The tremendous people at Little Dish (those guys who make the healthy ready meals for kids) sent me a gorgeous cook book, written by the founder, and asked me if I would like to choose something to make from it. They also sent some cute aprons for the kids with their names on, suggesting that maybe I could make something with them. I’m going to be honest, I’m not naturally one to rope the kids in every time I cook. I mean, sometimes, when it’s stressful and you need to get dinner on the table before someone spontaneously combusts – or simply falls asleep – it’s the last thing I am going to do. But, from time to time – especially on a rainy day – I do like to whip something simple up with their help. And we all know it’s a great way to get them eating better food – and learning how to cook most importantly!
The book really is a corker of a family recipe collection (oh by the way, I am running a competition over at my FB page to win a copy, along with personalised aprons for 2 kids – head over there to Like, Share and Comment for a chance to win!). I was spoilt for choice, awash with wholesome family classics as it is. Keeping in mind a 3 and a 5 year old were supposed to be making it with me (and also that I had my sister in law and her rambunctious brood of boys coming over for lunch and a playdate) I went for that playdate classic: houmous and pitta (this time with the pitta made into baked chips, something I’ve not done before).
As if the recipes aren’t awesomeness enough, there are also stickers in the back of the book, along with a progress chart for kids to track all the new skills they are learning. SO CUTE!
Now, Arthur being the strong minded and occasionally lazy boy that he is, declined to join in the fun, choosing instead to gawk at a rerun of Scooby Do that he’d seen, like, a gazillion times before. But Beatrix was well up for a spot of cooking, game girl that she is. The houmous recipe is a good one, fairly classic and nice and quick as it uses tinned chick peas. Lots of tahini too, which is key. All I added was a splash of water to loosen. Bea loved tipping the ingredients in then pressing the button on the mini processor.
Obviously I’ve made houmous a million times, so it was the inspired idea of pitta chips that I was most looking forward to. It was great fun and very easy for Bea to brush oil on the pitta triangles, then sprinkle sesame seeds (as well as a little cumin for a grown up twist). Also – they were seriously delicious.
Combined with some veggie crudités and fruit to eat alongside, the houmous and pitta chips went down well. It has to be said though, that Liz, my sister in law, and I demolished most of the houmous. And I wonder why my waistline is ever expanding…
Prep time: 3 minutes
Cook time: 12-15 minutes
Total time: 18 minutes
- 400g can of chick peas
- Squeeze lemon juice
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- A little salt (1/2 teaspoon)
- A little ground cumin (1/2 teaspoon)
- Splash of water, to loosen
For the pitta chips:
- 4 pittas (I used white but choose wholemeal if you want)
- Few tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- Tablespoon of sesame seeds
- Pinch salt
- Pinch ground cumin
- Preheat the oven to 180C.
- Allow your assistant to tip in the chick peas, garlic, tahini, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and cumin to the processor and let them whizz it together by pressing the button. Add a splash of water to loosen if you like – and whizz again.
- Split the pittas in two. If you find this too hard then don’t worry, just skip the splitting part. Then, cut them up into wedges / triangles. We used kitchen scissors so Bea could help – I had my hands over hers.
- Ask your commis chef to brush the triangles with oil and sprinkle with seeds and / or cumin. I drizzled with extra oil and sprinkled some salt too just for good measure. Bake for 12-15minutes until crispy and brown.
- Serve immediately with houmous and other crudités