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Kid in the Kitchen: Fresh, Fast Pasta

Kid in the Kitchen: Fresh, Fast Pasta


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"Today I made pasta with spinach and tomatoes. I grated the lemon rind, juiced the lemon, and sliced the tomatoes and basil earlier, so I just had to cook the pasta at the last minute and throw in the final ingredients. A great, fast way to halve the tomatoes is to put them on a plate, put another plate on top, and then press on the top plate and run your knife through the middle (younger kids may need help with this step). Refrigerated fresh pasta doesn't take as long to cook as dry pasta, which makes this recipe even quicker. The blend of cream cheese and mascarpone makes the sauce really creamy, though it tastes light. The lemon and basil are so fresh tasting—they will remind you of long summer days. This recipe was extremely popular with my family. I hope it is with yours, too!" -- Matisee Reid, a kid who cooks for friends and family, age: 13

THE VERDICTKeeley (age 15): She thought the pasta was restaurant quality. She loved the creaminess and freshness of the disk. 10 stars!

Mica (age 12): She just said, "Can I have more?" 10 stars!

Matisse (age 13): I loved the spinach. The combination of the cheeses and lemon worked really well. 9 stars!

CREAMY MASCARPONE AND SPINACH LINGUINEHands-on: 12 min.Total: 21 min.

1 (9-ounce) package refrigerated fresh linguine3 tablespoons 1/3-less-fat cream cheese1½ tablespoons mascarpone cheese½ teaspoon grated lemon rind2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice½ teaspoon salt1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg4 cups baby spinach leaves1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved¼ cup sliced fresh basil2 tablespoons grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

1. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain pasta in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1 cup cooking liquid.

2. Add cream cheese and mascarpone cheese to bowl, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Stir in lemon rind and the next 4 ingredients (through nutmeg).

3. Heat saucepan over medium-high heat. Add pasta and cream cheese mixture to pan; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in spinach and tomatoes; cook 2 minutes or until spinach wilts, stirring frequently. Remove pan from heat; stir in basil. Sprinkle evenly with cheese; serve immediately.

SERVES 4 (serving size: about 2 cups pasta and 1½ teaspoons cheese)CALORIES 292; FAT 10.2g (sat 5.6g, mono 2.7g, poly 1.5g); PROTEIN 12g; CARB 41g; FIBER 4g; CHOL 61mg; IRON 2mg; SODIUM 454mg; CALC 107mg

--Recipe by Susan Russo


We can all use a win in the kitchen every now and then, especially when it comes to being able to quickly prepare meals that our whole family will enjoy. With that in mind, we’ve taken the liberty of rounding up our top 30 kid-friendly recipes that will have everyone leaving the dinner table happy, healthy, and full-bellied. What more could you ask for?


Quick healthy dinner

But don’t worry – just because it’s a quick dinner, it doesn’t mean you miss out on flavour. Here are 12 of our families favourite 20 minute Dinner Recipes that will please even the fussiest palate. What’s special about these recipes? They’re full of kid-friendly flavor, no one likes a bland dinner but kids can sometime be…picky, shall we say, about the flavors they’ll eat.
These are perfect, and please the whole crowd. And that’s a good thing in my book!

Download my FREE Dinner Time Cheat Sheet below, it’s really handy and will give you a head start!


Quick Kid-Friendly Dinner Recipes the Entire Family Will Love

The definition of "kid-friendly" certainly varies from child to child, but there are a few common threads you'll find among recipes that appeal to families. First, they're easy for parents to throw together, and, in some cases, for kids to help out with preparing. They often draw on familiar ingredients&mdashlike pasta&mdashand favor simple preparations in favor of complex sauces or lots of spices. And they're usually customizable with elements that can easily be left out or swapped in, whether it's omitting the fresh basil garnish or using familiar American cheese in lieu of sharper Gruyère.

The recipes in this collection feature something for everyone: They're accessible for finicky eaters, but hardly boring or bland. Yes, there's pasta (spaghetti with a speedy tomato sauce, penne with broccoli, gnocchi with peas, and a no-fail mac 'n' cheese)&mdashbut there's also lots more, including dishes from some tried and true, kid-friendly cuisines, such as Mexican and Chinese.

