Let's share our kids favorite recipes!

Joan - posted on 01/15/2009 ( 21 moms have responded )

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Hi,
My twins are 1 1/2 years old. I am still figuring out what foods they seem to like best and would love to get some suggestions from other moms of vegetarian kids. So I'll post one simple recipe and hopefully others in this forum will like to share a recipe (or many) that their kids enjoy eating.
One of my girls favorite breakfast foods is oatmeal, banana and mung beans. Quite simply I cook the mung beans first and when they are almost done I add the oatmeal and bananas for the last couple of minutes.

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Colleen - posted on 02/06/2009

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My 10 month old LOVES brown rice and lentils cooked with turmeric.  He can't get enough of it. We aren't vegan, so, sometimes I add yogurt to it and he devours it.   He's also a big fan of oatmeal with apples and raisins.



Another favourite of his are adzuki/rice bean balls.  I puree the rice, beans, some steamed vegetables, and some tahini with a few spices (cumin, turmeric are his favs), form them into balls, bake them in the oven and he feeds them to himself.  I've also made the balls with quinoa, millet, ad chickpeas.  My partner and I love them, too!

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Melissa - posted on 03/16/2009

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i never planned on having vegetarian kiddos but they dont like meat when offered. my husband and i are vegetarians and they seem to have picked up on that. 



my kids love black beans and rice. steamed veggies such as broccoli and cauliflower. fresh veggies like carrot sticks and avocado. when they were babies i would mash up bananas and tofu. they both LOVED it!  



i love hearing what all of you give your kids! i am so inspired! i dont have any friends that are vegetarian so this is great!

[deleted account]

One nice thing about this recipe is you can use whatever leftover cooked veggies you have on hand.



Veggie Lasagna recipe:



4 C. cooked veggies (some good combos: asparagus and mushroom; zucchini and spinich; broccoli and carrot; eggplant and bell pepper. I usually like more than two in mine, like mushroom, carrot and spinich)



4 1/2 T. butter



1 med. onion, chopped



1 1/2 t. plus 1/4 t. salt



15 oven ready lasagna noodles



2 1/2 C. milk (I use soy and it is good with soy, just FYI for others who drink soy milk)



1 C. canned chicken broth (I use veggie broth)



6 garlic cloves, smashed with the side of the knife



5 T. flour



freshly groung black pepper, to taste



1 1/4 C. grated parmesean cheese



1/2 pound fontina (or provolone) cheese, grated (2 1/2  C.) -I've used mozerella too or whatever I have on hand



 



Heat 2 T. of butter over medium heat. Add onion and cook until soft, about 5 min. and set aside.  Mix 1 1/2 T. of salt and 2 quarts of very hot tap water in a 9x13 pan. Add noodles and soak until soft, about 10 min. Drain and stack loosely.  To make Creamy Parmesean Sauce: microwave milk, broth and garlic in a 1 quart microwave container on high until steaming hot, about 8 mintues (you can do this over the stove if you prefer). Fish out the garlic and discard. Melt 2 1/2 T. butter over med. heat in a large saucepan; when foaming subsides, whisk flour and contine to cook, whisking constantly, until well blended. Pour in milk mixture all at once and whisk vigorously until sauce is smooth and starts to bubble and thicken. Stir in 1/2 C. parmesean, 1/4 t. salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat; place plastic wrap directly on the sauce's surface. Adjust rack to upper-middle position. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Smear 1/4 C. of the sauce over the bottom of the baking dish. Assemble the next four layers in the following order: 3 noodles, 2/3 C. sauce, 1/4 of the onions, 1/2 of the cooked vegetables, 1/2 C. fontina and 2 T. parmesan. Assemble final layer with remaining noodles, sauce and cheeses.  Seal with foil and bake until bubbly, about 35 minutes. Remove foil, then broil until cheese is spotty brown, 5-7 min. longer. Let stand 10-15 min. before serving.



 



It is a liitle work, but it is so worth it. Everyone loves it. I often double it and freeze one, or share with a friend. Enjoy!

Joyce - posted on 03/11/2009

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Hi Lisa,  I am copying the recipe for the Thai peanut pasta and egg rolls.  It sounds different from anything I have ever tried before.  I would love to try a new recipe for veggie lasagna if you would like to share yours.  I just love this forum.  I've been experimenting with eggplant and hope I find something good to post soon.

