I’m writing this from Colombia. So far on our trip around the world, we have been to the USA (New York, Washington DC and Orlando) and Cartagena, Colombia.
The sights we have seen and the things we have done are already incredible, but we are falling short on one goal.
We really wanted to broaden our kids’ experience of food. Unfortunately, like at home, we have defaulted to the classic: pesto pasta.
In an attempted to get them to eat more “exotic” food, we have found ourselves getting slightly more creative with how we use pesto.
Therefore, in this slightly tongue-in-cheek article, I am going to give you our favourite ways of using pesto to ensure that your kids don’t eat the same food every day.
The classic. The original. I’m going to insult your intelligence here by providing you with a recipe, the name of the dish is the recipe.
When I told my mate I was going to write this article, she said something about tagaliatelle and crème Fraiche. Sure. That’s like posh pesto and is probably way nicer than the stuff we have been serving up.
Adult adaption: Add chorizo, chicken, red pepper, onion and peas. Grate cheese on top.
This one was inspired by our visit to Washington DC where we found pesto pizza immediately on arrival. We have since adapted it to make it easier to make at home.
This dish is simply a tortilla wrap with pesto used as a base with mozzarella on top. You can then heat it on a low heat in a frying pan. Takes 5 minutes to make, and even less to eat.
Adult adaptation: Put something interesting on your pizza. Maybe some meat or vegetables. Use the posh mozzarella. Spinach even.
Cheese and pesto sandwich
Again another dish where the name is basically the recipe. We came up with this after fending off demands for more pesto pasta/pizza. Turns out you can make the sandwich even quicker than either of these.
The benefit of this one is that you can double up your kids’ pesto consumption in one day. They can have a sandwich for lunch and then pizza or pasta for dinner.
Adult adaption: Add some salad.
Cheese and pesto toastie
This takes the sandwich and just makes it a tiny bit better. Remember butter the outside and shove it in a toastie maker or fry in a pan, until the cheese melts.
It is actually pretty good and gives you the opportunity to offer your kids some variety too, because you can serve it with their choice of condiment. Tomato ketchup almost counts as a vegetable too.
Adult adaption: Add some chorizo, ham or chicken. You could go wild and use a selection of cheeses too.
My eldest fell in love with this at my sister’s wedding. They were handing around bits of pesto chicken on a stick and she thought it was the best thing ever.
Little did she know that I had actually been serving her this for years and she had been rejecting it. Now I know she loves it though so I can go back to making it all the time.
The recipe is: cover some chicken in pesto and cook. Personally, I go for the low effort version of just smearing the pesto on a chicken breast and shoving it the oven. But if you like food on sticks then you can do that too.
Adult adaptation: Place pesto and mozzarella on top of a chicken breast. Maybe chopped chorizo too. Wrap in foil and cook. Serve with roasted new potatoes and seasonal veg. Or, you know, chips.
A pesto feast
There you have it! An array of pesto meals that any toddler will eat. The even better thing about pesto is that you can hide a bit of blended up broccoli in it. The kids will never know!
Disclaimer: Remember the information you read here does not represent advice. Any ideas or suggestions are just that and may not work for you. Read the full disclaimer here.