President's Day 2019 finds me on the set of one of our local TV shows, THV 11's The Vine. I love sharing about Cooking in Bloom and our upcoming schedule of classes. I hope you'll enjoy this recipe and a little story from my kitchen.
I have always allowed my children into the kitchen. I think back to the bewilderment on my husband's face as I allowed our then three year old stand on a chair beside me to help me mash boiled potatoes. Children have such curiosity at any age, especially about food. It's a natural teacher that calls to the learner with its waft of smells and eye catching colors and textures. At Cooking in Bloom, I try to harness that curiosity by using simple ingredients that are pleasing to the eye and tastes of our younger connoisseurs.
As curious as they are, some children can be reluctant tasters and I’ve learned a few tricks with my own I’d like to share with you.
First, I love to take my kids to the grocery store with the promise they can pick out something new in the produce section. Once my daughter grabbed a purple head of cauliflower which we roasted at home and it was perfectly delicious paired with her favorite angel hair pasta and parmesan cheese. It is important let go in the kitchen and allow your child the autonomy to make a recipe their own.
I’ve formulated the Cooking in Bloom recipes to do just that. They can be easily modified. I want the children to be able to make them according to what they like, be that a protein, vegetable, or herb that suits the pallet of the child.
Whatever they choose will make the perfect meal that they will be proud serving. We are blessed to have an abundance of food that comes in all different flavors and textures. Experiment with them all!
This recipe highlights a great new texture for semolina pasta. The pasta is made into little “pearls” and has a wonderful mouth feel or texture that might be new for your little ones. While this pasta is similar in taste to string spaghetti, it's decidedly something new and different. My children love the fun new texture on their tongue and I hope yours will too!
Herbed Pearl Couscous with Roasted Vegetables and Herbs
Box of couscous Roasted Peppers* Minced Garlic Fresh Basil
Directions Cook Couscous according to package directions.
*Roast vegetable (whatever you choose, for THV I used roasted peppers) at a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes.
Add 1 tsp of minced garlic or more if you like. For more garlic flavor, add later in the recipe; for less, add prior to veggies.
Add chopped fresh basil at end of cooking. Adding the herb last allows the flavors to be more aromatic and robust.
Enjoy as a meal or serve as a side dish paired with roasted salmon or chicken.