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Vegetarian Kids

By: Elizabeth Hinds - Updated: 29 Apr 2012 | comments*Discuss
Vegetarian Recipes Simple Vegetarian

Your child has recently announced that she/he is becoming a vegetarian. As a responsible parent your first reaction would have been to seek advice on how to make sure she/he gets a healthy balanced diet. Or maybe that was your second reaction after screaming!

Alternatively if you’re a veggie yourself then you’ll have checked on the suitability of a meat-free diet for your growing child, probably as soon as she/he was born.

So we’re not going to tell you what you should be doing but instead we’d like to suggest some recipes that are simple to make and that provide a good dollop of your child’s daily nutrition needs. As well as proving to the rest of the family that vegetarian food can be good!

Let’s start with a Spanish omelette. You’re likely to have most of the ingredients to hand, and served with a big bowl of salad, it’s a dish for 2 or 3 to share.

Spanish Omelette
What you need:
  • 5 eggs
  • 10 oz potatoes
  • 2 small red onions
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & pepper
What you do:

Peel and slice the potatoes and onions very finely. You could use a potato peeler to slice the potato – that’s how fine they should be ideally!

Peel the garlic. In a medium-sized frying pan heat some oil – enough to cover the bottom of the pan – and add the garlic. Add in the potatoes and onions and shake it around to get all the pieces coated in oil. Put a lid on the pan (or cover it with a plate if you don’t have a lid) and turn the heat down low. Allow to cook, stirring occasionally until the potatoes are done. Remove from the pan and discard the garlic.

Break the eggs into a bowl. Add the potatoes and onions and season well. Tip into the pan. You might need to add a little more oil before doing this. Now turn the heat right down as far as it will go and leave to cook until almost set. This could take 15-20 minutes.

Put the lid or plate back over the pan and tip the omelette out onto it and then slide it back in the pan with the cooked side on top, to give the other side a chance to brown a little.

When it’s ready, cut into slices and serve with salad and bread.

You can add a mix of vegetables to the eggs. Try sliced pre-sautéed mushrooms or peppers, or cooked frozen sweetcorn or peas. Grated cheese will add another strong flavour.

There’s no reason for vegetarian kids to miss out on burgers. The pulses in this recipe provide the protein that meat-eaters get from meat.

Anna Burgers
What you need:
  • 1 pepper
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • ¾ cup red lentils
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 cup tinned kidney beans
  • 1slice bread, chopped finely into breadcrumbs
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1-2 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 2 heaped teaspoons tomato puree
What you do:

Remove the core and seeds from the pepper and chop it into small pieces. Peel and finely chop the carrot. Fry the pepper and carrot in some oil for about 10 minutes until softened.Add the lentils and stock, and simmer, with the lid on, for 10 minutes.

In a bowl combine the kidney beans, breadcrumbs, beaten egg, paprika, chilli powder and tomato puree.

Add the mushy lentil mixture and then put into the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Flour your hands generously and shape into burgers (it will be sticky but firm). Fry in a little oil, or bake in a medium oven, 180oC, gas mark 4, for 25 minutes.

Serve with different toppings – try ketchup, onion rings, rocket, and beansprouts!

Think of nut roast and what comes to mind? Hippies? Multi-coloured kaftans? Today’s nut roast is quite a different creation from that of the past. Nuts are a useful source of protein and other goodies, and this is a very simple recipe that results in a delicious loaf that all the family, vegetarian or not can enjoy.

Curried Nut Roast
What you need:
  • 8 oz mixed nuts
  • 1 tin tomatoes
  • 1 green pepper
  • 2 onions
  • 3 oz breadcrumbs
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 teaspoon mixed herbs
  • 1 tablespoon mild curry powder
  • 1 egg
  • Oil
  • Salt & pepper
What you do:

Preheat the oven to 220oC, gas mark 7. Grease a large loaf tin.

Whiz the nuts in a food processor or blender for a few seconds. If you don’t have either, buy nuts already chopped or chop them finely yourself.

Remove the core and seeds from the pepper and chop it into small pieces. Peel and finely chop the onion. Fry the pepper and onion in some oil for about 10 minutes until softened.Mix the nuts, breadcrumbs, crushed garlic, herbs and curry powder together. Drain the tin of tomatoes and add them to the mix along with the onion and pepper. Season well and mix thoroughly.

Add the beaten egg to the mix to help bind it.

Pack into the tin and bake for 30-40 minutes until golden brown.

Serve it with salad or stir-fried or other vegetables, with a tomato sauce.

Tomato Sauce
What you need:
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tin tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato puree
  • 1 dessertspoon tomato ketchup
  • Salt & pepper
  • A handful of fresh basil
  • Olive oil
What you do:

Peel and chop the onion and garlic. Fry them in oil until softened. Add the tin of tomatoes, the puree and tomato ketchup. Break up the tomatoes with a fork. Season well. Bring to the boil then simmer for 15 minutes. Finely chop the basil and add to the pan. Simmer for another 15 minutes.

This sauce goes well with pasta dishes, and can be varied by using different herbs or chilli powder.

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