Another week on the farm and probably our favorite visit yet! The boys were able to take advantage of time in the Learning Garden this week where they helped water growing crops, pull garlic and beets, and explored in an enclosed dig area. The farm is bustling when we arrive and there is usually at least half a dozen other children (usually more) visiting for pick at the same time. The sense of community is real on the farm and our visits have quickly become the highlight of our summer schedule.
Our vegetables this week included some favorites from previous weeks (salad turnips, green butter lettuce, red leaf lettuce, red kale, and chard) as well as some fun new additions (summer squash, overwinter onions, and white icicle radishes). We were invited to hit the fields again with "U-Pick", but before heading down the lane to the fields we had an important stop to make in order to say hello to the chickens. The chickens have become a favorite area to visit and after our time in the Learning Garden the boys run down to see how their feathered friends are doing.
This week's visit was made special with a visit from their cousin in town from New York City. Despite only spending a few weeks on the farm the boys were very excited and proud to share their new spot with their cousin. They were the "experts" as picking snow peas and snap peas, as well as cutting our herbs (dill, cilantro, and parsley). I love seeing the boys take interest in ownership in this summer project, another reason hands-on learning can be so meaningful.
With the activities in the Learning Garden this week and visiting cousin we did not focus on any additional lessons while on the farm. The boys have become really eager to try what we receive and pick, which has made cooking with our new ingredients even more fun at home. As I planned for this week's recipe we talked about the ways we can include as many ingredients as possible into one recipe - kind of a challenge of sorts. There was a lot of conversation about which vegetables we could eat raw (or might prefer to eat raw) versus the ones that are typically cooked before eating. Week one and week two we focused on trying one flavor at a time, but this week I thought it would be fun for the boys to see how flavors can come together to create a single dish. I make a lot of rice bowls for dinner because they are any easy way for everyone to start with the same basic dish (usually rice and a protein), but still have the option to customize which helps with excited for the meal and personalization around food allergies so the meal is inclusive for all.
This week's recipe is adapted from allrecipes.com. I found that replacing the sesame oil with rice vinegar worked well. Instead of using short grain brown rice I used basmati rice because of it's nutty flavor. I did not have any ginger or garlic in the house (the garlic we pulled this week was not ready to be eaten and still needs a few more weeks to cure) and used ginger and garlic powder instead to achieve the same flavor. Lastly, I had some leftover chicken in the refrigerator from a previously cooked rotisserie chicken, which made pulling this recipe together very easy (everything was ready in about 30 minutes with chopping). Overall the recipe was a hit with the boys, even though some chose to add guacamole as a topping!
Veggie-packed chicken fried rice
1. Heat 2 teaspoons of grapeseed oil in a large lidded skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add peppers and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.
2. Add another 2 teaspoons oil and heat until it shimmers. Add chopped zucchini, carrots, summer squash, and sugar snap peas; cook, stirring occasionally, 2 minutes. Add broth and cook, covered, until vegetables are crisp-tender, about 3 minutes more. Transfer to bowl.
3. Add remaining 3 teaspoons oil to skillet and heat until it shimmers. Add garlic powder, ginger powder, and pre-cooked chicken, stirring together for 1 minute. Add rice and stir together for another minute. Add bowl contents, soy sauce, rice vinegar, green onions, and salt. Cook, stirring and tossing, until well mixed and heated through, about 5 more minutes.
ABOUT CHRISSY K
I am mom to three boys (one with several life-threatening food allergies) who will never own too many picture books or create Pinterest-worthy snacks. Simply Chrissy K is a place to find helpful tips on parenting that stem from my work with families as an educational consultant and parenting coach.
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