GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The holidays are the perfect time to get in the kitchen and spend time with family, so why not do both? This month, Chartwells is focusing on cooking with families.

Making cooking an event for the whole family - is a great way to spend quality time and have some fun. It's a great way to introduce kids to new foods and get them excited about what's on their plate.

Not only does getting your kids involved in the cooking help develop better eating habits, it also teaches them life skills! Here are some recipes you can try with your kids:

Honey Roasted Pumpkin

Honey, Nutmeg and cinnamon glazed Pumpkin. Not in a crust and still creates the perfect aromatics while roasting!

Yields:  4
Portion Size: ½ cup
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Recipe Cost (approx.): $3.00 (can be much less when pumpkins are in season)
Cost per serving (approx.): $0.75 (can be much less when pumpkins are  in season)

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 ounce Honey
  • 1 3/4 TBSP Vegetable/Canola/Avocado/Safflower/Grapeseed Oil
  • 3/8 ounce Brown Sugar, Light
  • 1/8 tsp Black Pepper, fine ground
  • 3/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/8 tsp Cinnamon, ground
  • < 1/8 tsp Nutmeg, ground
  • < 1/8 tsp Thyme, ground
  • 2 pounds Pumpkin, fresh, peeled & cubed
  • 1/2 tsp Parsley, fresh, minced

Directions:

  1. Wash all produce thoroughly under running cold water before cutting/preparing.
  2. Wash & peel pumpkin. Remove guts (save seeds), and cut into bite sized cubes
  3. Place into cooking pan, set aside.
  4. In a mixing bowl, mix honey, oil, brown sugar, salt, pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg and thyme.
  5. Whisk together until completely combined.
  6. Toss pumpkin pieces into the bowl and coat well.
  7. Dump the coated pumpkin pieces onto a prepared roasting pan (sprayed with pan spray) and Roast at 350 Degrees F for 25 minutes until golden brown and lightly caramelized.
  8. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley-Serve hot.
  9. If desired, wash pumpkin seeds to remove all guts, dry seeds then toast up in the oven while pumpkin is roasting.  Season with favorite seasoning mix and use as a garnish or eat as is!

***Sprinkle with toasted squash or pumpkin seeds & cinnamon sugar for a fun garnish & treat if desired.

Pumpkins Seed Avocado Toast

Chopped avocado with radish, green onion, cilantro and toasted pumpkin seeds. Trendy lighter style of a meal.

Yields: 4
Portion Size: 2 slice of topped bread
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Recipe Cost (approx.) $7.78
Cost per serving (approx.): $1.95

Ingredients:

Avocado Mash

  • 2 each Avocados, fresh
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • 2 tsp Lemon Juice
  • ½ tsp Cracked black pepper

Toast & Seeds

  • 8 slices Bread, Wheat
  • 1 cup Hulled Pumpkin Seeds (Pepitas)

Toppers

  • 2 TBSP+2 tsp Cilantro-Fresh, chopped
  • 2 TBSP+2 tsp Scallions, fresh, sliced thin
  • 2 TBSP+2tsp Radish, fresh, small diced

Directions:

  1. Wash all produce thoroughly under running cold water before cutting/preparing.
  2. In a small bowl, combine avocado, lemon juice, salt & pepper.
  3. Gently mash with the back of a fork, leaving some small pieces of avocado intact.
  4. Toast bread until perfectly toasted (oven or toaster or in a dry heated skillet on stove)
  5. Toast pumpkin seeds (pepitas) in the oven on a dry flat baking sheet pan.  Watch closely so avoid burning.  Remove from oven when slightly browned and crunchy.
  6. To assemble:
  7. Lay the toasted bread on work surface or plate.
  8. Divide the avocado mash evenly onto all toasted bread slices.
  9. Sprinkle each slice evenly with the chopped cilantro, sliced scallions, diced radish and finish with the toasted pumpkin seeds.
  10. Cut each slice of bread in half to create toast points and enjoy!

Pumpkin Spice Smoothie

A lightly spiced blend of rich vanilla yogurt, apple juice, pumpkin puree, honey and savory spices making a rich, creamy fall smoothie.

Yields: 4
Portion Size: 12 fl oz
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: None
Total Recipe Cost (approx.): $4.09
Cost per serving (approx.): $1.02

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups Apple Juice
  • 2 cups Pumpkin, canned
  • ¼ cup Honey
  • 1/8th tsp Cinnamon, ground
  • 1/4th tsp Ginger, dry/ground
  • 1/4th tsp Nutmeg, ground
  • 1 pound Vanilla, Low fat Yogurt (Plain Greek yogurt can also be used)

Directions:

  1. Chill canned pumpkin several hours before mixing.
  2. Measure & stir all ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Portion/pour into 12 ounce glass or chill in refrigerator until ready to enjoy.
  4. Garnish with a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar or toasted pumpkin seeds for fun if desired.