The breaded chicken cutlets shown here are a fantastic example of how tasty kid-friendly food can be: They're crispy, crunchy, savory, and wonderfully filling. You start by pulsing oats in a food processor until finely ground, then add umami-rich Grana Padano cheese, parsley, salt, and pepper. This becomes the breading for chicken tenders, which you fry in a skillet. Cut them into strips for little fingers to pick up, or leave them whole for older diners to cut on their own. They're delicious with a squeeze a lemon, a squirt of ketchup, or whatever else your family's heart desires.

Most importantly, child-friendly dinners don't have to be dull or unhealthy. Here, a collection of ideas that will appeal to family members both young and old.


Kid in the Kitchen

The New York Times Food columnist and beloved home cooking authority welcomes the next generation of chefs into the kitchen with 100 recipes that are all about what YOU think is good.

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST COOKBOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW AND TOWN & COUNTRY

Whether you're new to cooking or you already rock that kitchen, these 100 recipes make it easy to cook what you like, exactly how you like it.

In Kid in the Kitchen, Melissa Clark, who has been cooking with her own kid for years, takes you step-by-step through how to understand and create each dish. These recipes are fun, insanely delicious, and will help you become a confident cook. There are tons of tips and tweaks, too, so you can cook what you want with what you have. Make amped-up breakfasts, sandwiches that slay, noodles and pasta for every craving, plus sheet pan dinners, mix and match grain bowls and salads, one-pot meals, party classics, and the richest, gooiest desserts. This is the fun, easy way to awesome food.

Recipes include: Fresh Custardy French Toast * OMG, I Smell Bacon! (spicy and candied, too) * Granola Bar Remix, feat. Cranberry and Ginger * The. Last. Guacamole. Recipe. Ever. * Fast Pho * Garlicky, Crumb-y Pasta * Classic Caesar Salad with Unclassic Cheesy Croutons * Crispy Pork Carnitas Tacos * Mexican Chicken Soup Chips * Shrimp Scampi Skillet Dinner * Korean Scallion and Veggie Pancakes (Pajeon) * Fluffy Buttermilk Biscuits Put a Spell on You * Rise & Dine Cinnamon Raisin Bread * Buttery Mashed Potato Cloud * Deep Dark Fudgy Brownies * Think Pink Lemonade Bars

Melissa will explain the most helpful kitchen tools and tips, from the proper way to hold a chef's knife to why you need a Microplane grater right now. She'll even clue you in on which recipe rules you can break and how to snap amazing food photos to share!


Kid in the Kitchen: 100 Recipes and Tips for Young Home Cooks: A Cookbook

Tune into our streaming event as this author goes live to sign copies of their latest book and answer questions from fans like you.

Watch the LiveSigning Now

Tune into our live streaming event as the author signs copies of their latest book and answers questions from fans like you.

This Author Had A LiveSigning. Want To Watch?

Melissa Clark already signed copies of this title on a live-stream event, but you can watch a recording of the event to see them sign copies, tell stories and answer fan questions.

This Hardcover Edition of Melissa Clark's Kid in the Kitchen: 100 Recipes and Tips for Young Home Cooks: A Cookbook is autographed by on a bookplate Melissa Clark.

The New York Times Food columnist and beloved home cooking authority welcome the next generation of chefs into the kitchen with 100 recipes that are all about what YOU think is good.

Whether you&rsquore new to cooking or you already rock that kitchen, these 100 recipes make it easy to cook what you like, exactly how you like it.

In Kid in the Kitchen, Melissa Clark, who has been cooking with her own kid for years, takes you step-by-step through how to understand and create each dish. These recipes are fun, insanely delicious, and will help you become a confident cook. There are tons of tips and tweaks, too, so you can cook what you want with what you have. Make amped-up breakfasts, sandwiches that slay, noodles and pasta for every craving, plus sheet pan dinners, mix and match grain bowls and salads, one-pot meals, party classics, and the richest, gooiest desserts. This is the fun, easy way to awesome food.