[deleted account]

My daughters' (ages 2 3/4 and 5 1/2) absolute favorite recipe is  Thai peanut pasta and egg rolls. I buy the cole slaw mix at the store and saute it in some earth balance spread (butter substitute).  Then I use the egg roll wrappers made by NaSoya and wrap the sauted cole slaw in them (you could add some seasonings, but we don't) and I do fry them in canola oil (directions for frying them are on the package). I usually make a large batch and freeze 6-8 to a bag and then just bake them in the oven the next time we have this meal. It is a huge time saver.  For the pasta I make a peanut sauce:



2/3 C. Peanut Butter



1/3 C. Brown Rice Vinegar



1/4 C. Maple Syrup



3 T. Water



2 T. Tamari



1/4 t. Minced Garlic (or more if you like, you can also add some fresh ginger)



1 1/2 t. Toasted Sesame Oil



1/4 t. Cayanne Pepper (or more to taste, depending on how hot you like it)



Blend all ingredients together. I cook udon noodles (About 1/2 of the package of dry that comes in three bundles or the whole pakage of refridgerated noodles made by NaSoya-I haven't been able to find these lately.) Then I add shredded carrots to the sauce and toss the noodles with the sauce. We serve the egg rolls with tamari. The kid's request this meal and eat probably three helpings! We love it too, so I make it often. If you have a picky eater and think they would never eat this, try it anyway (maybe minus the cayanne) because my 5 1/2 year old is (or was, she has gotten better lately) one of the pickiest eaters I've known.



 

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The lasagna rolls sound fabulos. I'm going to try them tonight. I'd love the recipe for the vegatable quiche too. (I already have a great recipe for veggie lasagna that I love.)

Katie - posted on 03/03/2009

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If you are ok with serving meat substitute to your children, I highly suggest Quorn brand substitutes. We use them all the time and they taste excellent. They have a website if you want to see what products they carry ( grounds, chicken patties, nuggets, etc.). It's a mushroom protein that doesn't taste at all like mushroom. High protein and fiber!

Joyce - posted on 03/02/2009

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Hi,  I tried the black bean lasagna rolls and they were great.  I made 10 instead of four, and put the salsa on with a sprinkle of cheese on top during the last 10 minutes of baking.  Everyone liked them.  I am seeing if I can freeze a few so that my vegetarian daughter can have one when the rest of our family is eating a meal which cannot be altered for her.



    My husband made a wonderful squash based soup yesterday and I will see if he can remember what he put in it so that I can share it with you.   I really appreciate this forum!!

Joyce - posted on 02/24/2009

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Thank you for the recipe.  I also have a 14 year daughter who is a vegetarian.  We've tried many of the protein products that you have mentioned, but she is getting tired of them and I am looking for new recipes.  I will definately try the black bean lasagna rolls.  My husband is fan of black beans and it sounds yummy to me too!

Joan - posted on 02/22/2009

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Wow, this is great to hear all these ideas. I find my toddlers like finger foods best, even if they at first insist on using a spoon. I stick to simple, wholesome foods. 



I follow Dr. Sears advice to serve toddler trays with a variety of foods they can "snack" on, since it can be so difficult to get them to sit down and "eat a meal". I feel like I'm feeding my girls constantly, but they are definitely not over-eating. I offer them lots, and they take what they want when they're hungry.



One thing I think is perfect for vegetarian/vegan kids are beans/legumes. I just boil kidney, black, soy, chickpeas, whatever and put in a pinch of salt at the end. They munch on them while they're playing. Mine also like the lentils/grain combination, then I cut up spinach or some other veggies really small and sneak it in the mix.



I am definitely trying the adzuki beans/rice balls. And maybe create some other variationson that recipe using legumes and whole grains. 



Thanks for all the ideas!

Debbie - posted on 02/21/2009

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My husband & I tend to like the meat analogs -- Morningstar strips, Gimme Lean sausage, Boca chick'n patties, veggie burgers, etc. My 3-yr-old son -- vegan since birth -- doesn't really care for them. I find that he prefers simpler foods like tofu and rice or black beans and rice. He also eats soy yogurts which come in lots of different flavors, nut butter sandwiches (usually pb, sometimes almond), pasta w/ marinara, and lots of fruit (unfortunately, veggies are a bit trickier). Three other easy favorites are frozen waffles (Earth's Best makes some that are vegan, whole grain, and enriched with vitamins), falafel (I buy a mix from Fantastic Foods), and quinoa lentils, and carrots. The last one was an accidental discovery, but he loves it. I use equal parts of red lentils and quinoa -- a generous single serving might be 1/2 c of each. Then, whatever quantity of dry ingredients I use gets doubled for the liquid. (1/2 c lentils + 1/2 c quinoa = 1 c dry ingredients, so I use 2 c of liquid.) You can use water and then season to your taste, or sometimes I use diluted vegetable broth (they seem like they have too much sodium otherwise). Add the dry ingredients to the boiling liquid then simmer for 15 minutes. I usually cut up some carrots too and throw them in for the last 5 minutes of cooking. I can't wait to try those adzuki/rice balls above!

