a family. Kids are always going to be game for a delicious pizza with all their favourite toppings, even more so if they get to make and create it to their own liking. It doesn't take much to make a pizza - whether you're using ready-made dough or are making your own from scratch. Kids have a fantastic time getting involved in the kneading process and you'll see many new ideas spring from their imaginative little minds when it comes to assembling the pizza. For a bit of extra fun in the kitchen, listen to Ween's Loop De Loop, which featured on SpongeBob Squarepants. It's easy to sing along to and will teach your kids how to tie their shoelaces in the process!
For the pizza dough:
150g wholemeal spelt flour
350g strong white flour
1 ½ tsp dried fast action yeast
½ tsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil
Alternatively, ready-made dough
For the tomato sauce:
1 can chopped tomatoes
1 small garlic clove
Pinch of dried thyme
For the toppings
160g grated cheddar and mozzarella cheese
1 red pepper, cut into strips
1 yellow pepper, cut into strips
1 courgette, cut into rounds or spiralized
1 small pack cherry tomatoes, halved
Handful pitted olives
1 can salt-free sweetcorn, drained
This simple pizza recipe can be adapted to your liking and to whatever you've got left over in your fridge. Home-made pizzas allow for no-waste cooking at its finest - another great kitchen lesson to be learned!
Rights Reserved: BBC Good Food
If your family enjoys watching Bob's Burgers and having a giggle over the Belcher kids' crazy adventures and Bob's creative take on homemade burgers, then you're going to love these recipes. Everyone will get a kick out of recreating some of Bob's Burgers' funkiest recipes - especially the kids! Bob likes to experiment with different ingredients and seasonings, so this will be a fun opportunity for you all to rummage through the pantry in search of ingredients to use up and give these burgers an extra kick. In fact, Bob would encourage you to make up your own, new recipes and give them a fun name too. Easy to make and delightful to eat, these burgers will even get the little chefs of the household to eat their spinach. And let's be honest, a Sit & Spinach Burger sounds like perfect lockdown food.
1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp. minced garlic
2 bunches spinach, chopped, stems discarded
1 lb. ground beef
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp. lemon juice
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
4 slices mozzarella
4 hamburger buns
1 large tomato, cut into 4 slices
Get the Sit & Spinach Burger and many other recipes from The Bob's Burgers Burger Book: Real Recipes For Joke Burgers from the Delish Makes Bob's Burgers series on YouTube.
Rights Reserved: Delish
Baked Cheesy Courgette Bites
With more free time on our hands than usual, we're all bound to start snacking more. The trick is to satisfy cravings with healthy snacks - such as these deliciously cheesy courgette bites. A lot of kids typically aren't fans of courgettes, but with this flavourful mix of parmesan cheese and Italian spices, you'll convert them in little to no time. This recipe is easy, quick and fun to make - simply grate the zucchini, mix it with an egg, spices and grated parmesan and then comes the fun part: form them into little bites. These are lovely along with a salad and some hummus and other veggies or just on their own as a snack during movie night.
1 1/2 cups (7.5 ounces) packed shredded courgette (no need to peel)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/4 to 1/2 cup (1 to 2 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese or a blend of cheddar and Monterey jack
1/4 cup (.75 ounce) panko or regular bread crumbs
1/4 teaspoon dried basil (or 1-2 teaspoons fresh)
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
This easy recipe is a great way to introduce your children to the deliciousness and variety of vegetarian food - green doesn't have to be boring!
Get the recipe from Mel's Kitchen Cafe.