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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Fun Vegetarian Recipe Ideas for Both Kids and Adults

Author: mishaanatolia

Planning meals for a family that includes young children and adults can be tricky. Planning to feed kids and adults strictly vegetarian fare, especially if you are new to the diet, can seem overwhelming. Here are some fun recipe ideas that kids and parents alike will enjoy.


Breakfast and lunch:

Breakfast burritos:

Scramble eggs or tofu and add your favorite vegan sausage or bacon, fried tempeh (a fermented soy product that can be sliced and fried), or tvp. Roll up in warm tortillas with shredded cheese. Have available as toppings: diced tomatoes, green onions, jalapenos, salsa, sour cream, and hot sauce for adults and brave children to choose from.


Celery boats:

Children like these with peanut butter and raisins. Try them with chocolate peanut butter, sunflower seed butter, or Nutella, too. For adults, fill them with goat cheese and figs, pesto and sundried tomatoes, or cream cheese and strawberry preserves.


Grilled sandwiches:
Grilled cheese can go farther than it used to. Use brie and figs between slices of sourdough; sharp cheddar in rye bread; or mozzarella, fresh basil, and thick slices of tomato in ciabatta bread. For kids, try gouda, mozzarella, parmesan, and even brie. Peanut butter and jam grilled between slices of warm, buttery bread makes lunch as decadent as dessert. Nutella is good grilled between slices of pumpernickel bread, too.

Dinner:

Fried rice:

Beat two eggs lightly and add to an oiled, very hot wok or large skillet. Spread eggs out in an even layer and do not disturb for 30 seconds to one minute until set. Slice with a spatula into small bits and push to one side of the wok. Add 1c frozen mixed vegetables and cook until warm, stirring with spatula (or by tossing with the wok). Add 3c cooked rice and cook, stirring, until warm. Add 1T roasted sesame oil, 1/4tsp ginger and 1/4tsp garlic. Toss. Do not omit sesame oil, as this is what gives the dish its distinct flavor. Season with soy sauce and sweet or hot chili sauce to taste. Serve with spring rolls and barbecued tofu.


Barbecued tofu:
Press a package of extra-firm, non-silken tofu between paper towels to drain. Slice crosswise into 4 "patties." Heat an oiled wok or skillet. Cook tofu until brown on both sides. Remove from wok. Mix 2T honey, 1/4c vinegar, 1/2tsp molasses, 1/4tsp pepper, 1/2tsp ground mustard powder, and 1/4c soy sauce. Cook over med-low heat until slightly thickened. Pour over tofu and serve.

Fajitas:

In an oiled wok or large skillet over high heat, sear chopped onion, green pepper, and zucchini until crisp-tender. Remove from wok. Brown your favorite meat substitute, if desired, and add to vegetable mixture. Clean the center stems from collard leaves. Spoon vegetable mixture into collard and add sour cream, shredded cheese, salsa, or lime juice. Wrap into a burrito shape. Eat, and watch out for the drips!


There are countless other tantalizing recipes that can be adapted to the palates of both kids and adults alike. One way to do this is to leave out sharp and spicy seasonings and let adults season at the table. Bring many toppings and food choices to the table and allow the family to choose what they like. This creates no pressure for the children to eat something they're not comfortable with, but also leaves the door open for them to try new things in a natural way, as they are ready.


Misha Anatolia is a family and wedding writer. For more bridal shower recipes and bridal shower information, go to bridal-showers.org

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