The kids are going to love these easy-to-make cucumber boats. Stuffed with handfuls of couscous and fresh veggies, this fun and creative recipe is a great way to get your kids to eat their vegetables! Our mummy blogger, Anneliese made these cucumber boats as part of her goodtoknow blog Mummy's Little Helpers.
- One large, fat cucumber
- 100g couscous
- 150ml hot vegetable stock
- 20g raisins
- 3 dried apricots
- 2 spring onions
- 40g sweetcorn
- 3 cherry tomatoes
- 1tbsp olive oil
- 1tbsp lemon juice
First of all, slice your cucumber across the middle and then cut each half again so that you have four pieces. Cut each piece in half lengthways so that you are left with eight pieces of cucumber.
Grab a teaspoon and ask your child to scoop the seeds from the middle of each piece of cucumber. You may want to speed things along and agree to do four each, otherwise you could be twiddling your thumbs for some time!
Once this job is done, move your attention to the couscous. Weigh the teeny tiny grains into a large bowl and pour over the hot vegetable stock. Place a piece of cling film or a damp tea towel over the top of the bowl and leave it alone for 10 minutes. Make sure the bowl is pushed back from the edge of the worktop just in case eager little hands make a grab for it!
To occupy your child while they wait impatiently for the couscous to swell, they can help to make the rest of the salad.
Ask them to weigh the raisins into a bowl and, if they are old enough to handle scissors, see if they would like to snip the apricots into small pieces. The same applies with the spring onions; they also need to be snipped into small pieces with the scissors.
Now add in the sweetcorn. If you opt for frozen sweetcorn and you forget to defrost it beforehand (I always forget) pour over any remaining hot water left in the kettle; that should solve the problem!
Your little one could also add in the chopped cherry tomatoes and then help to make the simple dressing.
To make the dressing simply measure one tablespoonful of oil and one tablespoonful of lemon juice into the bowl. It was so funny watching my little boy squeeze the lemon then lick his fingers; I wish I’d had my camera at the ready!
Give the salad and dressing a little mix to combine.
Pass a fork to your child and get them to ‘fluff” up the swollen couscous. This really is so much fun and my little boy loved saying ‘couscous’ in a silly voice and giggling hysterically as he worked!
The couscous is now ready to receive its salad and dressing. Stir everything together.
Ask your child to fill each cucumber ‘boat’ carefully with teaspoonfuls of couscous salad. While they do this, cut some ready sliced cheese into triangles and attach to cocktail sticks in a flag like fashion. Try not to say rude words as you carry out this fiddly task; I admit I was very tempted!!
You can get your child to make their boats sailworthy by getting them to poke the cocktail stick into each piece of cucumber.
Now all that is left to do is to look at the pride and delight on your child’s face!
Top tip for making Cucumber boats
You could try this recipe with cooked courgettes too. Just make sure your kids take extra care when using the oven