Do you always have trouble getting your kids to eat their greens, or that healthy brown rice with their tofu? To imagine a day when they’ll start asking for a second helping at dinner-time? You scoff at that distant and almost impossible dream.
Instead of making numerous failed attempts at cajoling your children, these eight recipes will give you that much-needed aid: The kids will be the ones asking for more. Singapore chef Forest Leong of Shermay’s Cooking School shares eight delicious and nutritious recipes.
1. WHOLEMEAL MINI PIZZA
Make wholemeal bread appetising with these petite-sized pizzas. It’s a healthier pizza option too. Tip: Flattening the bread makes it thin and crispy when baked, which the kids love. This recipe serves four.
8 slices wholemeal bread
8 tbsp tomato paste
4 slices ham, finely chopped
1 cup grated cheese
- Preheat the oven to 180 deg C.
- Flatten each slice of bread with a rolling pin or glass bottle. Cut into shapes with a cookie cutter.
- Spread the tomato paste on the bread. Top with ham and cheese.
- Bake for 5min.
2. EGG OMELETTE WITH CHOPPED ONIONS IN CLEAR SOUP
This soup will help make onions an appealing food ingredient to your kids; the onions will help bring out the flavour of the dish. This recipe serves four.
1 onion, chopped
Salt, to taste
2 tbsp vegetable oil
4 eggs, beaten
800ml chicken stock
1 small carrot, peeled and sliced
2 sprigs spring onions, chopped
- Add the onions and salt to the eggs.
- Heat the vegetable oil in a pan and fry the egg on both sides. Use the frying slice to cut them into pieces. Remove and set aside.
- Bring the chicken stock to a boil in a small pot. Add carrots and boil for 2min.
- Divide the soup equally into four bowls.
- Add the cooked eggs and spring onions.
3. SEARED SCALLOPS WITH BELL PEPPER SAUCE
Your kids may cringe and pick out those brightly-coloured bell peppers from their salads and pizzas but they’ll be pleasantly surprised by this dish. The recipe serves four.
1 red bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
1 small onion, coarsely chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic
1 tbsp ketchup
A pinch of salt
A pinch of pepper
- Preheat the oven to 200 deg C.
- Roast the bell peppers for 8min. Remove from the oven and peel under running water. Cut into slices and de-seed.
- Puree the peppers and onions in a blender until smooth.
- Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a non-stick pan. Saute garlic until fragrant. Add the bell pepper puree, ketchup, salt and pepper, and cook for 5min, stirring constantly. Remove and set aside.
- Heat another tbsp of olive oil in the pan. Sear the scallops until slightly brown, about 1min.
- Thread three scallops through a bamboo skewer. Serve with the bell pepper puree.
4. BROWN RICE CAKE WITH TUNA
Show your kids how tasty the humble brown rice can be. This rice cake recipe serves four.
1 cup See Hoy Chan Heavenly brown rice, rinsed and soaked for 15min
1 cup jasmine rice, rinsed
1 can tuna flakes
8 pieces nori (dried seaweed)
- Cook the brown and jasmine rice and cool. Wet your hands in a big bowl of salted water. Scoop a handful of rice and flatten it in your palm.
- Make a well in the centre of the rice and place 1 tbsp of tuna into it.
- Add a bit of rice over the tuna and mould to enclose it.
- Mould it into a triangular rice cake.
- Add a piece of nori on the rice cake.
5. DEEP-FRIED BROCCOLI AND PRAWNS
The kiddos won’t believe it at first but broccoli dishes can be a pleasure to chomp on. Turn your greens into tempura and before you know it, your kids will be craving for more fried greens like this.
Tip: Tiger prawns are best for deep-frying as they turn a bright red when cooked and are crunchy. Recipe serves four.
1 tbsp honey
4 tbsp mayonnaise
100g mixed fruits (mangoes, strawberries), diced
1 pack tempura flour
Vegetable oil for deep-frying
200g prawns, shelled and deveined
- Add the honey to the mayonnaise and mix well. Stir it into the mixed fruits and keep chilled.
- Cut the broccoli into small florets, wash thoroughly, then slice thinly so that they cook easily.
- Mix the tempura fl our with water according to packet instructions to make a batter.
- Heat the vegetable oil in a wok.
- Dip the prawns and broccoli into the batter and deep-fry until light brown.
- Serve with the mixed fruits.
6. BAKED COD WITH TERIYAKI SAUCE
Cod, in this form, is a truly scrumptious treat. To placify complaints about the fishy aroma, bake the cod on four stalks of spring onions. This will prevent the fillets from sticking to the foil too. Recipe serves four.
4 cod fillets
4 tbsp olive oil
200ml teriyaki sauce
4 stalks spring onions
- Wash and pat dry the cod fillets. Marinate with 2 tbsp of olive oil and 100ml of teriyaki sauce. Chill for 15min or overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 200 deg C.
- Place the spring onions on a baking tray lined with aluminium foil. Use your hands to wipe any excess teriyaki sauce off the fillets (too much chars the fish) before placing them on top of the spring onions.
- Brush 2 tbsp of olive oil over the fillets. Bake for 8 to 10min.
- Top with remaining teriyaki sauce before serving.
7. AVOCADO PUREE WITH CHOCOLATE ICE CREAM
Your kids will have their chocolate ice cream; plus that addition healthy avocado addition. This recipe serves four.
4 avocadoes, halved
4 scoops chocolate ice cream
- Mix the sugar into 75ml of water until it dissolves. Place it into a blender with the remaining water.
- Spoon the flesh of the avocadoes into the blender. Puree until smooth.
- Divide the puree equally into 4 cups and top with a scoop of ice cream each.
8. STIR-FRIED MEAT WITH TOMATOES STUFFED IN EGG
These egg pouches are filled with meat-and-tomato goodness; your family will start wondering why they’ve dreaded eating these tantalising tomatoes. Serves four.
6 tbsp vegetable oil
4 eggs, beaten separately
2 cloves garlic, chopped
200g minced meat (chicken,
pork, beef or mutton)
2 tbsp oyster sauce
2 tbsp ketchup
2 tsp sugar
Salt, to taste
2 tbsp cornflour, mixed
with a little water
- Heat 1 tbsp vegetable oil in a frying pan. Pour an egg into the pan and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan evenly. Cook for 1min.
- Flip the egg and cook the other side. Remove and set aside. Repeat for the remaining eggs.
- Heat 2 tbsp vegetable oil in a frying pan.
- Add the garlic and minced meat and stir-fry until the meat is cooked. Add the onions and tomatoes.
- Add the oyster sauce, ketchup, sugar, salt and cornflour mixture.
- Place a fried egg into a bowl. Fill it with 1/4 of the meat mixture and fold in the sides of the egg and wrap.
- Repeat with the rest of the ingredients.
Shermay’s Cooking School is located at Chip Bee Gardens (Holland Village), Blk 43 Jalan Merah Saga #01-76, Singapore 278115, Tel: 6479 8442 / 6479 8414. Opening hours: 10.00am-8.30pm, Mondays to Sundays. To find out more about the culinary school, go to: www.shermay.com/index.htm.
This article was originally published in SimplyHer January 2011.
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