Here are some great recipes that offer a new twist to your child’s vegetarian diet!
White Bean Burritos
White beans have a great mild flavor that most children find appealing.
Ingredients for each burrito:
4 Tbsp canned, white beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 Tsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp cheddar or jack cheese
1/2 Tsp chopped cilantro
1 Tbsp mashed avocado
1 Small flour tortilla
Place beans and lemon juice in a bowl and mash with a fork. Mix in cheese and cilantro. Heat the mixture in microwave for 30 seconds, until cheese is melted. Spoon the bean mixture and mashed avocado on the flour tortilla crosswise, fold the tortilla in on 2 opposite sides, and roll it up lengthwise. Let it cool before serving.
Tip: If the flour tortilla seems a bit stiff, you can soften the tortilla by placing it between 2 damp paper towels and microwave 20 seconds.
Broccoli and Rice Casserole
While broccoli is terrific in it's native "tree" form, it is also yummy chopped, julienned and pureed. Simply steamed, it is a perfect finger food. Our broccoli and rice casserole is an example of what can be done with pureed broccoli. If you don't feel like making the rice called for in the recipe, stop by a Chinese restaurant and buy a quart to go (by the way, brown rice is better for you than white rice).
2 Cups chopped broccoli
3/4 Cup vegetable stock
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp olive oil
2-3 Cups of cooked brown or white rice
1/2 Cup shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
Pre heat oven to 350 F. Steam broccoli until tender (about 3-4 minutes in microwave/stovetop). Place broccoli, soup stock, oil and lemon juice in a blender or food processor and process to a smooth puree. Place rice and cheese in an ovenproof dish. Pour broccoli mixture over the rice and cheese. Toss mixture gently to blend ingredients. Place in oven for 15 minutes or until heated through and the cheese is melted. (Instead of using the oven, you can heat this dish in the microwave for 3 minutes, stir, and cook 3 more minutes)
Storage: Refrigerate leftovers for 3-5 days or can be frozen for up to 2 months.
Creamy Cukes for Kids
Our grandmother made this delicious creamy cucumber salad that was a staple on her dinner table all summer long. This salad is a great childhood memory of times spent with Grandma, and we are delighted to share it with you. We hope your children love it.
2 Medium cucumbers, peeled
1/2 Cup sour cream
2 Tsp apple cider vinegar
2 Tsp sugar
1 Tsp fresh dill, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Cut cucumbers in half longwise. With a small spoon, scrape out seeds and slice cucumbers about 1/4-inch thick slices. In a medium-size bowl, add sour cream, vinegar, sugar and fresh dill and mix together with a spoon until smooth. Add the cucumbers and toss gently to coat the cucumbers with dressing. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Makes 4-5 servings.
Variation: Add 1/2 cup of mango, watermelon or cantaloupe chunks to this recipe.
Your kids will love these tasty little finger foods, and they're easy to whip together.
4 Fresh pineapple chunks (1/2-inch pieces)
2 Oz Colby jack marble cheese cubes (1/2-inch pieces)
2 Oz teriyaki-flavored baked tofu (1/4 inch slice, cut into 1-inch squares)
Using toothpicks, assemble the mini-kabobs on a toothpick in the following manner: 1 tofu square, 1 pineapple chunk, 1 tofu square, and a cheese cube.
Makes 4 mini-kabobs
These wraps can be served as a traditional wrap sandwich or slice it into pieces (like a sushi roll) for bite-sized treats.
1 Tbsp peanut butter or sunflower butter?
1 Tbsp cream cheese?
1/2 Kiwi?Tortilla -- whole wheat or plain (squared)
Remove the skin from the kiwi and slice it into thin rounds. Spread peanut butter over half the wrap and add cream cheese on the other half of the wrap. Arrange the kiwi slices evenly over the cream cheese. Beginning on the cream cheese end, gently roll up the tortilla forming a log shape. The peanut butter will act as the glue to keep it together. Serve.
The fun name of this recipe may be just enough to get your kids to try this delicious veggie dish. This is also a great recipe to get the kids involved in preparing. Older children can frost the zucchini and younger ones can dip them into the bread crumbs.
3 Medium zucchini (about 8-9 inches long)
1/2 Cup mayonnaise
1/4 Cup green onions, finely chopped
1/2 Tsp lemon zest
3 Tbsp parmesan cheese
1/8 Tsp garlic powder
1/3 Cup bread crumbs
Cut zucchini into 3/4-inch rounds. Steam in microwave until barely tender, about 2-4 minutes (test with fork). Drain and let cool. Mix together remaining ingredients except the bread crumbs. Frost one side of the zucchini slice with the mayonnaise mixture. Dip the frosted side of the zucchini in bread crumbs and place them on a foil-lined cookie sheet. Broil them in the oven until lightly browned.
Makes 4-6 servings.
Fruity Smooth and Creamy Popsicles
These simple popsicles are the perfect refreshing solution! For variety, change the flavor of the pops by adding different fruits. You can purchase a Popsicle mold at a grocery store or online. If you don't want to invest in a Popsicle mold, small plastic or paper cups or empty yogurt containers work wonderfully for making Popsicles. Add a wooden craft stick for the Popsicle stick.
1 10.5-ounce package silken tofu
1 Medium banana
2 Cups unsweetened orange-pineapple or apple juice
1 Cup of diced fruit: strawberries, blueberries, pineapple, kiwi, watermelon, cantaloupe, peaches, pears, plums, mango or papaya
Combine all ingredients in a blender; cover and process until smooth. Pour the mixture into a Popsicle mold and freeze. Makes about 12 Popsicles.
Tip: If you find the mixture to be a tad on the tart side, don't reach for the sugar, add a little sweetness with a tablespoon or two of maple syrup, honey or fruit spreads.
Cheryl Tallman and Joan Ahlers are sisters, the mothers of five children and founders of Fresh Baby (www.FreshBaby.com). They are the creators of the award-winning So Easy Baby Food Kit and Good Clean Fun Placemats, available at many fine specialty stores and national chains including Target and Whole Foods Markets.