One of the ways that you can help your children learn more about other cultures is to prepare foods from another culture. The foods we eat are a big part of who we are culturally. If you want your child to learn about your family heritage, and to learn about other cultures, one way to encourage them is with the help of foods.
It is even better if your children can help you make the food. Children like to feel involved, and letting them help prepare a meal will encourage them to eat it. Use some of the recipes below to create foods from different cultures. You can learn a little bit about each culture as you enjoy the food.
My son loves quesadillas. And, of course, they’re easy to make. You can use
- Monterrey Jack cheese (better if you can get oaxaca cheese),
- sliced (cooked) chicken breast,
- dried (cooked) black beans and
- sliced mushrooms (grilled)
Heat a pan up to medium high heat, and put a tortilla in the pan. Then spoon the chicken, beans and mushrooms on top, and add the cheese. Place another tortilla on top. When the bottom tortillas starts to brown and crisp, turn the quesadilla over and cook until cheese is melted. Remove from pan and cut into four triangles. Use sour cream, guacamole and salsa for dipping.
India: Cashew Balls
A sweet treat is always well-received by children. My son enjoys eating at the Indian restaurant in our town, and one of the reason is the sweets. Your child can enjoy helping you make cashew balls. You need
- 1 cup water,
- 1/4 cup sugar,
- 1 tablespoon condensed milk,
- 1 cup ground roasted cashews, and
- 20 whole cashews
Boil water in pan, adding sugar and creating a thick syrup (stir to keep from burning to the pan). Add the condensed milk, and 3/4 of the ground cashews. Mixture should become pasty. Pour onto a wax-lined cookie sheet to cool. Lay out the rest of the cashews on another wax-lined surface. Make one-inch balls from the cooled paste, and then roll the balls in the remaining cashews. Add a whole cashew to the top of each ball.
Greece: Oven Roasted Potatoes
Add a little flair to your potatoes with this great recipe. You will need
- eight baking potatoes,
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil,
- 1 teaspoon salt,
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper,
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano,
- 2 cloves minced garlic, and
- half the juice squeezed from a lemon
You will need to pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees while you prepare the potatoes. Scrub and peel the potatoes, and then cut them into four pieces each. Boil for about seven minutes on the stovetop, then drain the potatoes. In a large bowl, add the oil, salt, pepper, oregano and garlic. Then toss until all pieces are well-coated. Pour into a baking dish and sprinkle with lemon juice. Cook in oven for 20 minutes, then remove and toss. Cook until potatoes are crisp on the outside, but still soft on the inside. This should take another 15 to 20 minutes. I like to add a little feta cheese to the potatoes when I pull them out. Yum!
Do you have some easy international recipes that you make with your family?