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Les Petits Chefs Cook the Books: Rice and Bean Bowls with Corn and Avocado Crema from The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs

This term the Petits Chefs are cooking our way through a series of cookbooks and this week, we used  The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs.

The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs on eatlivetravelwrite.comYou know a book coming out of America’s Test Kitchen is going to be well-tested and this is no exception. 750 kids tested these recipes, both in their home kitchens and alongside professional chefs in the Test Kitchen kitchens so you just know they will be reliable!  The book is visually appealing with lots of photos of the dishes, tips and techniques and actual kids who look like they are cooking (as opposed to overly staged photos). I love the way they have incorporated quotes from the recipe testers through the book which address the recipes, the skills they learned and how the dish tasted.

As you’d expect with ATK, this book is comprehensive and full of practical advice. For a kids’ book, this can be a delicate balance – making it informative yet approachable without it being overwhelming for budding cooks but this book delivers. Visually, it’s a fun read – the graphics, drawings and images draw you in and the overall design, though busy, is eye-catching and keeps you reading. There are SO many fun facts, tips and techniques on each page, you’ll linger much longer than you intend – and keep reading!

There are so many useful sections in the book – the recipes, obviously (Breakfast, Snacks and Beverages, Cooking for One, Cooking for Family and Friends, Side dishes and Desserts), but also a super useful “Getting Started in the Kitchen” (outlining the symbols used in the book, tips for success with the recipes, “Decoding Kitchenspeak” (a glossary of terms used in recipes), a primer for a well-stocked pantry, tips on how to measure (volume measurement is used here), a beautiful visual guide to kitchen tools, 7 Essential Prep Steps and even sections on garnishing and “plating like a pro”. Tips continue to be shared throughout the book – there is SO much information to take in but it’s delivered in a friendly, approachable format that kids will love. A must have for any budding chef (and their parents!).

For this week’s recipe, I chose one that I knew the boys would be able to make pretty much on their own – Rice and Bean Bowls with Corn and Avocado Crema. Apart from learning some good basic skills – chopping onions and mincing garlic as well as cooking rice, the recipe has a fun element – plating – that I knew the boys would enjoy.

I had a group making the avocado crema (we used frozen avocado that we had thawed slightly and it was perfect – kept the sauce chilled until we were ready to serve) – lime juice water, cilantro and sour cream (we used Greek yoghurt) all blitzed up to perfection in a food processor…

Making avocado crema in a food processor on eatlivetravelwrite.comMeanwhile, over on team rice bowls, we chopped onions…

Kids slicing onion rings for Rice and Bean Bowls with Corn and Avocado Crema from The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs on eatlivetravelwrite.com Kids slice onions for Rice and Bean Bowls with Corn and Avocado Crema from The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs on eatlivetravelwrite.comPrepared our ingredients (checking the colour coded recipe as we went…)

Measuring corn for Rice and Bean Bowls with Corn and Avocado Crema from The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs on eatlivetravelwrite.comAnd we worked as a team to cook the dish…

Adding corn to a hot pan to make Rice and Bean Bowls with Corn and Avocado Crema from The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs on eatlivetravelwrite.com

Adding onions to a hot pan Rice and Bean Bowls with Corn and Avocado Crema from The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs on eatlivetravelwrite.comThis is a one-pot dish that is really easy for kids to prepare on their own (or at least with just a little help) and the boys did a great job…

Mixing up Rice and Bean Bowls with Corn and Avocado Crema from The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs on eatlivetravelwrite.com Adding stock to Rice and Bean Bowls with Corn and Avocado Crema from The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs on eatlivetravelwrite.comThere’s a little bit of down time in this recipe which is perfect “clean up” and review the recipe time (as long as someone is keeping an eye on the rice that’s cooking, giving it a quick stir from time to time…)

Kids mixing Rice and Bean Bowls with Corn and Avocado Crema from The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs on eatlivetravelwrite.comAnd then came the fun part… plating up. The bowls come together pretty quickly then are garnisehd with salsa, the avocado crema and the charred corn. The boys put extra cilantro on theirs too!

Plated up Rice and Bean Bowls with Corn and Avocado Crema from The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs on eatlivetravelwrite.com Rice and Bean Bowls with Corn and Avocado Crema from The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs on eatlivetravelwrite.comSo pretty, right? And healthy! And the boys couldn’t wait to get stuck in!

I’d say that’s a win all round!

The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs on eatlivetravelwrite.com

 

 

Buy The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs on Amazon (this should bring you to the Amazon store in or close to your country) or, for free worldwide shipping, buy from The Book Depository

 

 

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Please note: I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. This post also contains affiliate links from The Book Depository. This means that if you click over and purchase something, I will receive a very small percentage of the purchase price (at no extra cost to you). Thank you in advance!

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Disclosure: I purchased this book for myself. I was not asked to write about it and am not being compensated for writing this post. All opinions are my own

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