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Easy recipe

Does anyone know a recipe so easy a young teenager can make it? I need to get my daughter in the kitchen, but I don't know any, healhy recipes she can cook.

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  1. What does she like to eat? Does she know how to handle a knife, fry pan, boil water?
    Does she like salads, sandwiches? Can she slice carrots, onions celery then fry them? If she doesn't know these basics, it's very easy to spend a little time to show her how to get started. There are several web sites for Kids in the Kitchen. I wish it had been on line when my children were young, but it was easy to teach them some simple procedures. My own daughter was making a very respectible Italian tomato pasta sauce when she was ten....with supervision and never a knife accident.

    This is just one of many sites which will help you get started:

    1 Reply
    1. re: Gio

      I began cooking when I was around your daughter's age, and one of my favorite recipes to make (then AND now) was Spaghetti Carbonara - the "traditional" version that uses egg instead of cream sauce. A recipe very similar to mine was posted on this site not too long ago, although when making it, I would suggest leaving out the peas as they're not found in true Italian carbonara.


      The best part about this recipe is that even though it's very quick and easy, it still never fails to impress my friends and family.

    2. My daughter started with eggs and pasta -

      1. Does she cook at all? Have you started her by having her help you cook? Maybe the two of you could come up with a recipe you both like that you can cook together, going through the whole process (figuring out what ingredients you need, making a shopping list, shopping together, prepping, cooking and serving). It will take longer than doing it by yourself, but it will be an investment in teaching her so she'll be more help later.

        If you've already been cooking together and she has the basics, why don't you start with something like Alton Brown's easy stovetop Mac N Cheese? It's super easy and doesn't every kid love mac n cheese?


        1. The first thing my nine-year-old daughter made besides scrambled eggs was this delicious roasted duck. Of course I helped with the dangerous stuff (dumping out the steaming water and reducing the glaze, mainly), but she did a great job and has since made it several times. It is quite impressive and there is no knife work to speak of involved.

          Chinatown Steamed and Roasted Duck: http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recip...

          Also, teach her how to make a bechamel. It's easy and can be used for many easy recipes like macaroni and cheese, goldenrod eggs, any number of crepes, and so forth.

          1. My 15 yr old son started with "assembly" type affairs which really means salads I suppose. Still pretty involving though, as he has to plan a menu, make a shopping list, join Dad at the supermarket, prepare the dish with nice presentation and then clean up afterwards (well, maybe not the last bit!). His shrimp, bacon and avocado on a bed of bitter leaves with crutons and a lemon & Parmesan type dressing is a regular highlight.
            This stimulated his interest, and he's now moving on to the hot & sharp bits of cooking.

            1. I am not a huge fan of RR, but she has some quick and easy recipes for beginners.

              1. There is this really easy chicken recipe- boneless breasts or you can use the chicken tender peices.
                Mix 1 jar of thousand island dressing
                1 sm. jar of orange marmelade
                1 envelope of onion soup
                Mix all together in bowl and then pour over chicken in a casserole dish. Cook until chicken is done (about 30-45 minutes)
                Serve over white rice (she could use the instant in the pouch that you just boil in back!)
                She will feel quite accomplished with this easy to make recipe. THis was one of my kids fav to make themselves.

                1. Fajitas!

                  I think at that age, learning to properly control a knife and temperature of pots/pans is a very good lifelong skill to have.

                  She can help with all the accompanying sauces (guac, salsa, etc). It's a fun meal to make. and eat!

                  1. I want to second the Alton Brown suggestion and expand it a bit. He has a few episodes of good eats that are specifically directed at kids in the kitchen and are really great. Off the top of my head I know that there's one on sandwiches and one on soup that he does with his nephew. You can find the episodes on youtube because someone amazing has posted them all!

                    1. I first learned lasagna - an easy recipe (like cheese lasagna - you could even make the meatballs yourself if you wanted them) can then grow with her as she gets more adventurous (meat lasagna, vegetable, white sauce, red sauce, make your own sauce, different cheeses, garlic bread, vegetables for the side ...). It's easy, fun and - with the most basic options - pretty hard to get hurt doing or screw up in the the process.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: alexajord

                        Lasagna was the first recipe I made with my mother -- I LOVED the layering process and seeing it come out of the oven!

                      2. Check the Simply Vegan cookbook. Most recipes only contain about 4 ingredients and instructions are not complicated.

                        1. The first dishes I remember cooking all by myself aside from scrambled eggs were Crusted Chicken (dipped in eggs, then seasoned bread crumbs or cornflakes), Salmon Croquettes, Deviled Eggs (or sailboat eggs as well called them because we attached a toothpick/paper sail), Meatloaf, Tuna Salad, and Rice Krispie Treats (but that's not really cooking now is it?). I also learned how to chop vegetables whilst making vegetable soup.

                          In my later teens, I experimented with cakes, cookies, and doughs (including empanadas and calzones, which I always loved to make because they were so well received). I also made it my mission to perfect a perfectly folded omelette and thin, non-holey crepes.

                          1. I think egg omelet will be the easy recipe for a new comer in the kitchen. And that was the one which I had started with.
                            She can make a plane omlet with some sail & pepper or add onoin & coriander leaves. It's also healthy enough.

                            1. I started cooking when I was in about the fourth grade, and I started with spaghetti sauce. I learned how to chop an onion, cook it in some oil, and sweat spices on top of it. I also learned how to brown ground beef and when to stir and when to let something cook on its own. Around that time, I also started making lots of brownies and that cake from the Hershey's cocoa box with cream cheese frosting. Baking simple things is a good way to learn how to measure. I also like making marinated and broiled chicken breasts, simple egg things, salads, and really simple baked fish.

                              Be patient, have fun, and good luck!

                              1. The first thing I ever learned to cook -- as an early teenager -- was chocolate cake, from scratch. It was relatively easy, involved putting a lot of things together that resulted in something entirely different (as opposed to, say, boiling spaghetti or roasting a slab of meat), and there was plenty of incentive at the end.

                                The green icing (my mother wasn't in the room at the time) was one of those mistakes you learn from...

                                We used the Fanny Farmer cookbook, as I recall. 'Twould have been in the mid-'50s.

                                1. My advice is to find a seasonal Italian cookbook. Italian food is all about simplicity focusing on the quality of the ingredients.

                                  For vegetables, I'd recommend asparagus as an easy beginner side, because they cook quickly and effortlessly and are very easy to season. Either have salted boiling water or a hot pan with butter/oil, toss them in for a few minutes and they'll turn bright green - lemon, herbs, salt and pepper and you're done.

                                  If you want to start with meats, I'd recommend steak, as salt and pepper alone make beef wonderful and under-cooking it isn't necessarily a bad thing.

                                  Eggs are also a good starting point for someone who's not so adept in the kitchen.

                                  In culinary school, they start with stock. Being able to turn limp crap from the refrigerator you were about to throw away into a wonderful base for soup is a nice introduction to the wonderful world of cooking, in my opinion.