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Growing Up Gourmet: Me-Oh-MY Minestrone

Friday, January 25, 2008

Me-Oh-MY Minestrone

This quick minestrone is a perfect Saturday afternoon kitchen adventure. Even the youngest chefs can exercise ownership and make choices about what they are eating -- a very powerful concept indeed!

On the stove, heat 4 cups of chicken or vegetable broth with a can of diced tomatoes. Season with herbs like rosemary or oregano, if desired. On the counter, place heaping bowls of delicious "toppings" like frozen corn, kidney beans, alphabet pasta or orzo, shredded carrots, green peas, tofu cubes, spinach leaves, and Parmesan cheese. Invite your tot-chef to top their bowl of broth with the yummy vegetables. Children will help themselves to their favorites, and may even be motivated to try something new. With a little encouragement, I've seen the most hesitant bean-eater be enthusiastic about stirring in at least 1 bean! Top with a little Parmesan and a touch of olive oil to make the soup sophisticated enough for mom and dad. Make floating “croutons” by cutting-out fun shapes of whole-grain bread with cookie cutters. Brush the bread with olive oil and bake until crispy.

Your kids will love this simple cooking adventure, perfect for a winter's day. You’ll love knowing their bellies are full of healthy nutrients. And the whole family will love spending time together in the kitchen!

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