Are you looking for some healthy, but delicious vegetarian dinner recipes for your kids? We’re rounding up 5 such Kid-Friendly, Nutrient-Packed recipes…
Somewhere between macaroni and cauliflower cheese, these pasta bakes are perfect for a cold day.
- 850ml milk
- 50g plain flour
- 50g butter, plus 1 tbsp
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 100g extra mature cheddar, grated
- 25-50g blue cheese
- ½ tsp finely grated nutmeg
- 250g penne
- 1kg cauliflower (2 medium ones), cut into florets
- 750g frozen spinach (whole leaf), defrosted and squeezed dry
- 25g toasted pine nuts
For the tomato sauce
- 4 garlic cloves, 3 sliced, 1 left whole
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 700g jar tomato passata
- For the tomato sauce, cook the sliced garlic in the oil for 1 min, then add the passata. Season, half-cover the pan and simmer for 20 mins until rich.
- Meanwhile, make the cheese sauce. Put the milk, flour and 50g butter into a pan. Heat, whisking non-stop, until smooth, then bubble for 3 mins, stirring to make sure any flouriness is lost. Cool for 5 mins, then stir in the mustard, most of the cheddar, half the blue cheese and half the nutmeg.
- Boil the penne and cauliflower for 8 mins in salted water until the pasta is almost cooked and the cauli is tender. Keep 2 tbsp water from the pan, then drain. Melt 1 tbsp butter in a pan, add the whole garlic clove, spinach, remaining nutmeg, salt and lots of black pepper. Stir for 2 mins, then remove the garlic clove.
- Set aside 300ml cheese sauce and mix the rest into the cauli and pasta. Divide half the tomato sauce between 6 dishes and top with some spinach. Fill with cauli mix, top with more spinach, then the rest of the tomato sauce. Top with the cheese sauce, cheeses and pine nuts. Cover with cling film, cool and chill for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 1 month. To cook, defrost if frozen. Heat oven to 200C/ 180C fan/gas 6. Cook on a baking sheet for 18-20 mins until golden and bubbling. Good with green salad or garlic bread.
This is one of our girls’ favorite soups. Red lentils are the protein star here, and the entire soup can be prepped and cooked in less than an hour.
What you’ll need
1 1/2 tbsp water
1 1/2 cups onion, diced
1 cup celery, diced
1 cup carrots, diced
3 large cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp sea salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
3/4-1 tsp mild curry powder
1 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp dried thyme
2 cups dry red lentils, rinsed
3 cups vegetable stock
3 1/2 – 4 1/2 cups water (adjust to desired consistency)
2-3 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
1-1 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
What to do
In a large pot on medium heat, add water, onion, celery, carrots, garlic, salt, pepper, curry powder, paprika and dried thyme and stir to combine. Cover and cook for 7-8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Rinse lentils. Add lentils, stock, 3 1/2 cups of the water, and stir to combine. Increase heat to bring mixture to a boil. Add rosemary, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 25 minutes. Add vinegar, and more water as desired to thin the soup. Makes 5-6 servings.
We’ve adapted this Italian squash rice-pot recipe so it’s a breeze for kids to make – just follow our step-by-step prep and cooking guide
- 1 small pumpkin or butternut squash- after peeling and scraping out the seeds, you need about 400g/14oz
- 1 tbsp olive oil, plus a drizzle for the pumpkin
- 2 garlic cloves
- 8 spring onions
- 25g butter
- 200g risotto rice
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1l hot vegetable stock, plus extra splash if needed
- 50g grated parmesan (or vegetarian alternative)
- small handful coriander, roughly chopped
- Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/ gas 4. Chop up the pumpkin or squash into 1.5cm cubes (kids- ask for help if it’s slippery). Put it on a baking tray, drizzle over some oil, then roast for 30 mins.
- While the pumpkin is roasting, you can make the risotto. Put the garlic in a sandwich bag, then bash lightly with a rolling pin until it’s crushed.
- Cut up the spring onions with your scissors.
- Heat 1 tbsp oil with the butter in your pan over a medium heat – not too hot. Add the spring onions and garlic. Once the onions are soft but not getting brown, add the rice andcumin. Stir well to coat in the buttery mix for about 1 min.
- Now add half a cup of the stock, and stir every now and then until it has all disappeared into the rice. Carry on adding and stirring in a large splash of stock at a time, until you have used up all the stock – this will take about 20 mins.
- Check the rice is cooked. If it isn’t, add a splash more stock, and carry on cooking for a bit. Once the rice is soft enough to eat, gently stir in the grated cheese, chopped coriander and roasted pumpkin.
- 16 ounce – pasta, shapes
- 1 1/4 cup (1″ cubes) – Pumpkin, raw
- 1 1/2 cup – cashews
- 1 teaspoon – nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon – salt
- 1 tablespoon – olive oil
- 1 teaspoon – sesame oil
- 1/2 cup – pumpkin seed kernels
- 1 tablespoon – basil, fresh
- Place the pumpkin (skin removed) in a pot with boiling water, and cook until it is soft (soft enough so you can mash it with the back of a fork). It should take about 20 minutes.
- In the meanwhile, place the cashews in a bowl with hot boiled water and soak for 10 minutes.
- When the pumpkin has softened enough, remove it from water and place it along with the drained cashews, the nutmeg and the salt in a blender, and blend until it reaches a smooth and creamy texture.
- Cook the pasta according to the manufacturer instructions on the box. A couple minutes before the pasta is about to be ready, heat a large skillet with one tablespoon olive oil and one teaspoon sesame oil, add the pumpkin sauce in and mix, then drain the pasta and add it to the pan. Mix to make sure all pieces are nicely coated with the pumpkin sauce. Serve warm, optionally with some pumpkin seeds and basil leaves on top.
This vegetarian entree shows off a rainbow of vegetables. Adding black beans and a little cheese ensures that the meat won’t be missed.
- 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)
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.