Help your child learn the essential cooking skills of slicing and chopping with tips from the staff at Basics Market.

Kitchen Skills: Slicing, Chopping, Dicing   |   Age: 6-7 and older

Learning to use a knife is a big step in a child’s cooking journey. Chopping and dicing firm vegetables like onion and bell pepper requires a sharp knife and should come after a kid has practiced with softer fruits and vegetables. Start with cutting Play-Doh at age 1 or 2, progress to training knives and butter knives with banana and avocado, graduate to a paring knife to slice mushrooms and strawberries, and around 5 ½ introduce a kid-specific stainless steel chef’s knife. When it comes to introducing real knives, you know your child best — if they are still working to master impulse control and you think they may not be ready, stick with softer foods and butter knives until you feel more comfortable. This skill requires focus and coordination as well as some patience. It takes practice to get uniformly cut veggies, but the upside of starting with chopping veggies for chili is that they’ll be simmered until soft, so a slight variation in size won’t affect the end product. 

White Turkey Chili  

Note: Great served with tortilla chips or cornbread!  

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 

Ingredients 

2 teaspoons olive oil 
1 medium onion, chopped, about 2 cups (reserve ¼ cup for garnish) 
1 green bell pepper, chopped 
4 cloves garlic finely chopped or 1 teaspoon garlic powder 
1 pound lean ground turkey 
32 ounces (4 cups) chicken broth 
½ teaspoon salt 
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper 
2 15-ounce cans Great Northern beans, low sodium, drained and rinsed 
16 ounces (2 cups) salsa verde 
½ cup cilantro leaves

Instructions 

1. In a large pot over medium heat, sauté onions and bell pepper in olive oil until soft. 

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2. Add chopped garlic and sauté for a few more minutes. Add ground turkey and cook until no pink remains. 

3. Add chicken broth, salt, pepper, beans and salsa verde. Simmer on medium-low heat for about an hour, until liquid reduces and chili slightly thickens. Top with fresh cilantro and chopped onion. 

Chopping Tips 

• When chopping onions, as well as other round foods, slice the onion in half from root end to stem end so that you gain a flat surface. Making a flat spot on the item makes it easier to balance and cut safely. 

• Bell peppers can be diced easily by following these steps: Cut off the top and bottom, set aside. Stand the pepper up on one of the cut ends, then slice from top to bottom so that you can open the pepper up flat. With the pepper lying flat on the cutting board, run the knife around the inside to remove the inner veins and seed core. 

• To make garlic easier to peel, soak the unpeeled cloves in hot water for 2 minutes. Smash with the flat side of the knife and the peel should easily come off, without sticking to your fingers. 

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