In this week’s Friday Dish: our fave new pizza dough; online games to get the kids eating fruit and veg courtesy of The Goodness Gang; and, get your family trying new foods with the 52 New Foods Challenge
Northern Dough Co. Pizza Dough
I was wandering around the freezer section of our local supermarket the other day when I spotted this: frozen pizza dough from the Northern Dough Co. If you’ve been following our recipes you’ll know we’re big fans of easy-peasy ways to make dinner; we’re all busy parents trying to get our kids from school or nursery to activities and play dates, with still enough time to do spellings, timetables, dinner and bathtime in between. Anything that makes that slightly easier is welcome news!
I had a quick read of the instructions on the back of the box to make sure there was nothing too complicated about how to prepare it. Seeing that this can be defrosted in the microwave minutes before you need to use it pretty much convinced me to give it a try.
I’m so glad I did, and so are the kids. I’ve tried a lot of pre-made pizza bases with the kids, and this is by far the best of the lot. It’s really delicious, tasting very much like an authentic pizza base straight from the oven. Yes, you do have to roll it out, it’s not just as simple as putting toppings on it – but as most kids I know love rolling pastry and dough, it’s another way to get the kids involved in cooking. It was worth the slightly extra effort. The kids ate the lot, crusts included.
The Northern Pizza Dough Co. is run by husband and wife team, Chris and Amy Cheadle. The company was founded in 2011 after hosting lots of pizza parties at home using dough from Chris’s family bakery in Lancashire. After touring food shows and festivals, the brand is now stocked in Booths, Ocado, Waitrose and Wholefoods. There are four different kinds: Original, Wholemeal, Chilli and Rosemary. We tried the Original and have yet to taste the others but we definitely will soon. As well as making pizza you can turn these into dough balls, calzone or even, as Amy suggests, using it instead of pastry as a pie topping.
Have a look at the Northen Dough Co website for more info, including some delicious-sounding recipes. I’ve got my eye on the Chocolate Pizza recipe myself.
The Goodness Gang
Isn’t it funny how kids seem to learn the most when they don’t even realise it? These online games from The Goodness Gang are a perfect example; using bright and fun interactive activities to subtly deliver the message about how good fruit and vegetables are for our bodies.
Kids get to meet the gang who include Toby the Tough Tomato, Max the Mighty Mushroom and Olivia the Outstanding Orange and play games like Whack-a-Mole, or Three in a Row with Pete the Powerful Pea.
In all there are eight games. I’ve played them all (purely for research purposes of course) and the messaging is very subtle but effective – eat your five a day and you too will grow up strong and healthy. I’d say these games are ideal for children aged five and above – and they’re slightly addictive for parents too!
52 New Foods Challenge
I hadn’t heard of Jennifer Tyler Lee’s book until I saw it recommended on Twitter last week. I think I must be in the minority but now at least I can understand what everyone’s been raving about.
The 52 New Foods Challenge promises a Family Cooking Adventure by encouraging your family members to try one new food every week for a year.
The foods are divided up into seasons. Spring looks great, full of blueberries, strawberries and green beans. Winter not so much: kale, leeks and black beans. Still, if you’re up for the challenge then you’re up for anything.
After dealing with the fussy eating of her own daughter, Lee developed a game called Crunch A Color – which awarded points to her children for eating fruits and vegetables and bonus points for trying something new. Suddenly Lee found her children racing to get more points each week rather than complaining about what they were being given to eat. Lee turned the game into a commercial success, much talked about in the media and revered by celebrity chefs and parents alike.
The 52 New Foods Challenge is the natural extension of the game, packed full of advice, tips and words of wisdom as well as some fantastic recipes. Brussel Sprout Chips have been much lauded – one I’ll definitely try on the kids. I also love the sound of Garlic Mushroom Toasts and Sunflower Butter Lettuce Wraps.
The book is available through most book shops. Or you can visit the 52 New Foods Challenge website: http://www.52newfoods.com
Every Friday we share the best of the week’s food and nutrition finds in The Friday Dish: what we’ve loved, what’s inspired us and what’s revolutionised our family mealtimes. We only review products, websites, books and recipes we absolutely love and want to share with our readers; we are not paid for our reviews.