Your child will chop, blend, and bake a tasty spring meal – stuffed eggplant! Spring is all about fresh vegetables, and your child can use her favorites in this tasty dish. And, she’ll be proud to help out with cooking the family dinner, too!
½ cup cubed veggies – zucchini, asparagus, and mushrooms – or just add more spinach!
1 teaspoon salt (plus extra)
Dash of pepper
Small mixing bowl
What You Do:
Start by helping your child cut the eggplant in half lengthwise using a sharp knife.
Now she can scoop out the insides of the halves using a spoon and place them in the small mixing bowl. She can leave about 1 inch of eggplant around the edges and base of the eggplant. Have your child place the cut eggplants face up on a sheet pan covered with tinfoil.
While she’s getting the rest of her ingredients ready, she can sprinkle the eggplant on the tinfoil with a couple pinches of salt, which helps draw out any bitterness in the fruit. She can also preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Now she can measure and add the ricotta cheese to the scooped eggplant in the mixing bowl, along with the salt and pepper. Here’s the fun part – she can now cube up some of her favorite spring vegetables to add to the mix! If she loves zucchini, your child can cut and cube enough to fill ½ cup and add to the eggplant ricotta cheese mixture.
Along with her favorite spring vegetable, your child can hone her chopping skills by slicing several leaves of spinach, enough to fill ½ cup, and also add to the mixture.
Now she can cube ¼ cup of mozzarella or Monterey jack cheese and add give everything a good stir. This is a great time to slice and dice some of her favorite fresh herbs, too!
Invite your child to give the salted eggplant a good rinse and then place it back on the tinfoil covered sheet pan. Offer her a spoon to scoop out half the mixture into one half of the eggplant and the rest into the other.
Help your child place the eggplant in the oven and let bake for at least 30 minutes, or until the top of the eggplant halves are crusty golden brown.
Allow the eggplant to cool for about 15 minutes before serving – yum!
Sarah Lipoff has a K-12 Art Education degree and enjoys working with kids of all ages.