Gardens are bursting this month with vines full of flavorful tomatoes and plump zucchinis hiding under fat leaves. It's the perfect time to get the kids in the kitchen with summer's fresh bounty.
The following kid-tested recipes are courtesy of HealthBarn USA, the Wyckoff healthy-lifestyle education program that involves children in growing, harvesting and cooking fresh seasonal food.
Tomato Dumpling Soup
This tomato dumpling soup took the top prize at the Suffern, N.Y., Farmers' Market Tomato Fest recipe contest, and once you taste it, you'll know why!
1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup trans-fat-free natural buttery spread 1/4 cup ice water
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh herb blend (basil, rosemary, thyme, oregano), chopped
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
2 1/2 cups water or low-sodium vegetable broth
3 1/2 pounds tomatoes, chopped 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Prepare dumplings: In medium bowl, stir together flours, salt and pepper. Add buttery spread and stir with fork until the mixture resembles the size of peas. Gradually add ice water, kneading mixture in bowl, with floured hand, until dough forms. Knead herbs into dough. Wrap dough tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate 30 minutes or until easy to handle.
Prepare broth: In large saucepot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook 5 minutes. Add water or broth, tomatoes with their juice, salt and black pepper; heat to boiling over high heat. Boil 10 minutes. Remove saucepot from heat.
Pour about one-third of soup into blender; cover, with center part of cover removed to let steam escape, and blend until pureed. (Or use an immersion blender and puree in saucepot.)
Pour soup into large bowl and repeat with remaining mixture. Return all soup to saucepot and return to boiling.
On floured surface, with floured rolling pin, roll dumpling dough 1/4 inch thick. With floured knife, cut dough into 1/2-inch square dumplings; pinch dumplings with your fingers to plump. Drop all dumplings into boiling tomato broth; cook 10–15 minutes or until cooked through and floating to the surface. Makes 12 servings (1 cup per serving).
Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
Top with loads of fresh veggies and garden-fresh herbs!
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour + extra for dusting
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
In large bowl, combine flours and baking powder. Make a well in center of dry ingredients and add water, oil and honey. With large spoon, stir ingredients together until dough comes away from side of bowl, making sure that no flour remains on bowl.
On surface lightly dusted with all-purpose flour, knead dough 5 to 10 minutes or until pliable, adding flour as needed to keep dough from sticking to hands and work surface.
Shape dough into a ball and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes or until easy to roll.
On floured surface, cut dough ball into 10 equal pieces. With floured rolling pin, roll each piece into a 5-inch round, about 1/2 inch thick (it doesn't have to be perfect). Place rounds on greased baking sheet as they are rolled; cover loosely with plastic wrap until ready to cook.
Makes 20 servings (1/2 crust per serving).
* TO GRILL DOUGH: Grease large ridged grill pan and heat over medium heat until hot. Place dough rounds on hot grill pan and cook until underside of dough turns golden and grill marks appear, about 4 minutes. With tongs, turn crusts over and grill for another 4 minutes.
These recipes and more are included in the new book Appetite for Life: The Thumbs-Up, No-Yucks Guide to Getting Your Kid to Be a Great Eater by Stacey Antine, MS, RD, founder of HealthBarn USA. Published by HarperOne, imprint of Harper Collins. The book, which includes 100 kid-approved recipes, as well as family activities, menu suggestions and tips for stubborn eaters, will be released next month.
This fresh and flavorful creation uses the whole grain quinoa, which is the only grain that naturally contains protein. Get the kids involved in chopping, measuring and mixing, because this recipe is a fun family activity to pack for lunch, too!
2 cups quinoa
3 cups water
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon minced shallot
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon chopped fresh dill
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
1/2 yellow bell pepper, cut into 1/4- inch dice (1/2 cup)
1 small, unpeeled Kirby cucumber, cut into 1/4-inch dice (1/2 cup)
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese (1 ounce)
Rinse quinoa with cold running water and drain.
In large saucepan, heat water to boiling over high heat. Stir in quinoa. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer about 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Uncover and fluff quinoa with fork. Set aside to cool to room temperature. In large bowl, whisk together oil, shallot, lemon juice, vinegar, dill and salt. Add tomatoes, pepper, cucumber and feta and toss to mix. Gently stir in quinoa.
Zany Zucchini Soup
Satisfying served hot or cold!
3 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
3 medium zucchini (10 ounces each), cut into 1-inch chunks
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives, divided
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup shredded 50% reduced-fat Cheddar cheese (2 ounces)
In medium saucepan, place broth, zucchini, basil, 2 tablespoons chives, salt, and pepper; heat to boiling over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until the zucchini is tender, 7–10 minutes.
Pour half of mixture into blender; cover, with center part of blender cover removed to let steam escape, and blend until pureed. (Or, use an immersion blender and puree in saucepan.)
Pour soup into bowl and repeat with remaining mixture. Return all soup to saucepan and heat over medium heat, slowly stirring in cheese until cheese melts and soup is smooth. Do not boil or soup may separate.
Serve soup hot topped with remaining 2 tablespoons chives or cover and refrigerate up to 4 days to serve cold.
Makes 5 servings (1 cup per serving).