Gardens are wondrous territory for children. Room to dig, plant seeds, water, explore and harvest. Getting them to gleefully consume said veggies on the other hand can be a little bit tricky. There’s space to let that to happen naturally in the garden, like encouraging kids to taste cherry tomatoes right off the vine or rubbing fresh mint between their fingers. Also, sharing ways to let homegrown edibles shine in meals, in both big and small ways. We’ve round-up six kid-friendly vegetable recipes that will get everyone excited about the garden-grown bounty.
Mini Slider Tomato and Pesto Sandwiches: Homegrown tomatoes are sweet and refreshing, especially in warm summer and those early fall months when a hot meal is out of the question. These mini sandwiches are easy and serving them on a mini brioche bun will add a bit of sweetness, if your child is so inclined. Slice a tomato, mix a dollop of pesto and mayo, then add lettuce. Other options ingredients: Mozzarella cheese, red onion, a drizzle of balsamic and olive oil.
Everything Bagel Cucumber and Cream Cheese Sandwiches: For an easy lunch of snack, simply smear a slices of your favorite sandwich bread with cream cheese. Peel a cucumber, slice, and sprinkle with Everything Bagel Spice. Cut the crust and serve open face.
Mini Zucchini Pizzas: Zucchini loaves aside, what to do with those oversized zucchini gems that disguise themselves in the garden until they’re the size of baseball bats? Well, it turns out they make the perfect foundations for mini pizzas. Simply slice into round zucchini into discs, then place them between paper towels or cloth napkin to remove the moisture. (This will help prevent soggy pizzas.) After an hour, place the rounds on a cookie sheet and top with a dollop of pizza sauce, shredded mozzarella and fresh parmesan. Cook at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes until the cheese is bubbly. Then, drizzle with olive oil, or top with fresh basil and wait for the rave reviews to roll in.
Flower Salad: Fun, easy and beautiful, this colorful confetti-like salad may also entice little ones to eat their greens. (Or, at least try them.) Simply top any kind of salad greens with a sprinkle of edible flowers nasturtium, pansies, violas and calendula. Drizzle with sweet balsamic and olive oil or try this sweet citrus vinaigrette recipe.
Lettuce Wraps with Chicken and Veggies: This is another fun meal that calls for a kid-sized sous chef. While you cook ground turkey or chicken, have them peel and shred carrots and chop cabbage and cucumbers. (We love this Opinel Le Petit Chef 3-piece set, with a safety knife, guard and peeler.) Littler ones can remove, wash and dry lettuce leaves for the wraps. Serve the meat warm or cool, and top filled wraps with soy, sweet chili, and or hoisin sauce to taste. This kid-friendly vegetable recipe is always a hit with adults, too!
Herb and Berry Pops: Whip up your own refreshing popsicles at home with a set of molds and add a few simple ingredients from the garden. Start with a base like home or premixed lemonade then add berries, mint and edible flower petals. Even little ones can help by pulling off petals, leaves and dropping berries into the molds. Freeze overnight.