My kids love to be in the kitchen with me, and although my 2 year old isn’t very helpful, my 6 year old is a great little sous chef. Here are some international recipes that we love to make together, and that even picky little eaters will enjoy. You could make one a week for the summer, or invite a bunch of friends over for an Opening Ceremony party on August 5th!
Brazilian Ham & Cheese Rolls
In honor of the host of these year’s OIympics, here’s an easy spin on the classic enroladinhos de presunto e queijo. Make a simple dough (or even substitute with crescent roll dough), fill with slices of ham and cheese and a few spices, and then pretend you’re in Rio, watching the Olympics live!
Asian Beef Lettuce Wraps
We usually follow this recipe (you can substitute ground chicken or turkey if you prefer), but I make my own hoisin sauce. I put all the hoisin sauce ingredients in a large pot and let my 6 year old stir, while I brown the ground beef and onions and peppers. And my 2 year old will happily spin lettuce leaves in the lettuce spinner the whole time we cook!
Easy Slow Cooker Carnitas
Throw a pork shoulder, some spices, and some orange juice in a slow cooker, and a few hours later you’ll have perfect carnitas for stuffing in tacos or quesadillas or spooning over nachos. I also like to add a couple spoonfuls of strawberry or plum jam and a thinly sliced jalapeno, to increase the sweet-and-spicy factor, but this recipe is pretty foolproof.
Falafel Pita Sandwiches
Falafel is one of those things that sounds hard, but is actually a cinch to whip up with a food processor. If you want to get super fancy, you can also make homemade pita bread. Then tear some lettuce, slice a couple of tomatoes, mix up some tahini to drizzle on, and you’ll have a meal that even my toddler gobbled right up.
One of my favorite things about studying abroad in France was eating beaucoup de crêpes. They’re a little intimidating at first (you’ll inevitably burn the first one you make), but the second one will come out perfectly, promise! My kids LOVE crêpes – we make them for dinner, filled with shredded cheddar, swiss, and small pieces of ham or asparagus. Then we fill the extras with berries and whipped cream, and top with a drizzle of honey or powdered sugar for our dessert! This simple recipe is the one I usually use.
Brazilian Chocolate Truffles
Brigadeiros are very easy to stir up in a saucepan. Once the mixture has cooled, your kids will love helping you roll the chocolate into small balls. You can eat them as is, or chill them to make them even tastier.
And, don’t forget the Olympic-themed desserts! It would be super easy to customize these Patriotic Pretzel Bites to look like the national flag of whichever country you’re supporting. Or you can use fruity cereal to make these adorable Olympic Cupcakes.