Recipes include: Fresh Custardy French Toast &bull OMG, I Smell Bacon! (spicy and candied, too) &bull Granola Bar Remix, feat. Cranberry and Ginger &bull The. Last. Guacamole. Recipe. Ever. &bull Fast Pho &bull Garlicky, Crumb-y Pasta &bull Classic Caesar Salad with Unclassic Cheesy Croutons &bull Crispy Pork Carnitas Tacos &bull Mexican Chicken Soup & Chips &bull Shrimp Scampi Skillet Dinner &bull Korean Scallion and Veggie Pancakes (Pajeon) &bull Fluffy Buttermilk Biscuits Put a Spell on You &bull Rise & Dine Cinnamon Raisin Bread &bull Buttery Mashed Potato Cloud &bull Deep Dark Fudgy Brownies &bull Think Pink Lemonade Bars

Melissa will explain the most helpful kitchen tools and tips, from the proper way to hold a chef&rsquos knife to why you need a Microplane grater right now. She&rsquoll even clue you in on which recipe rules you can break and how to snap amazing food photos to share!

Get your Melissa Clark autographed book today!

Product Details

  • Pages: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Clarkson Potter
  • Release Date: November 10, 2020
  • ISBN-13: 9780593232286
  • Edition: Autographed Hardcover Bookplated Edition

About The Author

Melissa Clark is the author of the New York Times bestseller Dinner in French, as well as Dinner, Dinner in an Instant, and Comfort in an Instant . She is a columnist for The New York Times Food section.

Product Details

This Hardcover Edition of Melissa Clark's Kid in the Kitchen: 100 Recipes and Tips for Young Home Cooks: A Cookbook is autographed by on a bookplate Melissa Clark.

The New York Times Food columnist and beloved home cooking authority welcome the next generation of chefs into the kitchen with 100 recipes that are all about what YOU think is good.

Whether you&rsquore new to cooking or you already rock that kitchen, these 100 recipes make it easy to cook what you like, exactly how you like it.

In Kid in the Kitchen, Melissa Clark, who has been cooking with her own kid for years, takes you step-by-step through how to understand and create each dish. These recipes are fun, insanely delicious, and will help you become a confident cook. There are tons of tips and tweaks, too, so you can cook what you want with what you have. Make amped-up breakfasts, sandwiches that slay, noodles and pasta for every craving, plus sheet pan dinners, mix and match grain bowls and salads, one-pot meals, party classics, and the richest, gooiest desserts. This is the fun, easy way to awesome food.

Recipes include: Fresh Custardy French Toast &bull OMG, I Smell Bacon! (spicy and candied, too) &bull Granola Bar Remix, feat. Cranberry and Ginger &bull The. Last. Guacamole. Recipe. Ever. &bull Fast Pho &bull Garlicky, Crumb-y Pasta &bull Classic Caesar Salad with Unclassic Cheesy Croutons &bull Crispy Pork Carnitas Tacos &bull Mexican Chicken Soup & Chips &bull Shrimp Scampi Skillet Dinner &bull Korean Scallion and Veggie Pancakes (Pajeon) &bull Fluffy Buttermilk Biscuits Put a Spell on You &bull Rise & Dine Cinnamon Raisin Bread &bull Buttery Mashed Potato Cloud &bull Deep Dark Fudgy Brownies &bull Think Pink Lemonade Bars

Melissa will explain the most helpful kitchen tools and tips, from the proper way to hold a chef&rsquos knife to why you need a Microplane grater right now. She&rsquoll even clue you in on which recipe rules you can break and how to snap amazing food photos to share!

Get your Melissa Clark autographed book today!

Product Details

  • Pages: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Clarkson Potter
  • Release Date: November 10, 2020
  • ISBN-13: 9780593232286
  • Edition: Autographed Hardcover Bookplated Edition

About The Author

Melissa Clark is the author of the New York Times bestseller Dinner in French, as well as Dinner, Dinner in an Instant, and Comfort in an Instant . She is a columnist for The New York Times Food section.


Kid-Friendly Instant Pot Meals for kids who love Asian food

One of the first meals that really blew my kids away and won them all over to Instant Pot cooking was this Mongolian Beef in the Pressure Cooker. Seriously, so good! Man, we haven’t had that in a while I’m gonna need to put that on my shopping list for next week.

We have take-out Tuesday and get Chinese food a lot, but it’s almost always better when we make it ourselves. I’m so glad Laura from Awe-Filled Homemaker figured out how to make Better Than Takeout Kung Pao Chicken!

Chicken Fried Rice in the Instant Pot blows me away. This cooking method has a way of creating incredibly deep flavors. This is the chicken fried rice I dream of!

