Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Minestrone with a Heart : Make Time for Change

I'm very excited to parter with FoodBuzz, Frigidaire and actress Jennifer Garner through the Make Time for Change effort to encourage nutrition and positive eating habits with families and to raise money for Save the Children, a relief organization that provides food and medical supplies to children in the aftermath of disasters around the world.

Make Time for Change is encouraging families to get in the kitchen and cook together. Many times, the queen of the house makes the meal and summons the family to the table. Let's share the responsibility and get the kids (and dad!) involved.

I've found my son is willing to try new foods when he has a vested interest in the meal preparation. He's excited about the food HE helped make and wants to taste the fruits of his labor. I've encouraged his involvement by having him add ingredients to a recipe that I have pre-measured, or I will open ingredients/containers/boxes for his four year old little hands to easily transfer to a stock pot, frying pan or cookie sheet. He's also an expert table setter and takes pride in being a big helper.



Here's a kid-friendly recipe we make together that gets rave reviews. I took a basic minestrone recipe and added in a few tricks to keep high protein and save time all in one big stock pot.

Ingredients:
1 two pound flank steak
2 cans (14 oz. each) beef broth
1 c. thinly sliced carrot
1 c. thinly sliced celery
1 c. chopped onion
1 clove of crushed garlic
2 T. butter
2 cans (14 oz. each) diced tomatoes
2 t. salt
1 t. dried oregano
1 t. dried basil
1 t. pepper
1 16 oz. can navy beans, undrained
1 16 oz. can kidney beans, undrained
1 large zucchini, cult in half lengthwise and sliced.
1 c. uncooked elbow macaroni noodles
Grated Parmesan Cheese.

When you wake up in the morning, put the flank steak in your crockpot with 1 can of the beef broth and a few shakes of salt and pepper to cook all day.



Slice your veggies and let your little helper put them in a stock pot to saute over medium hight heat in butter. You want them crisp tender.

Next, add the 2 cans of tomatoes - once you open them with the can opener, they're perfect for your little helper to dump into the stockpot! Add in the spices and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.



Now that it's the end of the day and your flank steak is tender and delicious, pull it from the crockpot and cut it into bite size pieces. Add to the stockpot, along with the juices from the crockpot and the additional can of beef broth.



Let your little helper pour in the beans, noodles and the sliced zucchini. Bring all of this to a boil, reduce heat and simmer and additional 15 minutes until the noodles are tender.



Serve in a fun kid friendly bowl, normal mama bear and papa bear sized bowls and top with grated parmesan cheese for a hearty meal that actually has your child eating crazy amounts of good-for-you food that you were able to make together.



Have a delicious dinner and we'll chat soon!
CC

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