Cooking with kids can be a lot of fun. And what’s better than a kid creating a kid-friendly chili recipe? It’s a win-win for everyone!
Experimenting in the kitchen is one of my favorite past times. I love combining spices and ingredients to create the perfect blend of flavors. Apparently this love of mine has also rubbed off on my son. Since a young age he’s always helped me in the kitchen. We baked together, have made countless challahs together, and he’s always loved measuring and pouring all the ingredients for recipes.
He used to ask if he could create a recipe of his own, and since he was so young I always told him no. But as he’s grown and matured, he’s come to appreciate the complexity of different spices and seasonings, as well as realized you can’t just pick random things and dump them in a pot. He’ll often comment on what dishes taste like or ask what ingredients I’ve used in a certain recipe. Now that he’s a little older and wiser, and less into the potion-creation/science-experiment aspect of cooking, when he asked recently if he could create a recipe, I said yes.
As soon as I gave him the green light, he asked for an index card and a pen. He was so eager to write his ideas — it was really inspiring and adorable! As he wrote he would ask, “do you think we need one pepper, or two?” Or, “should we use chili powder or oregano in this recipe?”
After a half hour of brainstorming and my explaining to him that when we create recipes we don’t always start with exact amounts to use, he wrote down the backbone of a delicious, kid-friendly chili recipe. After the ingredients were down on paper, we headed to the grocery store to collect what we needed.
With a little guidance throughout the process (“yes honey, we have to add liquid or else the ingredients will burn”), my son created a phenomenal chili recipe. It smelled amazing as we cooked together, and when we sat down for dinner and I took my first bite, I was such a proud mama. My kiddo can cook! We devoured (his word, not mine) the pot of chili he made for dinner. Even my daughter, the world’s pickiest eater, enjoyed it!
The end result of my son’s cooking adventure? A healthy, filling, meat-free, kid-created and kid-friendly chili that’s perfect for the whole family and then some. Check it out:
My Son Can Cook! Vegetarian, Kid-Friendly Chili
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1/4 tsp cumin seeds
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 2 cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 cans diced tomatoes with juice
- 1 C vegetable broth
- 1 tsp fine grain sea salt
Heat olive oil in a heavy stockpot over medium-high heat. Sauté the onions for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cumin seeds. Sauté for 1 minute more and then add chili powder.
Add the green peppers, beans, tomatoes, and broth. Stir to combine and sprinkle with salt. Bring to a very low boil. Simmer 20-25 minutes, partially covered, stirring occasionally.
Cooking with kids is incredibly rewarding. Not only are delicious dishes created — so are incredible memories! If you have kids and don’t cook with them yet, I strongly urge you to start now. It’s a lesson they will use for their entire lives. Plus you’ll solidify some already strong bonds and get something yummy and healthy to eat out of the whole venture!
I can’t wait to create another recipe with my little dude. Such a fun experience!
Do you have kids? Do you cook with them?
Chili-talk: corn bread or crackers on the side?