The Generations Resort on Mexico’s Riviera Maya lives up to Karisma’s spectacular culinary reputation. As their guests, Clare, Quinn and I ate fabulous all-inclusive meals basically non-stop but the foodie wonderland didn’t stop there. Generations’ already phenomenal kids club, Eko Kids, just launched a new program, Little Eko Chefs, where children 4-12 will be treated to hands-on cooking classes designed just for the littles, and celebrating the tastes and traditions both of this region of Mexico and all over the world. We had the opportunity to try all of the lessons, joined by Master Chef Jr, Alexander Weiss, and had such a blast that I want to share how you can recreate these foodies classes right at home. Of course, if you ever have the chance for the kids to try them on the Mayan Riviera, while you relax by your private balcony’s lap pool, that would work too.
Let’s get started in Japan with a Strawberry Sushi lesson. STRAWBERRY SUSHI
The combo of seaweed paper and strawberries was surprisingly delicious. This was a great lesson in how to make ANY sushi roll, Ill have these kids making up yellowtail maki in no time.
Prep time: 18 minutes – Yields: one maki
Watch an educational Sushi video together and then get started.
- Cutting board
- Plastic knife
- Bamboo Sushi Mat covered with plastic wrap
- Nori – seaweed sheets
- 1 Cup of Steamed Rice
- 1 Cup of Strawberries (washed and cut)
- ¼ Cup of Dark Chocolate (melted)
- Extend the sushi mat until flat.
- Place row of strawberries on top of the mat aligning with rows of bamboo.
- Place the rice along the sushi mat, covering 2/3 of the mat and the strawberries
- Slowly roll the sushi mat until roll looks like a trunk (use water to make sure the rice sticks to the seaweed)
- Cut the “trunk”into 4 pieces and serve with melted chocolate.
Healthy Tip for Kids: Whenever you go to a Sushi Restaurant, go light on the soy sauce. This traditional dipping sauce is pretty much liquid sodium. A tablespoon is loaded with 920 mg of sodium (half of the daily recommended intake for adults). Choose low-sodium sauce when possible—it has about half as much sodium.
Nothing tastes better than fresh tortilla. Make a batch with the kids and then fold them around cheese while still warm. So tasty and simple.
Prep time: 20 minutes – Yields: 10 Tortillas
Watch an educational video together: Children of the Maze-From Kernel to Tortillas and get started.
- Metate (Aztecs Grinder) (Optional, with dried corn, to demonstrate how the Mayans did it)
- Tortilla Press machine
- Frying pan
- 2 cups of corn flour
- 1 Cup of water
- Salt to taste
- Combine flour and water down in a big container, do it slowly until the mass remains equal well
- Mix the dough until there is a formed a soft, buy not sticky mixture
- Use a spoon to measure portions for a tortilla
- Place the dough between plastic films
- Kneads until the mass becomes an irregular circle of about 15 centimeter of diameter.
- Heat a nonstick frying pan to average high fire
- Place the tortilla in the frying pan and give 30 to 60 seconds per side
Healthy Tip for Kids: Remind children that corn contains dietary fibers and carbohydrates but to eat tortillas in moderation since it also contains about 52 calories each.
The video for this recipe features the dramatic history of chocolate. A fascinating lesson, even without the tasty treats. The kids will love making chocolate in the shape of any chocolate mold you can find!
Prep time: 20 minutes – Yields: 2 – 10 pieces of Chocolate
- Watch an educational video together: the history of chocolate
- Metate (Aztecs Grinder) (Optional, with cocoa beans, to demonstrate how the Mayans did it)
- Molds (to shape chocolate)
- Sauce pan
- 6 Semi Sweet Chocolate Tablets
- 1/3 Cup of Cocoa Butter
- 1 1/3 Cup of Powdered Sugar
- In a small saucepan, place the chocolate and cocoa butter
- Place the saucepan it in the stove over low heat until the chocolate and the cocoa butter are melted add the sugar at this time
- Merge well and then put it into the prepared container (molds)
- Let it cool for 1 hour and enjoy
Healthy Tip for Kids: Chocolate contains dietary fibers, proteins and carbohydrates but only eat it in moderation since it also contains a lot of calories.
This cold soup may not seem a home run for kids but children are much more willing to have an open mind about food they make. All of these beautiful tomatoes are made right on the resort property in an impressive greenhouse which the children participating in Little Eko Chefs have the opportunity to tour.
Prep time: 20 minutes – Yields: 12 servings
- 14-16 Ripe Tomatoes
- 2 Green Bell Pepper
- 2 Garlic Cloves
- 2 Medium Cucumbers
- 500 mL of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 200 grams of toasted Bread Crumbs
- 500 mL of Cold Water
- Salt (to taste)
- Wash and cut the tomatoes, peppers, garlic cloves and cucumbers (leave a tomato, half a pepper and half a cucumber on the side)
- Place the cut tomatoes, peppers, garlic cloves and cucumber in the blender
- Add the extra virgin olive oil, cold water and salt to the blender and blend all of the ingredients until they are liquefied
- Pass the liquefied gazpacho through a fine sieve then place it in the fridge to cool down for about an hour and a half
- Dice the remanding tomato, pepper and cucumber
- Once the gazpacho is cool enough, serve it with bits of tomato, pepper, cucumber and the toasted bread crumbs
I remember the first time I tried fresh pasta and it blew my mind. It’s a bit of work so I don’t often treat my family to the fresh stuff but making it together turns the extra work into fun.
Prep time: 20 minutes – Yields: 10 serving portions
- 1 Pastry Board
- 1 Pasta Machine
- 1 Dough Scraper
- 1 Food Mill
- 1 Rolling Pin
- Paper Towels for Cleanup
- ½ kilo of Flour
- 3 large eggs
- extra flour on hand
- Place the flour on the board
- Form a volcano with the flour
- Put eggs inside the volcano
- In a mixer bowl with the dough hook. Turn the dough on to speed 2 and let it knead for 2 minutes. At this time if the mixture looks too dry add 1 tablespoon of water at a time.
- We knead slowly with the tip of the fingers and then whole hand
- Leave to settle the dough so the protein develop and grip body
- Leave it covered for half an hour
- Divide into several balls mass and with a rolling pin smooth slightly enough to pass it through the rollers of the pasta maker
- Cut the pasta with the pasta maker. We love the pasta attachment for our Kitchen-Aid mixer.
- Put the noodles in boiling water until dente.
- Serve cooked pasta with tomato sauce
Healthy Tip for Kids: Pasta is high in vitamins like B12 and riboflavin and can be high or low caloria depending on the sauce or toppings you use.
We had a blast cooking these tasty treats together, it was a highlight of the trip. When we weren’t getting our foodie on at Generations, we had a blast participating in tons of other activities and simply enjoying the gorgeous properties. Here’s the rest of our trip in pictures…