If there’s such a thing as a family food superhero, my friend Michelle Stern surely is one. Founder of a certified-green cooking school in the San Francisco Bay area and author of the What’s Cooking with Kids blog, Michelle was invited to the White House for the launch of Chefs Move to the Schools and is leading the charge for school lunch changes in her own school district. Somehow she also found time to write The Whole Family Cookbook — a hands-on guide to getting kids into the kitchen. Her no-fuss recipes have a color-coded guide to which steps are appropriate for different age groups, and special green boxes geared to kids provide interesting facts and explanations about ingredients and sustainable eating. (And answer the question, how do those seedless watermelons reproduce, anyway?) A seasonal recipe index is a nice starting point if you’re looking for ideas for what to do with this week’s CSA or market haul. My favorite part about this book is that its recipes are simple, real food — not overly cutesy or filled with sugar. Michelle shares my philosophy that kids can get excited about healthy food, too — really!
We made the A-B-C Frittata (recipe reprinted below). He’s been very excited about learning his letters at preschool, so it was a natural choice. (For extra fun, ask your kids to think of other A-B-C combinations … like avocado, banana and coconut!) It was the boy’s first time using the box grater — grating cheese is my least favorite cooking task, so I think I may need to invest in one of the circular graters Michelle mentions in the book so he can more easily do it on his own. He also peeled the apples and cracked eggs. I made a few adjustments to the recipe, noted below, but it is definitely one we’ll be making again. The boy loves quiche, and frittatas are a little faster to put together (no crust) — also Passover-friendly for those of you observing this week, though of course you’ll want to omit the bacon if you keep kosher.
Read on for the recipe. If you’d like to win your own free copy of The Whole Family Cookbook, comment below with your kids’ favorite way to eat eggs. For an extra entry, “like” FoodieTots on Facebook and leave an additional comment here letting me know you have (or already do). Entries will be accepted until midnight (Eastern time) Thursday, April 21. Update: Congratulations to Miriam, the lucky commenter as per the random number generator. Thanks all for your comments and for joining us on Facebook!
(Can’t wait? Buy The Whole Family Cookbook on Amazon or at your local bookstore.)
Recipe: A-B-C (Apple Bacon Cheddar) Frittata
from The Whole Family Cookbook, reprinted with permission
- 2 egg whites**
- 8 whole eggs**
- 1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
- Salt, to taste
- 3 slices bacon
- Ground Pepper, to taste
- 2 apples, Fuji or Gala
- 1 Tablespoon butter**
Put the rack in the upper third of the oven. Preheat oven to 450°F.
Crack the eggs, one at a time, over a small bowl. After checking for stray shells, pour each egg into a medium bowl. To separate the egg whites, crack the egg over an egg separator or someone’s clean hands. Carefully let the egg white slip through the fingers into the bowl, with the yolk remaining. Discard the yolk or save for another recipe. Using a whisk, beat the eggs until the yolks and whites are thoroughly combined.
Grate the cheese. Younger children can help you use a rotary cheese grater (which protects their skin). Older children can use a box grater. Add half of the grated cheese to the egg mixture and stir to combine. Add a pinch of salt and pepper, to your liking.
Cook the strips of bacon. You can fry them in a skillet (watch out! They can splatter.) Or, you can bake them in the oven on a cooling rack over a rimmed baking sheet. We like this method because we don’t have to turn the bacon over and the kids stay safe.
Once the bacon cools, crumble the strips with clean hands. Use a vegetable peeler to peel the apple. If you have an apple corer, you may use it. Or, simply cut up the apple, leaving the core behind. Slice the apple pieces very thinly. As you are cutting, be sure to put the flat side of the apple pieces down, so the chunks don’t wobble on your cutting board.
In a medium cast-iron or nonstick ovenproof skillet, heat the butter over medium heat.** Add egg mixture to the skillet. Sprinkle the bacon crumbles evenly over the eggs. Gently arrange the apples on top of the egg mixture, in a circular pattern. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
Move the skillet from the stovetop to the upper rack of your oven. Bake until frittata is firm in the center and cheese is browned, about 20 minutes. Use a flexible spatula to loosen the frittata from the pan. Carefully slide it onto a cutting board. Allow to cool for a few minutes before slicing into wedges.
** FoodieTots notes: I cooked the bacon in my cast iron skillet, and reserved about a tablespoon of bacon drippings in the pan instead of using butter. I didn’t want to have two extra egg yolks leftover, so I used 9 whole eggs. And of course I used cage-free eggs from the farmers market.