Cooking With Kids: Yakimaniac Veggie Martians
When I was in college, I had a roommate that I loved dearly, who was a tad uptight about a few things. We used to tease her because she couldn’t stand when anyone stopped the microwave short of it’s full cooking time, leaving random numbers frozen on the screen. This wasn’t the only thing in the kitchen that drove her crazy. We often talked about what kind of mothers we thought we would be. This friend absolutely knew what kind of a mom she would be. She was so creative, loving, and organized, but she knew that she would not be the kind of mom who patiently decorated sugar cookies, or prepared other foods with her kids. She didn’t have the patience for it because she wanted them to be perfect. I just laughed, but now that I am a mother of 4 kids, I can see where the patience thing can come into play.
I am not a perfectionist, but when I take the time to create something, I do want it to look right. However, I have found that spending time with my kids in the kitchen can be so rewarding, that it helps me relax some of my other anxieties. I fully believe that getting kids in the kitchen, and having them help to prepare food, can be such a rewarding experience for all parties involved. Not only is cooking together a great way to bond and have some fun, but having kids know what goes into their food, may be able to help prevent childhood obesity. It is important to help our children care about what they eat. Giving kids a first-hand experience and the tools to prepare healthy meals, and have fun while doing it, is an amazing thing.
If you or your kids ever watch Nickelodeon, you might be familiar with iCarly. As part of the “iCarly iCook with Birds Eye” initiative, tons of kids were able to cram into a virtual kitchen to showcase wild and wacky creations showcasing their love for veggies. This produced 16 thousand recipe concepts, which I decided to take part it.
I browsed the Birds Eye website, and their collection of kid-inspired, and kid-approved recipes, to pick something out for dinner tonight. Instead of planning dinner on my own, like I usually do, I decided to let all of my kids browse the recipe collection with me, and pick which creation they wanted to make. I knew my boys would undoubtedly choose the Yakimaniac Veggie Martians, and I was right! While they were a tad scared of all of the veggies at first, they thought it would be so cool to make a martian out of food! Having my kids get their hands into the food and create something fun out of it, made them each want to try it. I think everyone was pleasantly surprised at how much this cute little martian had so much great flavor and texture. Our martians didn’t turn out as smooth and green as the original because we couldn’t find the glitter frosting gel, but we made do with what we had.
Because Birds Eye Steamfresh Vegetables are so easy to cook, I let me kids put them in the microwave and get them going. Tearing them open after cooking is also very simple, so I let them do that too. I did most of the mixing and prep work such as grating cheese and preparing the biscuits, but the kids did most of the martian creating. They all had fun making the martian’s face and antennas – it was a blast!
To create your own Yakimaniac Veggie Martians, I have included the recipe below. Be sure to also follow Birds Eye on facebook!
- 1 bag (12 oz.) Steamfresh® Broccoli Florets, cooked according to package directions, divided
- 1 bag (12 oz.) Steamfresh® Mixed Vegetables, cooked according to package directions, divided
- 1 package (16.3 oz.) refrigerated biscuits (8 biscuits)
- 1-1/2 cups shredded Swiss cheese
- ½ cup plain Greek style yogurt
- 3 oz. cream cheese, softened
- Green glitter icing gel
- Thin pretzel sticks
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- In medium bowl, combine 1 cup cooked broccoli florets and 2 cups cooked mixed vegetables with Swiss cheese, yogurt and cream cheese, blending well.
- Separate biscuits in half into 16 pieces; roll or press each half into 4-inch rounds. On ungreased baking sheet arrange 8 rounds. Evenly top each with rounded ¼ cup vegetable mixture, leaving a ½-inch border. Top with remaining biscuit rounds. Press edges to seal. Brush each with glitter gel.
- Bake 15 to 17 minutes or until edges are golden brown.
- Decorate each “Martian” with reserved vegetables and serve with remaining vegetables.
“I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Birds Eye. I received product coupons to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item as a thank-you for participating.”