Ask An OC Expert: Healthy Recipes Kids Can Make

July 9, 2014 5:00 AM

(credit: istockphoto)

(credit: istockphoto)

(credit: istockphoto)

(credit: istockphoto)

Kids love to help in the kitchen and enjoy the measuring, the pouring and virtually every aspect of cooking – except of course cleaning up. One of the great ways to help them learn to cook is to let them help prepare some healthy food. the following two recipes will be not only enjoyable for kids of any age to prepare but also delicious to eat.
Chef Craig Connole
La Casa del Camino Hotel
1289 S. Coast Highway
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
(949) 497-2446

For the last 10 years, Craig Connole has worked for Casa Resorts whose properties include La Casa del Camino Hotel in Laguna Beach, the Menage Hotel in Anaheim and The House of Big Fish and Ice Cold Beer. He is currently the executive chef for all three places, has worked in kitchens for 25 years and for a 15-year-old son for whom he regularly cooks. He provides two recipes that are both delicious and easy for children of any age to help prepare.

Related: Champagne Cocktail Recipes From Orange County Mixologists

(credit: istockphoto)

(credit: istockphoto)

Crunchy Honey-Mustard Chicken Breast

  • 17 saltine crackers
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, approximately 6 oz. each
  • 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp honey


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Line a jelly roll pan with aluminum foil and set it aside.
  3. Put crackers in plastic bag. Press down on the bag. Roll with a rolling pin.
  4. Empty crumbs into a bowl, add parmesan cheese, dried thyme and pinch of salt and pepper.
  5. Stir with the table fork until mixed.
  6. Drizzle the olive oil over the crumbs and toss until the crumbs are evenly moistened.
  7. Rinse the chicken breasts with cold water and pat dry with paper towels.
  8. Place the chicken breasts, skinned side up, on a work surface.
  9. Spoon the mustard and honey into a small bowl and mix.
  10. Using the table knife, spread the mustard over the top of each chicken breast.
  11. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  12. Press the mustard-coated side of a chicken breast half into the crumb mixture.
  13. Place the chicken on the foil-lined sheet pan and repeat with the other chicken breasts.
  14. Sprinkle any leftover crumbs on top of the chicken.
  15. Bake until the chicken is no longer pink in the middle – about 25 minutes.

Oven-Baked Carrot Fries

  • 1-1/2 pounds of carrots
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Pinch of pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Line the pan with foil.
  3. Cut away tip and end of each carrot and peel all of the carrots.
  4. Cut each carrot in half width wise, then in half lengthwise. Cut each half lengthwise again. You will have 8 sticks from each carrot.
  5. In a mixing bowl, combine the carrot sticks, olive oil, thyme, sugar, salt and pepper.
  6. Stir with rubber spatula until the carrot sticks are evenly coated with all of the other ingredients.
  7. Dump the carrots onto the sheet pan, and spread out as much as possible.
  8. Bake until the carrots are tender and well browned, about 20 minutes.

Related: Best Chili Dishes In OC

Gary Schwind is a freelance writer covering all things Orange County. His work can be found on


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