Homemade Sweet Potato Oat Biscuit

Sweet potato mashed meets a perfect homemade from scratch; drop biscuit. Perfect pairing for soup or as a sandwich.

Yields: 4
Portion Size: ½ cup
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Recipe Cost (approx.): $3.91
Cost per serving (approx.): $0.26

Ingredients:

Mashed Sweet Potato Mixture

  • 3 ounces Sweet Potatoes, Fresh
  • 1/8 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Butter, Unsalted, melted (measure then melt)
  • 1 TBSP  Brown Sugar, Light
  • 1 ½ tsp Milk, Low-fat

Biscuit Dough

  • 17 ounces Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
  • 5 ounces All Purpose Flour
  • 2 TBSP  Baking Powder
  • 1/3 ounce Salt
  • 5 1/3 ounce Butter, unsalted & cold
  • 14 fl ounces Milk, low-fat or any
  • 10 ounces Oatmeal, Quick oats
  • 2 ounces Butter, melted (measure then melt)

Directions:

  1. Wash all produce thoroughly under running cold water before cutting/preparing.
  2. Wash & peel sweet potatoes.
  3. Place into cooking pan, cover with water & bring to boil until fork tender.
  4. Drain all water from potatoes & add salt, melted butter, brown sugar & milk.
  5. Whip or mash smooth.  Allow to cool to room temperature while you start biscuit mix.
  6. Mix in a large bowl:
  7. Whole Wheat Pastry flour, AP flour, Baking Powder, Salt, & Oatmeal.
  8. Mix dry ingredients together thoroughly, then cut in the cold-Unsalted Butter (solid) and rub with fingers until consistency like rocky sand.
  9. Add milk, mashed sweet potato (1/2 cup per 15 biscuit recipe).
  10. Combine JUST ENOUGH to form loose dough, do NOT over mix.
  11. Using a floured rolling pin and on a lightly floured clean surface, roll dough out to ½” thickness.
  12. Cut out 2.5” rounds and place close together on a sheet pan, or scoop out using a ½ cup measuring ice cream scoop & allow to ‘drop’ onto sheet pan, close together but not touching.
  13. Brush each biscuit with the melted butter and bake at 375 Degrees F for 15 minutes until golden brown.
  14. Serve warm or room temperature.

***Sprinkle with toasted squash or pumpkin seeds & cinnamon sugar for a fun garnish & treat if desired.

Thai Chili Turkey Tacos

Sweet & Sassy Thai Red Chili Korean Glazed Turkey in soft flour tortillas.

Yields: 4
Portion Size: 2; 6” flour filled tacos
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Recipe Cost (approx.): $5.18
Cost per serving (approx.): $1.30

Ingredients:

  • 12 ounces Cooked, Turkey breast (whole, not thin sliced)
  • ½ cup + 2 TBSP Sweet Thai Chili Sauce
  • 2 TBSP Lime Juice
  • 2 TBSP Honey
  • 1 TBSP Cilantro, Fresh, Chopped
  • 2.5 TBSP Scallions, chopped
  • 8 each  6” Flour Tortillas (Enriched or Whole Grain)

Directions:

  1. Wash all produce thoroughly under running cold water before cutting/preparing.
  2. Slice cooked turkey breast into ½” thick slabs. 
  3. Slice each slab across the meat grain, into 1.5 ounce thick julienne sticks (approximately the size of a large French fry).
  4. In a large bowl mix together with a whisk:
    • Sweet Thai Chili Sauce
    • Lime Juice
    • Honey
  5. Brush sauce onto sliced turkey strips and place onto a pan sprayed roasting sheet pan (cookie sheet pan).
  6. Bake at 375 degrees F for approximately 7-10 minutes until turkey is thoroughly heated and the sauce has caramelized and glazed onto the turkey.
  7. Remove glazed turkey from oven and begin assembly of tacos.
  8. Place each glazed turkey “strip” into a warmed flour tortilla.
  9. Garnish each with ½ tsp scallions, and ½ tsp fresh cilantro.

***Excellent recipe to use up leftover roasted turkey from Thanksgiving!  Super easy and full of a trendy flavor that kids today enjoy!

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