7 Vegetarian Meals For Kids Beyond Grilled Cheese!

vegetarian meals for kidsWhether you are looking to cook healthy meals or switch to a vegetarian diet, cooking meals for kids is no easy task.  Vegetarian meals for kids sounds even more daunting! But it doesn’t have to be that way.  Here are 7 deliciously awesome vegetarian recipes to make any kid, even the picky ones, nice and full.

Black Bean Corn Tostadas

This vegetarian entree shows off a rainbow of vegetables. Adding black beans and a little cheese ensures that the meat won’t be missed.

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Serves 4

Ingredients:

2 limes
2 scallions
1 package (10 ounces) frozen corn kernels
3 tablespoons olive oil
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 jalapeno chile
1 pint grape tomatoes
8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, not sliced
4 flour tortillas (6-inch)
1 can (15 ounces) black beans
1 avocado
Reduced-fat sour cream, for serving (optional)

Directions:

  • Squeeze limes into a medium bowl. Thinly slice scallions, and add to bowl along with corn. Add 1 tablespoon oil, and season with salt and pepper; toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate.
  • Halve jalapeno (remove ribs and seeds for less heat, if desired), and mince. Halve tomatoes. Combine in an airtight container; cover and refrigerate.
  • Coarsely grate cheese on a box grater; place into a resealable plastic bag, and refrigerate.
  • Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Arrange tortillas on two baking sheets; brush both sides with remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Rinse and drain beans; sprinkle over tortillas. Top with tomatoes, jalapeno, and cheese. Bake until golden and crisp, about 10 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through.
  • While tostadas are baking, pit and peel avocado; dice. Toss with corn mixture to combine.
  • To serve, top tostadas with corn relish, and, if desired, sour cream.

Cook’s Note: You can do the first three steps in the morning, and the final three at dinner time.

(Everyday Food)

Teriyaki Sesame NoodlesSesame Noodles

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Serves 8

Ingredients:

Coarse salt
1 pound thin spaghetti
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter, preferably natural
1 to 2 garlic cloves
1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1 English cucumber, peeled and halved lengthwise
2 medium carrots, peeled and shredded

Directions:

  • In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta until al dente, according to package instructions. Drain, and transfer to a large bowl.
  • Meanwhile, make peanut sauce: In a blender or food processor, blend peanut butter, garlic, pepper flakes, soy sauce, vinegar, and sesame oil until smooth.
  • Cut cucumber crosswise into thirds; cut each piece lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices. Stack slices; cut lengthwise into very thin strips. Transfer pasta to a large bowl; toss with sauce, cucumber, and carrots. Serve at room temperature.

Classic Cheese Lasagna

Beef lasagna in ceramic serving dishServes 8

Ingredients:

1 pound whole-milk ricotta cheese
1 large egg
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
Freshly ground pepper
1 pound fresh mozzarella
Marinara (http://www.marthastewart.com/261109/marinara)
Fresh Lasagna Noodles (http://www.marthastewart.com/262432/fresh-lasagna-noodles), cut into 4-by-13-inch strips and cooked, or store-bought dried noodles, cooked
5 ounces coarsely grated Parmesan cheese, (about 1 3/4 cups)

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 375. Combine ricotta, egg, nutmeg, and salt in a medium bowl. Season with pepper. Coarsely grate 1/2 of the mozzarella, and stir into ricotta mixture. Using your fingers, shred remaining mozzarella into 2-inch strips, and reserve.
  • Spread 1/2 cup marinara in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Place a layer of noodles over marinara. Spread 1/3 of the ricotta mixture over noodles, and sprinkle with 1/3 of the Parmesan. Place a layer of noodles over the cheese layer. Spread 1 cup marinara over noodles. Repeat layering (noodles, marinara, noodles, ricotta mixture, Parmesan) 2 more times. Spread remaining marinara over cheese layer, then sprinkle with shredded mozzarella.
  • Place baking dish on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until cheese is golden brown and sauce is bubbling, 45 to 50 minutes. Let stand for 15 minutes before slicing and serving.

(Taken from Martha Stewart Living)

Also try out a variety of baked ziti recipes vegetarian style!

