Sharon N’Diaye is my friend who hosts the Cooking with Kids class at The Ajna Center for Wellness here in Croton. My daughter Juliana has taken several of her classes and loves them. Juliana even added plantains to her list of foods she will eat. Although Juliana has no known allergies, she is a picky eater. I love Sharon’s approach to getting preschoolers involved in the preparation of their own meals!
This is part one of a two part series on Sharon’s classes.
Happy New Year!! We are coming off the high spirits of the holidays and January can seem like a bit of a downer in contrast…and with our snow and frigid temps, it’s just the right time for some cozy, warm recipes!!
These recipes are easy and a lot of fun to make with your kids! In fact, I’ve made these recipes with a whole roomful of kids at our Cooking With Kids class. And the great thing is that they are allergen-free.
The first recipe to share is fried plantains. There are only two ingredients! Oil, really ripe plantains, and you can sprinkle them with sugar cinnamon or salt if you’d like. Our chefs paired this item with a salad. You can do an oil/vinegar/mustard dressing (vinaigrette) or if you’re not sensitive to eggs, you can make “pink” (Russian) dressing by adding a 1/2 cup of mayo with a 1/3 cup of ketchup!
The kids really enjoyed making the plantains. In fact, one particular small chef added plantains to her list of approved foods!
We started with really ripe (black) plantains, which are available in most grocery stores/bodegas. If you get them when they’re yellow or green, you can prepare them in a similar way, but for our purposes here, use the black ones!
The process was so simple and easy, and the kids enjoyed peeling and cutting the plantains. Once the plantains were cut, all we had to do was to heat up some coconut oil (or the oil of your choice) in a skillet / frying pan. Once the oil was hot, we let the plantains sizzle a bit until they were brownish on one side, then I flipped them over! The kids looked, but I took care of the flipping!
When the plantains come off the pan, you can put them on a paper towel covering a plate to soak up some of the oil. If your small chefs are so inclined, they can sprinkle their plantains with salt or cinnamon sugar. Or, if you’re into non-dairy cheese, that can be fun as a topping!
Ingredients for Fried Plaintains:
Coconut oil or other healthy oil for frying
Optional toppings: Cinnamon sugar, salt, or non-dairy cheese
Ingredients for Salad:
Mixed greens (organic is best)
Shredded Red Cabbage (Juliana’s personal favorite!)
Ingredients for Simple Vinaigrette:
3 parts Extra Virgin Olive Oil or similar oil
1 part Vinegar (I like raw organic Apple Cider Vinegar)
1 part Mustard
Ingredients for Pink (Russian) dressing:
1/2 Cup Mayonnaise (vegan mayo for egg allergic)
1/3 Cup Ketchup