There is no denying it that living on a diet of empty food cupboard concoctions and quickly grabbed meals from the supermarket while waiting to move house wasn’t the best for the waistline so I’ve banned baking recently. However unpacking all my cookbooks has brought some gems out that had laid in dusty storage for a while. As its bank holiday this coming weekend I can guarantee there will be some sort of baking to celebrate this.
Aside from the lack of baking I’ve had to do recipe development for my school cookery club. Each term I like to mix in all different sides of cookery from the baking to the raw. Whenever you teach cookery in schools, in particular primary, there are lots of restrictions you have to take in to account:
- Age of kids
- size of class
- available equipment
- any ingredient restrictions etc.
For this particular school rules are: no nuts, 90 minutes for class (never ever underestimate how long it takes a child to cook) and a couple of catering ovens that only I have access to. The children can see in to the catering kitchen but are not allowed in on H&S grounds. Now can you understand how tricky it can be teaching cookery in schools and that it is often never given the justice it deserves? Bearing all of this in mind this term we are making:
- Jam Tarts – linked to St Georges day
- Cheesy breadsticks – simple introduction to breadmaking
- Cornflake cookies – from Things we Make
- Baked Stuffed Pepper
- Raspberry Cheesecake – hoping summer may finally be here when we make this
In cookery club as well as learning cookery skills it is also a chance to introduce the kids to foods, tastes and textures they may not be familiar with without pushing them too much out of their comfort zone. Kids are more likely to try new things when surrounded by their peers. At the same time the recipe must be easily accessible. You want the child to feel inspired to make the recipe again at home. You don’t want to be using expensive, obscure, hard to source ingredients as I believe that can put both kids and parents off.
Due to equipment and time limitations I am cheating with the ratatouille. Asda do a good tinned version that works well in this recipe. You can use different coloured peppers but bear in mind red ones are sweeter.
Baked Stuffed Peppers
- 1 red pepper
- 30g cous cous
- 70g (around 3 heaped dessert spoonfuls) of ratatouille
- 40g feta cheese
- Carefully slice the pepper in half along its length then pull out the centre with the seeds. Try and keep the bowl of the pepper intact.
- Pour the couscous in a bowl and just about cover with boiled water. Cover the bowl with cling film and leave for 5 minutes.
- Once the couscous is cooked fluff up with a fork then stir in the ratatouille.
- Crumbe the feta cheese in to the couscous mix and stir until well combined.
- Share the couscous mix between the peppers.
- Place the peppers in a baking tin then cook at 200°c for 20-25 min until pepper is soft. Can be served hot or cold.