I’m Jackie, a stay at home vegan mommy of one amazing little girl. My daughter, Zoey, is three years old, a huge Disney aficionado and Minnie Mouse super fan. She’s also the most amazing little helper in the kitchen that a mother could ask for, and so she is… my Minnie Chef.

Minnie Christmas Trees

Minnie Christmas Trees

Who says cookie cutters can only be used for making cookies?!?  Is anyone else over the dozens of cookie cutters that sit tucked away in a drawer and only come out to play once a year? 🙋🏻 Break out your cookie cutters more often and break out of the box when you use them!  

Getting toddlers to try new foods is half the battle, right?  Once they try new things, they often find they like them.  But getting a toddler to step into uncharted territories and taste something new isn’t always a walk in the park.  Making food fun—cutting it into fun shapes, creatively decorating it or turning it into a game—is one way to help break down that barrier. 

Last week I had some friends over for a slightly belated “Friendsgiving” dinner.  I have quite a few friends with food allergies and wasn’t sure exactly who would show up, so I bought a bunch of extra food because I wasn’t sure what to make.  I ended up making a vegan/gluten-free lasagna (of course I forgot to snap a shot before we devoured it) and a pesto pasta with grilled eggplant.  I saw some leftover pesto in my fridge the other day next to the zucchini (also unused from that dinner) and I guess I was in a festive mood because I decided to turn the two into some edible Christmas trees.  🌲 Of course these little trees had to be decorated, so I chopped up some sun-dried tomatoes to sprinkle on top for a little pop of color and another layer of flavor.  And there you have a fun way to serve your toddler some veggies!

I baked these trees for 20 minutes, but you could also enjoy these little cuties raw--just skip the baking step and use all raw cashews in the pesto! 


Servings Prep Time Cook Time Total Time
1 dozen 5 mins. 20 mins. 25 mins.


  • 2 zucchinis
  • ¼ cup quality pesto*
  • 3 finely chopped sundried tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil or cooking spray


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Lightly grease parchment paper with olive oil or cooking spray.  Set aside.
  3. Peel zucchini and cut off tops and bottoms.  Slice zucchini into 3 slices, lengthwise.   Using a small Christmas tree cookie cutter, cut out as many trees as you can out of each zucchini slice.  Arrange trees on baking sheet. 
  4. Spoon between ½ teaspoon and 1 teaspoon of pesto onto each tree.  Top with sundried tomato pieces. 
  5. Bake for approximately 20 minutes, until zucchini is tender and sun-dried tomatoes are crisp. 

*If you don’t want to use store bought pesto for this recipe, I combined the following in a blender and blended until smooth:

  • ½ cup raw cashews (soaked in water for 1 hour, then drained)
  • ½ cup roasted and salted cashews (soaked in water for 1 hour, then drained)
  • 1 cup spinach, packed
  • 1 cup baby arugula, packed
  • ¼ cup basil, packed
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon of oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Or you can find an alternative, but similar pesto recipe in my Vegan Pesto Pizza recipe. 

Toddler Tip:

Let your little one help decorate the tree this year! Let your toddler sprinkle the sun-dried tomato bits onto the trees.

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