BLOG & RECIPE: Fresh from the Kid-Chen: Sloppy Joes

On stage, “Chef” Kiki put on a show. Making vegetarian Sloppy Joes, she sautéed vegetables, mixed an array of spices and sauces, served it on fresh Blackbird sourdough buns and, in true 9-year-old fashion, made the entire meal with a warm smile. Although Kiki had a little help with the recipe from her mother, Windup’s chef Yumiko Kobayashi, Kiki did all the cooking herself, since in “Kid-Chen Confidential,” kids cook for kids.

Together, the mom and daughter duo came up with a version of the Sloppy Joes to add to the For The Children section of the Windup menu – for humans born after 2002. Every one of the dishes on the children’s menu (Grilled Cheese, Banana Chocolate Parfait, Chicken Karaage Bites and more) are products from Windup’s food literacy program, Kid-Chen Confidential, which provides the much-needed platform for children to teach each other about healthy cooking. 

It’s so important for kids to get their friends excited about cooking good food. Children have never wanted their parents to tell them what’s good for them, but now, with Kid-Chen, we’re getting the kids to show others how healthy ingredients don’t equal a bland tasting dish! Kiki’s vegetarian Sloppy Joe is stacked with vegetables, moist, and flavourful to boot. With great recipes, Windup wants children cooking, learning, and eating together.

The program is all about nutritious, locally-sourced foods that kids can enjoy and even make themselves.  They come up with new ideas for the dish, and continue to help until serving it fresh to a friend. The creator of the program, Sang Kim, says “Eventually, the goal is to approach other chefs and restaurants to include these healthy, child-inspired dishes onto their own menus, have it “powered” by recipes developed from Kid-Chen Confidential. The nutritious food revolution needs to start from the ground up, right from the kids, and that’s what we’re working on.”

Dates for Fall 2014 Kid-Confidential cooking classes will be posted soon. For more information about this program, email:

Also, check out our Lunch and Dinner menus to see what healthy choice your youngster will like best.

Here’s the simple vegetarian Sloppy Joe recipe from Kiki and Chef Kobayashi:

1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1/2 pepper, chopped
1/2 tbsp chili powder
4 oz. tomato sauce
1/4 cup BBQ sauce
2 tbsp ketchup
2 tsp mustard
3/4 cup TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein)
3/4 cup boiling water Salt & pepper to taste

1. Saute onion and pepper in oil for approximately 5 minutes.
2. Add all other ingredients. Simmer for about 20 minutes. (TVP will absorb the water and soak up the flavor of the sauce.)
3. Serve on buns, as you would traditional sloppy joes. Makes approx. 4 servings