Summer Cooking With Kids: 4 Secrets for Success and a Recipe for Citrus Cilantro Carrots
Summertime is officially here. But if you’re a parent, you may be dreading the long, lazy days stretching out in front of you. From shuffling the kids to camp to chasing your kids around the house with sunscreen to hearing the constant refrain of “I’m bored,” how in the world will you keep your kids occupied all summer?
With all the fresh produce streaming into the markets, summertime is the perfect time to cook with your kids. Not only is it a great chance to spend time together, not to mention keep them busy, you’ll teach your little ones a key life skill.
Bowery has pulled together a series of five kid-friendly recipes to help you get started. Each recipe will include a different idea for helping your kids become familiar with the kitchen and comfortable with cooking.
But before you fire up the stove, we wanted to share a few secrets for success in the kitchen to help your kids become pros in the kitchen together.
1. Read the recipe together
It’s tempting to dive right into measuring and mixing ingredients, but if you don’t know what ingredients or equipment you need, your cooking adventure could quickly turn into a big mess. Take a minute to read the recipe together and pick out the important parts: How many servings will it make? How long it will take? What ingredients do you need and do you have everyone on hand? Don’t start mixing muffin batter if you don’t have a muffin tin! Then, make a plan for who’s going to do what.
2. Stay focused
One of the most important, and likely hardest, job in the kitchen is to stay focused, especially when using knives or cooking over a hot stovetop. When unwatched, food can quickly burn or boil over. Plus, adding salt instead of sugar can ruin a recipe so remind your kids to review the ingredient list and measure carefully!
3. Practice Safety
Knives, stovetops, ovens—oh my! There’s a lot to watch out for in a kitchen. Teach your kids how to stay safe while cooking such as donning an apron, pulling back loose hair, using oven mitts to handle pots, pans, and lids on the stove as well as anything in the oven. Show them proper knife skills. Grab a separate cutting board for raw meat, poultry, and fish and don’t forget—always wash your hands after handling!
4. Clean up together
We know, cooking with kids can be messy and, for those of us with a strong inner neat freak, it can be hard to go with the flow. But step back, take a deep breath, and relax. While your blood pressure may rise when cooking with kids, you don’t want it to boil over so know your own comfort zone and how much experimenting (and mess) you’ll allow in the kitchen. When you’re finished cooking, clean up together. Make it a game. Assign everyone a job. Play the Mission Impossible theme and see who can get their station sparkling clean by the time the song ends!
Ready to cook? This recipe is a good place to start. Carrots are kid-friendly and a recognizable ingredient. When roasted with honey, they’re irresistibly tender and sweet. The citrus cilantro dressing is tangy and versatile. Kids can top or dip their carrots, allowing them to control how much dressing they want.
Citrus Cilantro Carrots
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
2 bunches carrots, peeled, cut into 2-inch pieces plus leaves for garnish
¼ cup honey
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1½ teaspoons ground cumin, divided
1 teaspoon onion powder, divided
¾ teaspoon cayenne, divided
1 small yellow onion, peeled, sliced
2 cups Bowery Farming Cilantro plus leaves for garnish
1 tablespoon lime zest
3 tablespoons lime juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1. Preheat oven to 400ºF.
2. In a large bowl, toss carrots with honey, 2 tablespoons oil, 1 teaspoon cumin, ½ teaspoon onion powder, and ½ teaspoon cayenne and season with salt and pepper. Transfer the carrots onto a parchment paper lined sheet tray and roast until tender, 30 to 40 minutes.
3. In a sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons oil. Add onion and sweat until translucent, 12 to 15 minutes. Add the remaining ½ teaspoon cumin, remaining ½ teaspoon onion powder, and remaining ¼ teaspoon cayenne and season with salt and pepper. Cook until fragrant, 2 minutes. Set aside and let completely cool.
4. In the base of a high-speed blender, add the cooled onions, Bowery Cilantro, lime juice and zest. While the motor is running, stream in the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Season with salt and pepper.
5. Spoon the cilantro sauce evenly on the bottom of a serving platter. Pile the roasted carrots on top and garnish with picked carrot top leaves and cilantro.
Recipe developed by The Culinistas for Bowery Farming.