Vegetarian kids know an important secret: vegetables are delicious. Despite the jokes about broccoli and lima beans, vegetarian moms and their families know that they can choose from many tasty vegetables and delicious meat-free dishes. Quick, convenient vegetarian dinner menus save time, so you can feel confident about your nutritious vegetarian choices.
Plenty of traditional pasta options can be prepared in a vegetarian-friendly way. Macaroni and cheese is a tasty meal for kids that also appeals to adults. For extra flavor, nutrition and variety, chop up some colorful veggies such as tomatoes, green and red peppers or broccoli. Try different cheese flavors, such as mozzarella or Parmesan instead of cheddar. Load up chunky tomato sauce with your kids' favorite vegetables and use fun, interesting noodles, such as meat-free tortellini or gnocchi dumplings. In the summer months, try a cold pasta salad prepared with an assortment of veggies and garnished with a creamy dressing.
For a casual dinner, sandwiches are both filling and versatile. Veggie burgers - piled high with tomato, lettuce and pickle - are an ideal dinner for warm weather. Add some roasted potatoes on the side instead of French fries or try nutrient-rich sweet potato fries for added tastiness. Provide ketchup, honey mustard or ranch for dipping. Grilled cheese is a childhood favorite. Experiment with different breads, such as a hearty whole grain or pumpernickel. For a complete meal, serve the grilled cheese with a thick, creamy tomato soup and add tomato slices to each sandwich before grilling.
Many Mexican dinner staples can be adapted for vegetarians. Use whole wheat or sprouted wheat tortillas for extra flavor and nutrition. Set out bowls of different veggies, such as beans, chopped tomatoes, avocado and lettuce, as well as shredded cheese and salsa. Kids can pile their own toppings onto the tortilla base. Quesadillas are easy to make by melting cheese between two tortillas. Add lots of vegetables before grilling or baking the quesadillas and cut the finished circles into triangles. Provide salsa and guacamole for dipping. If your kids aren't big fans of spicy foods, a ranch-flavored dip might please their delicate taste buds.
Vegetarian side dishes add variety to dinners throughout the week and provide extra options for growing kids and picky eaters. Salads can be changed according to season or occasion. For a winter dinner, add chopped pecans, cranberries and a rich, savory salad dressing. During warmer weather, add chopped strawberries, fresh blueberries and a sweet balsamic dressing. Meat-free soups are also versatile. Hearty bean-based soups are suitable during autumn and winter, while light, creamy soups are ideal during the warmer months. For instance, gazpacho is a chilled soup with lots of tomato and cucumber.
Like This Article? Let Us Know!
- Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images