Ten Favorite Recipes for Teens

(Chapter 25 of the book)


In This Chapter

  • Bringing students into the kitchen with real meal recipes
  • Giving teens healthier versions of fast-food favorites
  • Preparing teenagers for eating away from home

Why did the student eat his homework?

The teacher told him it was a piece of cake.


Junior high and high school students are typically very image and body conscious—and today's kids are more health-savvy than ever. Soon, they'll be moving away from home, off to college or jobs. Don't let them cut the apron strings without first giving them a solid foundation in making tasty, balanced meals all by themselves. With a solid recipe repertoire, they'll never be forced to survive on fast-food or costly take-out. Awesome!


Having Your Pizza—and Eating It Too!


Teenagers need food—constantly! Adolescent eating machines can break out of the fast food habit but still enjoy their favorite meals—including pizza, burgers, and fries—with these nutritious but flavor-packed recipes.

  • Capture the Flag Pizza: Quite possibly the world's favorite food, pizza is one recipe everyone should know how to make! Teenagers can discover how great a homemade pizza—even one that's not dripping in oil or pepperoni—can taste.
  • Yo Quiero Taco Shells and Mexican Fiesta Taco Mix: Teenagers take to terrific tacos in hasty, tasty time. After pizza, Mexican food deserves top billing as a family favorite. Scoop up seasoned taco filling, savory with corn and other vegetables, in crispy taco shells—baked using a muffin tin!
  • Grilled Meatless Mushroom Burgers: Burgers, the national food of America, don't have to glisten with fat to taste great. These giant mushroom burgers are lean and meaty tasting—without the meat. Young folks will be delightedly surprised at how great these burgers taste—and they can grill them just as they would a regular hamburger. Way cool!
  • Everyday Oven Fries: What's a burger without fries? Kids (and parents) devour these crispy oven-fried potatoes almost before they come out of the oven. The secret? Thin slices, high heat, salt and lots of pepper, and just a tad bit of oil for flavor. Great taste and no guilt—enjoy them every day!
  • Saturday Night Date Shake: Velvety sweet and satisfying, the secret of this shake is in the dates—a natural desert dessert that's rich in potassium, iron, calcium, and other nutrients. After-school athletes and active teens especially need higher levels of potassium and liquids. Refuel the whole team with this cold, frothy treat made from frozen yogurt, buttery sweet dates, and low-fat milk. Yum!

Graduating to Main Courses and Side Dishes

After your young chef has a personal set of equipment, think about providing a permanent place for all these great tools. It can be just about any type of container, as long as it's easily accessible to the child and not stuck away in a closet piled under stacks of linens or other things. Here's a few suggestions for places in which to store your kid's cookware:


By the time kids are old enough to drive, they should be able to cook a complete meal for themselves. These recipes are simple enough for even younger teenagers to make, and busy parents can appreciate being treated to a well-made, tasty meal that's balanced and nutritious.

  • Tortelloni Toss: Everyone loves pasta—especially plump, stuffed tortellone (the big brothers of little tortellini). No one complains about this one-pot, 20-minute meal—it tastes terrific! It's also a great starter recipe for any kid learning to cook, because it's so simple, yet satisfying—a real treat to eat!
  • 2-Bucket Batch of Oven-Fried Chicken: Kids will say "Tastes like Shake 'n' Bake—and I helped!" Actually, this crispy, seasoned skinless chicken tastes better, and teens can do more than help—they can make it themselves for the whole hungry gang. They'll eat it all up! No frying, no mess, no skin—no guilt!
  • Lazy, Crazy Lasagna: Teenagers may say that they're too busy to cook—but they can save time with this lasagna by not cooking the noodles first. An extra ladle of naturally fat-free tomato and sweet red pepper sauce is enough to cook the noodles as they bake. And it tastes terrific.
  • Surf's Up Seafood Salad: Be cool as a cucumber with this pasta and shrimp salad, laced with a homemade creamy cucumber dressing and bright green peas. Take it to the beach, the boat, the patio, or leave a bowl in the fridge for an instant snack that beats potato chips and fatty dips.
  • Crockpot Pizza Soup: A hearty soup for pizza lovers! This super-easy crockpot soup has all the flavor of pizza—but it takes only 15 minutes of hands-on preparation and almost no chopping. Serve it with pizza breadsticks (in Chapter 17) for an even more authentic pizza experience.

Copyright © 1999, 2007 by Kate Heyhoe

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Table of Contents

Part I: Cooking Together:
The Wisdom of 400 Families

Part II: Putting the Meal Together—Together!

Part III: Cooking 101:
A Handbook for Parents
& Young Chefs

Part IV: Recipes

Part V: Tips In Tens