This is one of those dishes that you might not think your kids will like, but try it. I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how much all of my kids enjoy the Korean dishes I’ve made in the pressure cooker, and Instant Pot Korean Beef is no exception.

Chicken Pad Thai for the Instant Pot is another great Asian dish my kids will eat.

Asian food is one thing the Instant Pot does really, really well, and this Yummy Teriyaki Chicken with Instant Pot directions is no exception! If they have to choose, my kids will choose teriyaki every time.

This recipe for Thai Peanut Noodles reminds me of a yummy Thai restaurant we used to go to twenty years ago. Just a note – it says sriracha to taste. So maybe go lightly if your kids can’t handle heat.

The key to making sure my kids will eat the Asian food we purchase is to pick one of the sweet dishes like this Orange Chicken for the Instant Pot.


Pasta Bake Recipes For Kids

Love to bake? Here are some healthy pasta bake recipes you can try for the kids.

14. Three Cheese Bake Pasta

Creamy pasta is all about cheese. So we bring to you the “yummi-licious” three cheese pasta that you and your children will devour!

You will need:

  • 1lb raw pasta
  • 1lb beef, grounded
  • 6oz Provolone cheese
  • 6oz mozzarella cheese
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 ½ cups sour cream
  • 6 ½ cups pasta sauce
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a large pot, bring the water to boil and add pasta. Cook for ten minutes.
  3. In a skillet, add the onions and the ground beef. Saute until the meat becomes brown and stir in the pasta sauce. Cook for 15 minutes on low-medium heat.
  4. Grease a baking dish and layer the ingredients in this order – a) half of the pasta b) provolone cheese c) sour cream d) half of the pasta sauce e) remaining pasta f)mozzarella cheese g) remaining pasta sauce mix 7) top it with grated parmesan cheese
  5. Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven. Serve hot.

Preparation time: 20min
Cooking time: 1hr
Servings: 12
Nutritional value: Calories –463, carbohydrates –42.3g, protein – 22.7g, fat – 22.2g, cholesterol -88mg

15. Creamy Pumpkin Pasta Bake

Pumpkins are all around you during the harvest season. Besides pie, cupcakes and other desserts, you can also make pasta with pumpkin. Here is the recipe.

You will need:

  • 300g uncooked bow-tie pasta
  • 500g butternut pumpkin, peeled and cut into small cubes
  • 4 eschalots, peeled and chopped fine
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 20 grams butter
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • ¾ cup chicken stock
  • 2/3 cup grated mozzarella cheese
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 300ml light cream
  1. Cook the pasta in a pot of boiling water. Drain all but one-fourth of the water and set it aside.
  2. In a skillet, heat the oil and butter over medium heat. Add the eschalots and stir fry them for two minutes.
  3. Add the pumpkin, garlic, and thyme and stir them for six minutes. Add the chicken stock.
  4. Let it simmer for 3 minutes (it should become half) and then add the cream, salt, and pepper. Cook it for three more minutes and take it off the heat.
  5. Combine the pasta, sauce mix, half parmesan and half mozzarella. Grease a baking dish and put the pasta in it.
  6. Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella and parmesan on top and cover with foil.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes and remove the foil. Bake again for 15 minutes and garnish with thyme.
  8. Serve hot.

Preparation time: 20min
Cooking time: 45min
Servings: 4
Nutritional value: Calories – 2762, carbohydrates –66g, protein – 22g, fat – 31g, cholesterol -67mg

Pasta is a dish for all seasons and reasons. Whether it is dinner, lunch or a party, kids will eat a pasta dish without any complaints! The best part is that you can make pasta nutritious by deciding what you add to it – vegetables, nuts or even chicken.


5 Kid-Approved Recipes That Are Loaded with Green Veggies

True story: My 10-year-old daughter recently announced that she doesn't like spinach — while shoveling down my homemade strata that’s packed with (you guessed it) tons of baby spinach. I asked her what she thought the green stuff on her plate was and, after a long, awkward pause she answered confidently, "not spinach."

As much as I love telling that story for its comedic value, I also think there’s a bit of universal truth tucked in there somewhere. Something about how green veggies have wrongfully been labeled as not delicious when they can, in fact, be the exact opposite.

