Beans are considered to be one of the healthiest Super foods. Its richness in protein, fiber and other antioxidants make it the perfect ingredient for kids’ meals. It is a fact that most kids are picky eaters, but it does not mean that they absolutely refuse anything that does not resemble chicken or cheese.
With creativity, home cooks can whip up delicious bean dishes that would truly catch the children’s attention. Since beans are tasty enough to be associated with meat, kids can get addicted to beans easily. Here are two kid-friendly bean recipes to try:
Swedish Yellow Split Pea Soup with Ham
- 3 cups yellow split peas
- 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
- 4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
- 4 cups water
- 8 ounces ham, trimmed and diced
- 2 cups yellow onion, diced
- 1 cup celery, finely diced
- 1 cup carrot, diced
- Freshly ground pepper
- Carrots, ham, ginger and celery should be prepared beforehand. Keep the ingredients in separate containers and cool them in the freezer.
- In a medium bowl, put the split peas. The split peas should be washed with cold water. Continue soaking until the water clears.
- Drain the split peas.
- In a 5 to 6 quart slow cooker, spread the peas.
- In the cooked, pour the water and broth. The carrot, celery, ham, marjoram, onion and ginger should also be added.
- Use a big spoon to combine the contents well.
- The slow cooker should be covered. If you cook on high, wait for 5 hours. You need 7-8 hours if you cook on low.
- Use pepper for seasoning.
Southwestern Saute with Salsa Grits
- 1 ¾ cups water
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 ¼ cup store-bought fresh salsa OR 10-ounce can Rotel tomatoes, diced
- 1 can black beans, about 15 ounces
- ¾ cup quick grits
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded and divided
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 cups frozen corn
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 2 cups frozen bell pepper and onion mix
- In a large saucepan, mix the salsa or tomatoes, grits and water. Boil the contents and cover the saucepan.
- Let the contents simmer by reducing heat and stirring occasionally. Wait for 5-7 minutes or until the sauce thickens.
- Turn down the heat and put in the ¼ cup cheese. Stir well and cover.
- In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat.
- After the oil boils up, the heat should reduce to medium.
- The salt, corn, garlic powder, pepper-onion mix, cumin and chili powder should be added into the skillet.
- Make sure to stir while cooking to heat the vegetables evenly. 3-4 minutes should be enough to warm the vegetables.
- The beans should be added in the skillet. For 3-4 minutes, stir and cook the contents. Make sure that everything is heated thoroughly.
- In separate plates, serve the vegetable and bean mixture over grits.
- The ¼ cup cheese and cilantro should be sprinkled on the dish for added flavor.
Keep the dishes simple so you won’t keep you children waiting. With beans, parents are assured that their kids will be able to live a healthy and energized life.
Linda Rosario is a food enthusiast from Chef Needs “The Kitchen that Every Restaurant Needs”. Linda also loves arts and crafts and works as a pre-school teacher.