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Kid friendly meatless meals

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#1 niggles

Posted 08 November 2012 - 11:33 AM

I've hit a bit of a slump lately in my efforts to eat less meat.

Does any one have some favourite recipes their kids enjoy that they wouldn't mind sharing? There are only so many risottos, quiches and frittatas I can serve without feeling stodgy (and so many eggs is not great on the cholesterol front either).

#2 tothebeach

Posted 08 November 2012 - 11:38 AM

My kids love vegie lasagne (can use eggplant, rather than lasagne sheets).  But this is still quite heavy.

Stirfries are also great.   There are some brilliant Thai soups that are vegie and amazingly tasty.  My boys guzzle up the mushroom thai one that I make.   We also make dhal (the kids love to mop up with chapati).

#3 Chaos in stereo

Posted 08 November 2012 - 11:39 AM


Edited by Chaos in stereo, 26 August 2013 - 05:37 PM.

#4 bikingbubs

Posted 08 November 2012 - 11:43 AM

We eat very small amounts of meat (once a month?).  Some faves here are:

Risotto (of any type!)
Home made pizzas
Curry (in particular if his is served with cous cous)
Cous cous with roasted vegies (I usually do them with moroccan seasoning)
Chilli con carne (with just 4 bean mix instead of mince)
Stir Fries (can use hokkien/singapore noodles to spice things up a bit instead of rice)

#5 ACO

Posted 08 November 2012 - 11:43 AM

I love roast veggies or char grilled veggies with halloumi or feta. Would your kids go for something like that?

#6 niggles

Posted 08 November 2012 - 11:51 AM

This is great.

Stir fry is an obvious choice but DS is still only 10 months and while he's a great eater he needs his vegies very soft still so we haven't been having them much lately.

I think I'll whip up some dhal this week. I used to make it a lot and have gotten out of the habit.

I love the idea of lentil patties / burgers so much I've tried 3 different recipes I've found online and they've all been terrible - falling apart, or too mushy and don't cook through nicely. Does anyone have a foolproof one?

I do cous cous pretty regularly and have just started quinoa (DD hates it but I love it, DH didn't comment but her ate it happily). Quinoa ideas welcome too.

#7 Froger

Posted 08 November 2012 - 11:51 AM

Falafel - home made is easy. Just soak the chickpeas over night then blend in food processor with onions and garlic, cummin, parsley, an egg. Maybe a bit of flour is the chickpeas are not sticking together good. Then deep fry.

Tacos with refried beans.

Vegetarian pizza

Pasta dishes

Vegie burgers

#8 miajas

Posted 08 November 2012 - 11:52 AM

Vegie Noodle Stir-fry:
Pad thai noddles (or any of your liking)
fresh stir-fry vegies - I use onion, bok choy, carrot, capsicum, brocolli
sauce: 1tsp minced garlic, 2tbsp oyster sauce, 1 tbsp soy sauce & 1 tbsp honey - more if you want it sweeter

my 2yr and 5yr old LOVE it

#9 giggleandhoot

Posted 08 November 2012 - 11:56 AM

oh glad i found this threat..there's some good ideas. I have a DD2 who won't eat meat..she eats heaps of eggs, which i let her as the Dr said it  had all the nutrients for her. But i so struggle finding meat free things she will eat!! (she hates vegies too..we're working on that!)

#10 bikingbubs

Posted 08 November 2012 - 11:56 AM

Oh, also omlettes/fritatta (helps that we have chooks!)

eta: just saw the part about eggs Tounge1.gif ignore me.

Edited by bikingbubs, 08 November 2012 - 11:57 AM.

#11 EBeditor

Posted 08 November 2012 - 11:58 AM

My kids really like marinated tofu in a stir fry or just with rice.

#12 MrsLexiK

Posted 08 November 2012 - 11:59 AM

This was one of the things I found difficult when I was a veg.  I eat a lot of stirfry's and steamed veg at least if I change the protein part around I get a bit more variety.  I got some good veggie snags from Woolies.  They are not the santarium ones they actually appare to be made with just veg and taste nice!

What about tofu will the kids go near that? When DH is away I will cook a sloppy stirfry (using stock) with veg and tofu. 9/10 when I eat a stir fry I add those slim noddles you get in the gluten free section.  They are not too heavy at all.

#13 ThatsNotMyName

Posted 08 November 2012 - 12:01 PM

My two like

noodle stirfry with cashews
felafel with yogurt sauce & salad
vegie lasagna
pasta with pesto, tomato & generous amounts of parmesan
dahl & rice
pan fried haloumi & salad
vegie risotto
most eggy things
baked beans (good as a stand by or occasional can't be bothered meal)

Eggs aren't that bad cholesterol wise, they have good cholesterol & are now believed to help reduce the bad. I would think 2-3 egg meals per week would be fine.

#14 niggles

Posted 08 November 2012 - 12:04 PM

QUOTE (SarahM72 @ 08/11/2012, 09:51 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Falafel - home made is easy. Just soak the chickpeas over night then blend in food processor with onions and garlic, cummin, parsley, an egg. Maybe a bit of flour is the chickpeas are not sticking together good. Then deep fry.

I used chickpeas from a can. Is that where I went wrong? Too wet and then too much flour to soak it up and hence too gluggy and stodgy tasting? I'll give dried a try.

#15 niggles

Posted 08 November 2012 - 12:06 PM

I have another suggestion for others. My local shops don't stock it so I don't use it much but my sister makes a great salad with fried haloumi and tempe, avocado, tomato, and spinach.

