We are excited to bring you a new monthly series from Katie Blauser, the brains behind Eat Pretty Darling. Each month on our blog we will feature a "Color of the Week" that corresponds with Veggie Buds Club's veggie of the month. May's veggie is BEANS so we can't wait to focus on GREEN veggies this month!
Katie Blauser is the mama of two boys, wife of a picky eater, and food lover at Eat Pretty Darling. She believes in making food fun, healthy, & pretty! Katie’s not only outnumbered by boys in her little family, but also by picky eaters. She loves trying to find new ways to get both kids and adults to eat healthy while making food pretty yummy, pretty healthy, and pretty fun! Find Katie on Instagram (@eatprettydarling), where she shares colorful and cute food ideas for both picky and adventurous eaters.
Color of the Week - GREEN
Let’s face it, we don’t all have access to farm stands and gardens year round to source our fresh produce each week. It’s not always feasible to have our kids helping to grow the food we eat either. Most of us have to count on the grocery store to fill our bellies, but there’s still a fun way to get the kids involved!
Each week we head out to to grocery store with a color to find! We stick to the produce section and try to pick 4-5 items that fit our color. Sometimes it’s the color on the outside, sometimes it’s the color on the inside. It’s a great way to get the kids excited about trying new things! Let your kids pick the items out. We try to get at least one thing he likes and some other things he hasn’t tried or is still learning to like. Even if I’ve offered him something a million times, he gets more interested in trying it if he had a hand in picking it out. Getting kids involved every step of the way can help your picky eater become a little more adventurous. Now go explore your grocery store! A colorful bounty awaits.
Green Food Ideas
There are more out there, but here’s a list to get started!
Green Bean Sticks with Green Dip
Now what to do with all of your colorful food? Try to incorporate these items into your weekly meals. How about a totally green meal such as these Green Bean Sticks with Green Dip?!
Get the kids involved in cooking! Here’s some ways they can help for this recipe:
I hope you enjoy this recipe that was included in Veggie Buds Club's "Kids Love Veggie Soup" box this month! It was developed by the very talented Heather Staller.
Heather is a mom of two boys, ages 4 and 2, and cooking instructor specializing in bringing cooking into preschool classrooms. After college, Heather knew she wanted to be a teacher, but first followed her lifelong dream of going to culinary school. Teaching cooking combines both of her passions, and she truly enjoys introducing young children to the joys of cooking with fresh ingredients. Find Heather on Instagram (@heather_kidskitchen), where she shares inventive kid-friendly recipes and ideas for cooking with kids at home.
Get kids involved in the kitchen- peeling carrots, adding veggies to the pot, and
stirring in those fun alphabet noodles with this veggie-packed, comforting soup.
-1 tablespoon olive oil
-½ small onion, cut into ¼-inch dice
-1 large carrot, peeled and cut into ¼-inch dice
-1 stalk celery, trimmed and cut into ¼-inch dice
-¼ teaspoon Kosher or coarse sea salt, plus more to season
-1 to 2 cloves garlic, minced
-1 medium sized waxy potato (red or yellow skinned), cut into ¼-inch dice
-¼ teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
-½ 15 ounce can crushed tomatoes (about ¾ cup)
-3 cups vegetable broth, chicken broth, or water
-Handful of green beans, trimmed and cut into small rounds
-½ cup frozen peas, frozen corn, or a combination of both
-½ cup alphabet shaped pasta*
-1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil or micro basil
-Freshly ground pepper
-Parmesan cheese, for the top (optional)
1. Heat olive oil in a large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, celery, and ¼ teaspoon of salt and cook until vegetables have softened slightly, about 5 minutes.
2. Add garlic, Italian seasoning, and potatoes. Stir an additional minute.
3. Add tomatoes, broth or water, green beans, and alphabet pasta. Bring pot up to a simmer and cook until vegetables are tender and pasta is cooked, about 10 minutes.
4. Stir in frozen peas then turn off heat and stir in fresh basil.
5. Taste soup for seasoning then add in pepper and additional salt, as needed.
6. Ladle into bowls and top with grated Parmesan cheese and a sprinkle of extra basil, if desired.
*Cooked pasta will absorb lots of liquid if left in the soup for an extended period of time. If you’d like to make this soup in advance or freeze a portion to enjoy another time, you will want to cook your pasta in a separate pot, drain, then add to the portion of the soup you will be eating right away.
The growing project included in December's Veggie Buds Club box is "Grow Micro Basil", and let me tell you, this one is fun (and yummy!). Veggie Buds Club members receive a seed packet of organic basil seeds, grow tray, and organic grow pad (seeds and pad are from Sprout People, a great company based in the US that has been providing 100% GMO-free organic seeds for over 20 years). Instructions are also included, but we wanted to elaborate on how to grow Micro Basil at home in more detail and provide some kid-friendly ways to incorporate these tasty sprouts into everyday meals. First we'll outline our basic instructions, keep scrolling for day-by-day photos and recipe inspiration!
How to Grow Micro Basil
Here is more in-depth information about growing Micro Basil from Sprout People:
*You are working with mucilaginous seeds. Every seed will take up water from the thoroughly moistened medium and will surround itself with a gel sack. That sack has all the water the seed needs to germinate. You won't need to water again until germination begins.
Once germination takes place - keep the medium moist by watering gently or misting with a spray bottle every day or three. The deal with watering is that the deeper your medium, the less you need to water, and the plants won't require a lot of water until they get growing big - at which point you may need to drench the medium every day.
Note: These amazing little plants have a unique root structure. They may show microscopic roots starting a couple days after they germinate. They are called root hairs and are most visible just before watering - when the plants are at their driest. These root hairs impress many people as mold - but they are not. When you water your crop the root hairs collapse back against the tap root. Viola! No root hairs!
Growing Micro Basil in Pictures
These are photos from our Micro Basil growing experience! My 4 year old had a great time with this growing project and thought the Micro Basil was super yummy. She enjoyed watering it with the spray bottle and smelling and patting the Micro Basil as it grew. It took us exactly 14 days to grow Micro Basil in Minnesota in November.
You Grew Micro Basil- Now What?
Micro Basil is a delicious garnish on many dishes such as pasta, tomato salad, pizza, and salads. Here at Veggie Buds Club we focus on kid-friendly meals, below are some ways that myself and the kids (ages 4 and 2) enjoyed our Micro Basil!