Lettuce cups are great for nights when a heavy dinner timed just before my child’s sports practice just won’t do. Flipping and tumbling in gymnastics with a heavy dinner in your belly is not something I even want to think about!
Dietitian's Tip: Lettuce cups are a great way to work a little more vegetables into our day. Kids 4-13 years of age need 5-6 servings of vegetables and fruit a day. A good way to help them get enough is to offer vegetables and fruit with each meal and snack. Juicy orange segments and red pepper strips would make a couple quick and colourful side dishes here.
- 1 lb (500 g) ground beef
- 1 ½ cups (375 mL) cremini or button mushrooms, finely chopped
- ½ cup (125 mL) onion, finely chopped
- ¼ cup (60 mL) hoisin sauce
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) sodium-reduced soy sauce
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) rice wine vinegar
- 5 cloves garlic, diced
- 2 tsp (10 mL) gingerroot, minced
- 1 tsp (5 mL) sriracha sauce (or as much as you like)
- 3 green onions, sliced
- 2 tsp (10 mL) sesame oil
- lettuce leaves
- ¼ cup (60 mL) peanuts, chopped (optional, omit if sending leftovers to school for lunch)
- Cook ground beef, mushrooms and onion in large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, breaking up beef with back of spoon, until cooked through and much of the liquid has evaporated. Drain.
- Meanwhile, combine hoisin sauce, soy sauce, rice vinegar, garlic, gingerroot and Sriracha sauce. Pour over cooked meat mixture and heat through.
- Remove from heat and stir in green onion and sesame oil.
- Serve spooned into lettuce leaves and top with peanuts (if using) and additional Sriracha sauce.
Mince garlic, ginger, mushrooms and onion in the food processor.
*All the “Kid’s Cook!” ideas are meant as a guide only. You know what your child can safely manage. Make sure they understand your rules for working in the kitchen safely and always supervise kids in the kitchen. Remember, our goal is to get kids back in the kitchen to cook some more so have some fun.
Lunch from Leftovers
Here’s a trick I often use to stretch limited leftovers: add frozen vegetables. It’s quick, inexpensive and healthy.
Dietitian's Tip: Plain frozen vegetables are just as nutritious as fresh and so convenient — no washing or chopping required. And because they are less perishable compared to fresh, you may find using frozen vegetables helps to cut back on food waste too. I do love the taste of fresh local veggies but when they are out of season frozen vegetables are a great buy and a good stand in!
- frozen peas or mixed veggies
- leftover Beef and Mushroom mixture
- steamed brown rice or whole wheat couscous
- Stir frozen peas or mixed veggies into leftover Beef and Mushroom mixture and pack with steamed rice or couscous.
- Microwave-heat at lunchtime.
*All “Kid’s Cook!” ideas herein are meant as a guide only. You know what your child can safely manage. Make sure they know and understand your rules for working in the kitchen safely and always supervise kids in the kitchen.