#16 Academic

Posted 08 November 2012 - 12:06 PM

I grew up in a vegetarian family. I now make most of the dishes my mum made regularly, and have added some of my own to the rotation:

Tacos (saute onion and garlic, drain two cans of four bean mix and add, heat for a short time and then mash lightly so it's still pretty chunky, add tomato paste and a smidgen of sugar, add chilli powder to taste and a can of sweet corn kernels, heat for about another 15 minutes on low-medium, stirring regularly so it doesn't stick and burn)

Dhal with chapatis

Curried vegetable pie, corn and asparagus pie, or lentil and mushroom pie

Lentil shepherds pie

Curry - I make one with loads of spinach, lentils, sometimes sweet potato or eggplant as well - in the last few minutes of cooking, add cubes of fetta cheese (basically like a homemade palak paneer, but I find fetta tastier and easier to find)

I'm also on a bit of a vegetarian sausage kick at the moment. I hate the weird soy ones that are attempting to be more like meat (I've never eaten meat, so why would I want to eat something like it?) but I've found some good ones lately that are made mostly from tofu, with lots of vegetables as well. I usually grill them and serve with steamed vegetables and honeyed carrots, mash or potato bake.

#17 libbylu

Posted 08 November 2012 - 12:07 PM

Make Spag Bol with brown lentils instead.  You can get them from the tin if you want to be quick or soak and precook them.  And you can always puree some veggies into the red sauce if your kids aren't big on veggies.

#18 lozoodle

Posted 08 November 2012 - 12:08 PM

My kids are pretty picky but some kid approved meals in my house is

- Pasta with a tomato based sauce with a tonne of veggies
- Cheesey pasta bake with hidden veggies (grated zucchini, cauliflower, etc)
- Home made pizza, they love doing this
- Spinach & ricotta cannelloni

#19 Guest_Dinah_Harris_*

Posted 08 November 2012 - 12:08 PM

What about spinach and ricotta cannelloni/lasagna?  I find the cheesy ricotta masks any yuck factor they initially have about spinach.
Have you thought about chowders?  I have a recipe for a lovely potato and corn chowder.  You could put in any ingredients you wanted though.
Roast vegetable tart?
Stuffed capsicums?

#20 *little-rach*

Posted 08 November 2012 - 12:13 PM

Oh yay, im loving this thread!
I am veggo, DH only occasionally eats seafood. Our dds have been quite fussy lately especially dd1. So ill be trying some of these ideas! Our girls are mostly veggo but will occasionally have meat if we are out or at parties etc.

Our faves are
Pizza (home made which dd1&2 love doing)
Corn fritters and salad
Veggie pasta bake
Stir frys
Pasta with pesto
Roast veggies and gravy

I'll be trying the falafel and frittata suggestions

Edited by *little-rach*, 08 November 2012 - 12:15 PM.

#21 niggles

Posted 08 November 2012 - 12:14 PM

So many good suggestions. I'm making a list for the inside of my pantry door to consult at 4 pm when my creative brain fails me. Thanks a lot everyone.

#22 Froger

Posted 08 November 2012 - 12:22 PM

QUOTE (niggles @ 08/11/2012, 12:04 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I used chickpeas from a can. Is that where I went wrong? Too wet and then too much flour to soak it up and hence too gluggy and stodgy tasting? I'll give dried a try.

Yes, don't use the canned ones, they are already cooked and will be far too mushy. They should be raw, but very well soaked. 24 hours in the fridge is what I do.

#23 Froger

Posted 08 November 2012 - 12:27 PM

Zucchini fritters are nice, make them similar to corn fritters using grated zucchini.

Also how about pakoras? Make a batter using besan flour (chickpea flour) and add a bit of salt, cummin, coriander, cummin seeds, amchor powder. Mix to a  batter with water and  plain yoghurt. Can also add beaten eggs. Cut up vegies and dip into the batter then deep fry. I use eggplant, zucchini, brocoli, cauliflower, onion chunks.

Also instead of dipping the vegies into the batter, instead mix them in and drop spoonfuls into the oil and deep fry. I use chopped spinach, finely sliced onions, other green leafy vegies for making them this way.

Serve with tomato chutney or plain yoghurt.

Edited by SarahM72, 08 November 2012 - 12:27 PM.

#24 Anemonefish

Posted 08 November 2012 - 12:39 PM

My kids & I are vegetarian, DH is mostly vegetarian at home. My kids are fussy eaters but the few dishes they do like are:
- Pesto pasta with carrot, broccoli & mushrooms
- Fried rice (with vegetables & egg)
- Stir-fried tofu & vegies with rice/noodles (I usually make a separate one for the kids with just the veggies they like and with the vegies cooked softer than I would like)
- Corn & potato chowder
- Vegie curry with tofu (sometimes made from scratch, sometimes made with an indian curry paste)
- Dhal and chapattis (if I have time, I make the chapattis from scratch and I let the kids roll their own and use cookie cutters to make shapes)
- Chick pea curry (chick peas, tomato, potato and spinach)
- Ricotta/Feta and spinach triangles
- Vegies and haloumi roasted on the BBQ
- Vegie sausages with steamed vegies and a fried egg

#25 wenchwitch

Posted 08 November 2012 - 01:27 PM

Quesadillas (sp?) with roasted veggies, semi dried tomatoes and cheese. My kids love them with tuna corn and cheese. They call them inside out pizzas lol.

Lentil and roasted tomato soup is a favorite as are rice paper rolls and sushi and spinach and ricotta cannelloni.

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