25 October 2010

Let's Review: Chop Chop

Did you know that there’s a cooking magazine for kids, called Chop Chop? I learned of it through a blog post on Mark Bittman’s site, and I was intrigued enough that I emailed them to ask for a sample copy. The kid and I read the issue cover to cover, and talked through all the food. The recipe that she was most interested in was sesame-crusted tofu – which, coincidentally, was the recipe featured in the Bittman post. I was a little surprised that she wanted to try it - it’s not like tofu is a staple in our house. In fact, I think I’ve only bought it once before in my life.



After her homework was done, we set to work making the tofu. Daddy helped her with the 8" chef's knife, teaching her how to keep her fingers away from the blade. [He is standing just beside her in that picture, hands at the ready.]

The recipe was bone simple - cut the tofu into blocks, dip it in sesame seeds, cook it up in a hot pan, and season it with a little soy sauce. The girl did all of the coating of the tofu blocks with the sesame seeds.

Daddy helped her put the blocks in the hot skillet and then he finished off the frying for her. [It took rather longer than the 4 minutes a side that the recipe indicated.]

The magazine is earnest and practical - with lots of recipes, some tips, a few puzzles, and a smattering of nutrition information. It's ad-free because it's published by a non-profit; the issue I received had one page of "sponsor" logos, and a single coupon for some Stonyfield yogurt. In my not at all humble opinion, anything that helps get a kid started in the kitchen is a good thing. Cooking skills are essential if you're going to be successful at feeding yourself real food.

And success! We had tofu for dinner! It was easy to cook, and made a nice protein addition to our plate of stir-fried broccoli and plain white rice.



While we were eating dinner, enthusiastic about the tofu, we all agreed that the girl would have the rest of the rice and tofu for her lunch the next day. Alas, Daddy forgot and ate the leftover rice in the middle of the night. As a result, Daddy had to make new rice at 8:00 this morning, because the proffered jelly sandwich was categorically rejected. You promised me rice and tofu! Do things like that happen in your house?


(No one paid me to write this, but I did get a single issue of Chop Chop for free.)

13 comments:

FreshHell said...

No - they'd have to eat something different, I'm afraid.

But, I have made that tofu before with spinach (different cookbook) and it's very good. I don't eat much tofu either and I'm a vegetarian! I make this recipe for guests because it doesn't last more than one meal usually.

Pinky said...

Wow. Do you think she would have eaten it if she hadn't cooked it herself?

Stimey said...

No, things like that don't happen in my house. No one ever asks for tofu. What a cool magazine. I hadn't heard of it.

Amira said...

How neat!

Thanks for the magazine link and info! I'm always interested in ways to get us to cook together.

She did such a great job; the meal looks delicious :)

Becky said...

Very cool! Will check it out.

Heide said...

Sounds great, and I'd love to order us a subscription ... but one question: does it contain advertising?

Magpie said...

No, no advertising - it's published by a non-profit, so there are some sponsors. I edited the post to add that information.

Life As I Know It said...

YUM. I am going to check out the magazine.

And yes, my 5 year old and I eat the same food and he will request things like hummus or smoked salmon or tofu stir fry. My 8 year old, on the other hand, is a different story...

de said...

For some time now, Fiona has been making an evening meal for us once a week. Last week it was stuffed cabbage. Yesterday, she made chicken broth, and today she'll be adding the ingredients to turn it into chicken noodle soup. I pretty much let her choose what she wants to make as long as the preparation is not too difficult. She has been the impetus behind it, but I always rise to the occasion because my mother wanted to be left alone in the kitchen, and as a result, I had to learn how to cook when I got married at the age of 23.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

What a great story.

leanne said...

I don't do tofu. Or at least I've never had tofu that I've liked. It's a texture thing with me. So I can't see promising rice and tofu for lunch.

Though I have had to remind my husband not to eat something. Doesn't always work with us either.

Also, I love when kids help with the cooking. Even if it's just grabbing the ingredients from the fridge or pantry as my two-year old sometimes likes to do (let alone hanging out on a stool to watch).

liz said...

I label stuff with "MM's Lunch! DO NOT EAT"

That magazine sounds great! And I love that you posted about it!

mayberry said...

We do eat tofu pretty often--I'll have to try that! You don't put anything on it to make the seeds stick?