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Chicken Salad Stuffed Pepper Boats: Cooking With Kids

Updated on April 9, 2012

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!

Cooking with kids is fun!
Cooking with kids is fun! | Source

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?

  1. Gently stack and roll the leaves together.
  2. With a sharp knife, slice thinly the leaves.
  3. You will be left with beautiful ribbons of green to add to any dish or sprinkle on top for added appeal.

Photos of Chiffonade

Gently stack and roll the leaves.
Gently stack and roll the leaves. | Source
Thinly slice the leaves.
Thinly slice the leaves. | Source
You will be left with beautiful ribbons of green leaves.
You will be left with beautiful ribbons of green leaves. | Source

Ingredients and Directions for Making Chicken Salad Stuffed Pepper Boats

Ingredients

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.

Directions

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.

  1. 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.
  2. Place chopped chicken in a medium bowl. Continue to add all ingredients and then mix well.
  3. With a spoon, scoop the mixture and place in the pepper boats.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Then enjoy picking your creation apart and eating it!

Photo Guide of Chicken Salad Stuffed Pepper Boats

Click thumbnail to view full-size
The chicken is in the bowl and ready for its friends to jump in!Alex begins by adding the nuts.  He then adds the chopped celery.  The celery adds a nice crunch.Grace pours in the grapes and follows it up with the basil.She then finishes it off with the basil.Once the yogurt is added, mix it up until all ingredients are combined.Alex demonstrates the ease at which even a young child can use a safety knife in the kitchen.Both children concentrate hard on filling their boats.Alex carefully spreads the cream cheese onto the cheese slice.Alex is very proud of his pepper boat!A sea of chicken salad stuffed pepper boats!Fun and tasty too!
The chicken is in the bowl and ready for its friends to jump in!
The chicken is in the bowl and ready for its friends to jump in! | Source
Alex begins by adding the nuts.
Alex begins by adding the nuts. | Source
He then adds the chopped celery.  The celery adds a nice crunch.
He then adds the chopped celery. The celery adds a nice crunch. | Source
Grace pours in the grapes and follows it up with the basil.
Grace pours in the grapes and follows it up with the basil. | Source
She then finishes it off with the basil.
She then finishes it off with the basil. | Source
Once the yogurt is added, mix it up until all ingredients are combined.
Once the yogurt is added, mix it up until all ingredients are combined. | Source
Alex demonstrates the ease at which even a young child can use a safety knife in the kitchen.
Alex demonstrates the ease at which even a young child can use a safety knife in the kitchen. | Source
Both children concentrate hard on filling their boats.
Both children concentrate hard on filling their boats. | Source
Alex carefully spreads the cream cheese onto the cheese slice.
Alex carefully spreads the cream cheese onto the cheese slice. | Source
Alex is very proud of his pepper boat!
Alex is very proud of his pepper boat! | Source
A sea of chicken salad stuffed pepper boats!
A sea of chicken salad stuffed pepper boats! | Source
Fun and tasty too!
Fun and tasty too! | Source

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
  • rice
  • quinoa
  • couscous

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.

Comments

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    • cardelean profile imageAUTHOR

      cardelean 

      6 years ago from Michigan

      Me too! I'm working on getting them set in the kitchen! Maybe Grace will be making her own lunch for kindergarten next year! :)

    • Danette Watt profile image

      Danette Watt 

      6 years ago from Illinois

      I love a good chicken salad. Your kids are going to be so adept in the kitchen by the time they are in grade school. Such an important skill and fun too! Voted up

    • cardelean profile imageAUTHOR

      cardelean 

      6 years ago from Michigan

      Thanks Gail, they are great for both kids and adults! Yes, if Grace had her way I think I'd be moved out and into a retirement home by now because she does just about everything herself, makes sure her brother is doing what he is supposed to and won't let me do a thing! Definitely a mini me! I have great kids for sure and that is part of why I am able to do so much with them in the kitchen. Stay tuned...more will be coming! :)

    • Happyboomernurse profile image

      Gail Sobotkin 

      6 years ago from South Carolina

      Am so loving this Kids Cook Monday series and these recipes are healthy and great for adults, too.

      I'm amazed at how much Alex and Grace are able to do with minimal supervision!

      Voted up across the board except for funny.

    • cardelean profile imageAUTHOR

      cardelean 

      6 years ago from Michigan

      I bet they would, especially since you guys boat. I agree that presentation is soooo important. The more fun that we can make it, the more likely that they are to eat it. I'm glad you learned something too. :)

    • leahlefler profile image

      Leah Lefler 

      6 years ago from Western New York

      My boys would LOVE these! Presentation is an important part of getting kids to eat healthy foods - I love this recipe. I have never heard of chiffonade, either - thanks for teaching me something new today!

    • cardelean profile imageAUTHOR

      cardelean 

      6 years ago from Michigan

      Yes, my mini me loves to take pictures! She really does do a great job at it. :) Glad you learned something along the way.

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 

      6 years ago from North Carolina

      Cara-Great recipe and ideas for cooking with kids. Love it! Thanks for sharing that several of the photos were taken by my 5 yr old granddaughter! She did an AWESOME job. Really nailed the chiffonade. I had NO idea that is what it was called, BTW. Thanks, learned something new.

      I rated it up and across and personally think you should move the 'kids cook monday' photo at the very top of this and every kids hub about cooking that you've done.

      Great job. :)

    • cardelean profile imageAUTHOR

      cardelean 

      6 years ago from Michigan

      Thanks Simone. The kids LOVED making these.

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 

      6 years ago from San Francisco

      These are so cute!! I TOTALLY want to make some for myself, hehee :D

    • cardelean profile imageAUTHOR

      cardelean 

      6 years ago from Michigan

      Me too randomcreative but I can see so many other things that this would work for as well. You are welcome, glad you enjoyed it!

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 

      6 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      I love chicken salad! Your boat idea is really cute (and healthy). Thanks for the awesome photos and details as always.

    • cardelean profile imageAUTHOR

      cardelean 

      6 years ago from Michigan

      Thanks ithabise! Glad you found it so useful.

    • ithabise profile image

      Michael S. 

      6 years ago from Winston-Salem, NC

      WONDERFUL! Fun, great lessons with your children, original, and tasty! Love this!

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