Stephanie - posted on 02/13/2009

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Hi - I have a 9 year old who decided that she wanted to be a vegetarian when she turned 9 - but she's picky and really doesn't love vegetables so it has been tricky.  She loves falafel and rice balls (recipe in one of my Moosewood cookbooks), soups, yogurt, fruit, nuts, tofu (although I'm not good at knowing all the things I can do with it) couscous, I buy wheat or high protein pasta, rice and beans.  She likes to cook so I thought if I could find a kid-friendly vegetarian cookbook and she could explore the recipes herself maybe she could come up with some new foods to try.  I'm open to any new ideas or names of good cookbooks......Thank you!

User - posted on 02/06/2009

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thanks for the recipes! I cant wait to try the balls--my daughter will love them!

Dawn, try that recipe--your twins might like them. Have you tried sweet potato? don't make it too mushy, leave just a little firmness so you can cut rectangles and they can pick them up--I think fingers foods are key. I do the same w/ avacados--not too mushy but ripe so she can pick up the pieces.

Nicola - posted on 02/01/2009

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I have to say, I do use the meat and dairy substitutes quite a lot for the pure convenience.  I am a terrible cook!

Erica - posted on 01/30/2009

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I guess I can see your point, Lindsay, but my daughter doesn't think of it that way at all. Meat is not desirable to her. For her, it is not a sacrifice to not eat meat.

Lindsay - posted on 01/30/2009

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My 2-yr-old son will eat nearly anything put in front of him.  I try to stay away from meat substitutes like the fake chicken, because to me that's just an admission that meat is really desirable and that to be vegetarian and actually enjoy your food you need to simulate the meat-eating experience.  Every once in a while we use it, but when I cook I just go for really yummy vegetarian recipes (as opposed to adapting meat-based recipes). 



I have a rarely-updated recipe blog http://thisvegetarianfamily.blogspot.com

Erica - posted on 01/27/2009

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Well, I don't know how much help I can be....My daughter is 13 (14 on Valentine's Day) and I don't know if her food would be appropriate for a toddler. I'm going to post a couple of ideas anyway. Quorn has a version of "chicken" breast which I make for Emerson with what ever sides I've made for myself and my husband i.e. corn, mashed potatoes, etc. I would do veg. chicken nuggets (morning star farms) and mac and cheese. Morning star farms also has "chicken" strips and "steak" strips. Cut some of those up with some veggies and throw into a bowl of rice or pasta. Quesadillas are quick and easy and can be as healthy as you make 'em. Cheese and broccoli. Refried beans (Old El Paso has vegetarian beans), cheese, ground "beef" crumbles (boca). Recently, I made wild mushroom quesadillas. I make black bean lasagna rolls. Really easy. The recipe can be altered for the younger kiddos.
Black Bean Lasagna Rolls:
4 servings
Ingredients:
4 lasagna noodles uncooked
1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 (15 oz) container part-skim ricotta cheese
1/2 (4.5 oz) can chopped green chiles, drained
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup drained no-salt-added black beans
cooking spray
1/2 (15.5 oz) jar no-salt-added salsa
Fresh cilantro sprigs
Directions:
1. Cook lasagna noodles according to pkg. directions; drain well.
2. Combine cheeses and next 3 ingredients, stirring well. Spread cheese mixture over one side of each noodle. Spoon black beans evenly over cheese mixture. Roll up noodles, jellyroll fashion, beginning at narrow ends.
3. Place lasagna noodles, seam sides down, in an 11x7x11 1/2 inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until thoroughly heated.
4. To serve, spoon salsa evenly over rolls, and garnish with cilantro sprigs, if desired.

I also prepare Vegetable quiche and vegetable lasagna. Another thing she will do for herself is cut up a veggie patty (Morningstar Farms), drain a small can of Veg-All, cook a cup of rice and throw those all together for a rice bowl. She also puts veg-all in ramen for a quick lunch. Anyway, those are just a couple of my ideas.

Dawn - posted on 01/26/2009

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My twins are three and I can't get them to eat anything, let along what you are both feeding your kids. I would love to give some of this a try - any suggestions or recipes I could try would be wonderful. My kids do like oatmeal, broccoli and rice. Other than that, I think they live on crackers, milk, chocolate milk and occasionally pizza and pasta. help!

User - posted on 01/25/2009

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wow--mung beans, I'll have to try that!

My daughter just turned 2. Her favorite foods are pretty simple whole foods....sweet potato cooked with some firmness so she can pick up rectangular shapes with her fingers, brocolli, hummus on anything, avacado, black beans, rice, 32 bean and vegetable soup, she even likes a curry root vegetable soup from our local co-op. I hope some of this helps--and I'd love to hear more of what you feed your twins! :-)

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