As parents, we’re tasked with helping our little ones see past this misconception. It’s our job to make sure they approach veggies with an open mind — even the leafy green ones! How do you do that when you’ve got a particularly picky eater in the family? I like to think that riffing off of inherently kid-friendly dishes (like pasta and pizza) is a good place to start so I’ve rounded up a few that my daughter loves. These are dishes that helped her gain familiarity with green vegetables — and discover that she actually likes them.

This is a good recipe if your little one is just getting used to the idea of eating greens. We dot the pizza with obvious dollops of arugula pesto but you could just as easily spread it evenly across the crust and top with cheese and other toppings. Pepperoni, anyone?


Quick And Easy No-Cook Pasta Sauce Recipes

When we're out of ideas for dinner, what do we do? Most of the time we look for scraps of leftovers in the back of the fridge or check the freezer for TV dinners. But there are better options for dinner, one excellent choice being pasta (and we don't mean opening a jar of marinara sauce and pouring it over pasta). It's actually possible to make a quick pasta dinner in only 10 minutes when you've got an easy recipe formula to work with -- and we've got three great formulas to share.

Homemade pasta sauces don't have to be complicated or take hours to make. When you want dinner in a jiffy, you don't want to be simmering a pot on the stove for hours. In the same amount of time you can cook a box of pasta, you can create any of these simple sauces -- and the best part is none of these sauces require cooking.

Here are three formulas that you can fall back on when you're pressed for time (some use a food processor or blender to make prep super fast). Scroll down to get a list of must-have ingredients to keep in your pantry and fridge for the next time you want to make a no-cook pasta sauce for supper.

All the following formulas are designed to go over 1 pound of pasta and serve at least four people.

The classic basil pesto from the northern Italy is fresh-tasting and very easy to make. It can easily be adapted to suit your cravings.

What you need:

  • 2 cups herbs, such as basil, parsley or cilantro
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/4 cup nuts, such as pine nuts, walnuts or almonds
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup olive oil (use less oil for creamier pesto)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice or red-wine vinegar

Don't forget to season with salt and pepper. Use a food processor or blender to make the pesto.

Optional swaps or additions:

  • Swap the herbs with spinach for a nutritious option
  • Swap the herbs with arugula for a spicy flavor
  • Swap half the herbs with fresh peas or edamame
  • Swap half the herbs with avocado for a creamy option (you may want to reduce the amount of oil)
  • Add 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

You don't have to wait until summer to experience the flavor of tomatoes. When you don't have vine-ripened tomatoes, turn to canned, diced tomatoes -- they have all the taste of fresh tomatoes and you don't have to do any of the chopping.

What you need:

  • 2 (15-ounce) cans diced tomatoes in juice (or 2 diced fresh tomatoes, when in season)
  • 1/4 cup torn herbs, such as basil or parsley
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice or red-wine vinegar

Simply combine the ingredients in a bowl and toss with hot pasta. Season with salt and pepper.

Optional swaps or additions:

  • Add 1/4 cup black or green olives, pitted and chopped
  • Add 2 tablespoons capers
  • Add 1 to 2 anchovy fillets, mashed
  • Add 1 can of tuna, flaked
  • Add 4 to 6 ounces fresh mozzarella, chopped (it will melt slightly from the hot pasta!)

If you love cheesy noodles, you'll love this dish of pasta with buttery Parmesan cheese sauce. The formula can easily be changed to suit your specific cravings.

What you need:

Use a food processor to mix together the butter and cheese and toss with hot pasta. Season with salt.

Optional swaps or additions:

  • Swap the butter with 1/2 cup olive oil for a healthier option
  • Swap the butter with 1/2 cup creme fraiche for a creamier option
  • Add 1 tablespoon lemon juice for bright flavor
  • Add 1 tablespoon cracked black peppercorns (it's like a riff on cacio e pepe)
  • Add 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Add 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • Add 1 to 2 anchovy filets
  • Pasta
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Fresh herbs, such as basil, parsley, cilantro
  • Crushed red pepper flakes
  • Garlic
  • Canned diced tomatoes
  • Canned tuna
  • Canned anchovies
  • Olives
  • Capers
  • Lemons
  • Red-wine vinegar

What's your favorite no-cook pasta sauce? Let us know in the comment.


Watch the video: A Kid In The Kitchen mp4 (October 2022).