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Chicken Salad Stuffed Pepper Boats: Cooking With Kids
Kids Cook Monday
Play with your food please!
Often times parents are worried about being sure that their children have learned to use their utensils while they eat as well as sitting in their chair and finishing their meal. While both of these are important lessons to learn, sometimes it's important to just play with your food!
Chicken Salad Stuffed Pepper Boats
While I was shopping the other day, I bought some mini sweet peppers. I have purchased them before to add to salads and to use to dip in hummus. But this time when I looked at them, I saw a boat and the next thing I knew, my sous chefs and I were creating a fun lunch of chicken salad stuffed pepper boats. Intrigued? Want to learn how? Keep reading and I'll share with you how we made our boats and the fun we had making them.
What is chiffonade?
Chiffonade is a method of slicing green leafy vegetables or herbs. It prevents the leaves from bruising and gives any dish an added element of beauty. So how do you chiffonade?
- Gently stack and roll the leaves together.
- With a sharp knife, slice thinly the leaves.
- You will be left with beautiful ribbons of green to add to any dish or sprinkle on top for added appeal.
Photos of Chiffonade
Ingredients and Directions for Making Chicken Salad Stuffed Pepper Boats
2 slices of cheese (any flavor will work)
1/3 cup of plain Greek yogurt*
1/4 cup of sliced grapes
1/4 cup of diced celery
2-3 basil leaves sliced thinly (chiffonade)
1/8 cup of chopped toasted almonds
2 cups of cooked and chopped chicken
6-8 carrot or celery sticks
1-2 tablespoons of cream cheese
salt and pepper to taste
*Greek yogurt has a very tangy taste to it. If your children are not accustomed to its flavor, you may want to use mayonnaise or salad dressing. I chose Greek yogurt for its high protein content as well as its additional health benefits.
The beauty of this recipe is its simplicity. By using some leftover chicken in my fridge along with some fresh vegetables, we had a lunch that was fun, delicious, and healthy! Other than the chopping, this recipe is perfect for kids of all ages to make themselves, with adult supervision.
- Cut 1/3 off of the top of the mini peppers. If you cut more than that there will not be enough room to "stuff" them. Then clean out the seeds from the center. Set aside.
- Place chopped chicken in a medium bowl. Continue to add all ingredients and then mix well.
- With a spoon, scoop the mixture and place in the pepper boats.
- Cut a slice of cheese into four triangles. I gave my children a child safe knife and allowed them to do this part as well.
- Spread a small amount of cream cheese on one edge of the cheese and place the carrot or celery stick on it. This now forms the sail for the boat.
- Place the sail into the boat. You may need to support the base of the carrot stick by using the chicken salad to surround the base to give it a little extra stability.
- Then enjoy picking your creation apart and eating it!
Photo Guide of Chicken Salad Stuffed Pepper BoatsClick thumbnail to view full-size
Stuffed Pepper Variations
Although we used chicken salad to stuff our mini pepper boats, there are many things that you could use to fill your boats.
- tuna salad
The purpose in cooking with your kids is to eat healthy and have fun. So be creative. Fill your boats with foods that you know your children will enjoy eating.
Lesson Learned While Cooking
I like to share some of the things that my children learn as they create tasty meals and snacks in the kitchen. Although the teamwork and cooperation skills are ongoing, each time we cook something together, they learn a little something different. This time we were able to spend some time talking about the different shapes while we were creating our masterpieces! We talked about the triangle shaped cheese, the rectangle faces on the carrot sticks and my daughter even commented that the peppers looked sort of like an empty oval. Cooking with your kids is not only a great way to spend quality time with your children, but it provides endless natural opportunities for learning.