Mini Deep-Dish Pizzas

Pizzette with tomato sauce and basil (small pizzas, Italy)That muffin pan is not just for cupcakes. Make these mini deep-dish pizzas using homemade or store-bought dough and your favorite toppings.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Makes 6

Ingredients:

Olive oil, for muffin pan
All-purpose flour, for rolling
1/2 pound homemade or store-bought pizza dough, in 6 pieces
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella (4 ounces)
1 large tomato, coarsely chopped
Desired toppings, such as cooked vegetables, pineapple and ham, or pepperoni

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Lightly brush 6 standard muffin cups with oil. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out each dough piece to a 6-inch round. Fill each cup with 1 round, gently pressing dough into bottom and sides of cup. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Sprinkle each dough cup with 1 tablespoon each cheese and tomato. Add desired toppings and another tablespoon each cheese and tomato. Bake until dough is golden brown and crisp, 12 minutes. Let cool 2 minutes before removing from cups.

Cook’s Note:

Standard muffin pans come in 6- or 12-cup size; if baking 6 items in a 12-cup pan, leave empty space in between. Nonstick pans are nice but not essential. Beware of very thin pans, which often lead to burning. Place pans on a baking sheet to make them easier to get in and out of the oven.

(Martha Stewart Living)

Asian-Style Pasta

Look for firm eggplants that are not too large; they will be sweeter and have fewer seeds. For a spicier sauce, add up to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Serves 4

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
1 tablespoon honey
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
2 eggplants, 1 pound each, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
8 ounces snow peas, strings removed, halved diagonally
2 red bell peppers, ribs and seeds removed, cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips
8 ounces pappardelle (broad noodles with curly edges)

Directions:

  • In large bowl, whisk together soy sauce, vinegar, peanut butter, honey, garlic, and ginger; set aside.
  • Place eggplants in a steaming basket set over a pan of simmering water; cover, and cook until almost tender, turning eggplant occasionally, about 15 minutes (add more water as needed). Add snow peas and bell peppers; cook until crisp-tender and eggplant is tender, about 5 minutes. Remove basket from pan.
  • Meanwhile, in large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta until al dente according to package instructions. Drain; add pasta and steamed vegetables to bowl with reserved soy-sauce mixture. Toss to combine. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Cook’s Note:

As an alternative to the pappardelle, you can break eight ounces of lasagna into large pieces.

(Martha Stewart Living)

Skillet Black Beans with Potatoes and Tortillas

Here’s a hearty bean dish for families that enjoy lively south-of-the-border flavors. Serve with baked sweet potatoes and a salad. This recipe is right up my alley!

Serves: 4 to 6

4 medium-large potatoes
1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium-large onion, chopped
2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium green bell pepper, diced
One 4-ounce can mild diced green chiles
One 16-ounce can diced tomatoes
One 16-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 teaspoons ground cumin
Juice of 1 lime
6 corn tortillas, cut into short, narrow strips

Toppings (any or all):

Grated vegan cheese
Salsa
Vegan sour cream, homemade or store-bought

Directions:

  • Microwave the potatoes until done but still firm. when cool enough to handle, peel and cut into 1/2-inch dice. Set aside until needed.
  • Heat the oil in an extra-large skillet. Add the onion and sauté until translucent. Add the garlic and bell pepper and sauté over medium heat until the onion is golden.
  • Add the chiles, tomatoes, black beans, and cumin. Bring to a simmer, then simmer gently, covered, for 10 minute.
  • Stir in the lime juice, tortillas, and potatoes and cook briefly, just until heated through. Serve at once.

(vegkitchen.com)

Curried Pasta with Cauliflower and Chickpeas

Serves: 4 to 6

Ingredients:

8 to 10 ounces pasta twists (cavatappi, or cellantani),
rotini (spirals), or medium shells
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, quartered and thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced, optional
4 cups bite-sized cauliflower florets and stems
15- to 16-ounce can diced tomatoes (try fire-roasted)
2 teaspoons good-quality curry powder, more or less to taste
One 16- to 20-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 cup frozen green peas
1/2 cup dark raisins
2 tablespoons unbleached white flour
1 cup rice milk
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Cook the pasta in plenty of steadily boiling water until al dente, then drain.
  • Meanwhile, heat the oil in a wide skillet or stir-fry pan. Add the onion and garlic sauté over medium heat until golden.
  • Add the cauliflower, tomatoes, and curry powder, plus 1/2 cup water. Bring to a simmer, then cover and simmer gently for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until the cauliflower is just tender.
  • Stir in the chickpeas, raisins, and peas, and milk.
  • Dissolve the flour in just enough rice milk to make a smooth paste. Stir into the skillet with the remaining milk. Cook for 5 minutes longer, or until the liquid has thickened and everything is well heated.
  • In a large serving bowl, combine the cooked pasta with the cauliflower mixture. Season with salt and pepper and toss together. Serve at once.

For more wonderful vegetarian ideas for kids, be sure to enroll in Udemy’s course Happy Vegetarian Kids Cooking Healthy!