Kid-Sized Tostada with Grape & Jicama Salsa!
By Dennis Linden
Competing schedules in the day-to-day lives of a busy modern family make it difficult to share a home-cooked meal together, but not impossible. In fact, with a little planning, cooking together can become a fun family event and learning opportunity. This feature will focus on providing a child or a group of children, working together under the supervision of an adult, with one uncomplicated, healthy and delicious side dish recipe. The dishes will be centered on seasonal fresh produce items; the recipes will always contain tasks will allow even the youngest kitchen helper to contribute to the family meal. Parents should always read through each recipe carefully to judge the division of labor based on age and ability as well as to identify where adult attention might be especially needed.
Many of the recipes presented here will seem very basic -- this is by design. It is hoped that these simple preparations will provide the culinary foundation and confidence to inspire kids to try more challenging recipes as their experience in the kitchen develops. Melissa’s encourages parents to find the time to gather as a family unit at least once a week for a dinner that everyone pitches in to prepare. It’s a wonderful way to teach children some basic cooking skills and, more importantly, cooking with your children will build memories in all of your hearts forever.
It’s August and way too hot for an actual cooking lesson. So here’s a tasty snack or easy lunch recipe for your kitchen helpers to prepare that requires only a few minutes of microwave warm up of one component, Melissa’s delicious Steamed Six Bean Medley, as well as a very healthy salsa making experience!
Tostadas are kind of the Mexican version of an open-faced sandwich; they are also messier to eat than this country’s infamous Sloppy Joe! Using bite-sized, round tortilla chips, allows the family to enjoy the rich flavors of this tasty dish without the laundry clean-up a traditional tostada always generates. Have your kitchen crew help prepare this two-bowl recipe, consisting of the bean base and salsa topping, then form a mini-assembly line to construct a platter of these tasty and refreshing bites – perfect for a hot summer day. Another way to enjoy these mini-tostadas is to simply serve the components family style and let everyone build their own.
There is a culinary task for every age in this recipe. Before the grapes can be chopped up by an older child, the fruits must be separated from their vines – a great job for the small hands of your youngest sous chef. A young child could also mix in Melissa’s Hatch Chili Salsa to the beans before the bowl is popped in the microwave for a quick warm up. Melissa’s Steamed Six Bean Medley is perfect for this dish – ready to eat with no preparation and tons of flavor!
On the other hand, both the peeling and dicing of the rather tough jicama is probably best done by the supervising adult and presented to the kids as a prepared component. Enjoy!
Six Bean Mini-Tostadas with Grape-Jicama Salsa
Makes a platter full!
1 cup Black or Green Seedless California Grapes, rough chopped
1 cup Red Seedless California Grapes, rough chopped
1 cup Jicama, peeled and diced into small pieces
1 ripe Avocado, diced
½ cup Cilantro, chopped
1 Lime, juiced
Corn Tortilla Chip Rounds
1 package Steamed Six Bean Medley, warmed
2 Tablespoons Melissa’s Hatch Chile Salsa, for flavor
What the kids can do:
Prepare and measure out all the salsa ingredients.
Then place them all in a medium bowl and add a pinch of salt.
In another medium bowl, mix Hatch salsa with steamed beans, then warm in microwave for 2 minutes.
Spread the beans evenly on each tortilla round and then top them with the salsa mixture.
What the supervising adult should do:
Oversee the measuring out and supervise warming up the Melissa’s Steamed Six Bean Medley in the micro. Use your own judgement as to whether you have a kitchen helper able to chop jicama, which might be a little difficult; if not, then prepare this ingredient yourself.