Vegetarian Meals

Celeriac Soup (Preparation Time +/- 40min)

When I say “Soup”, you say “Mess!”. Not with this one! The white soup looks boring but tastes (and smells) amazing! It is easy to make with very little (cheap) ingredients. This makes it the perfect dish on weekdays when you’re in a rush. I usually serve it with two slices of whole wheat toast or baguette. I always try to keep the consistency of the soup a bit thicker than you would usually expect from a soup. This makes it easier for the kids to eat it. And here is a tip that will avoid crying and annoying hungry kids before dinner: make sure to cook soup with just enough water to be able to cook the celeriac. After mashing the veggies, you can add cold water to make it the right consistency for your children. This way you can serve the soup a lot quicker than letting it cool down first. The worst thing is hungry children who need to wait until their meal has cooled down!

Necessities:

One frying pan
A large casserole or even better: a pressure cooker
Vegetable Oil
2 large onions, chopped
2/3 garlic cloves, crushed
1,5 teaspoons of ground cumin
2 large celeriac or three smaller ones cut into cubes
1 liter of (boiling) water (approximately)
2 vegetable stock cubes
Freshly ground pepper

How to prepare

Fry the chopped onions in the large casserole/pressure cooker (medium heat) with vegetable oil until soft and golden brown
Add the crushed garlic
Add the cumin and fry for 1 minute
Add the celeriac cubes
Add the water (all the celeriac cubes should ‘touch’ the water. This will be sufficient water to cook until the cubes are soft)
Add the stock cubes
Let everything come to a boil. Should you be using a pressure cooker, the celeriac will be cooked in less than 15min. In a conventional casserole it will take about 30 minutes
Use a handheld blender to make the soup a smooth consistency

Now, the dish is ready to be served. I hope you’ll like this as much as we do!

Simplified Shakshuka (Preparation Time +/- 40min)

I love Shakshuka! So, when I see it on the menu in a restaurant, that’s what I will order. You can eat it with toasted bread with a little bit of olive oil, but sometimes I serve it with baked potatoes. I prepare the dish in mini cocottes, which makes it even more interesting for young children. Who doesn’t want his own cocotte! Obviously it is perfectly fine to make this recipe in a large oven dish. Important note: make sure to take plenty of time to let the cocottes cool down before serving.

Necessities:

One frying pan
A large casserole
6 cocottes or one large oven dish
Olive Oil
2 large onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1 teaspoon of ground cumin
1 teaspoon of ground smoked paprika powder (the mild one)
1 teaspoon of Za’atar (if you don’t have this, leave it out)
zest of one lemon
3 cans of peeled tomatoes (cut the tomatoes into pieces by running a knife through the can a few times)
2-3 Zucchinis cut into cubes
6 organic eggs (the amount depends on the number of cocottes)
Salt & Freshly Ground Pepper

Optional:

Fresh Parsley leaves for serving

How to prepare:

Preheat the oven at 200/220 degrees Celcius
Fry the chopped onions in the large casserole (medium heat) with olive oil until soft and golden brown
Add the sliced garlic
Add the cumin and smoked paprika and fry for 1 minute
Add the lemon zest, add salt and pepper and let it simmer for 5 minutes
Put the zucchini cubes in another frying pan (without oil!) and grill until the cubes are light brown
Now you can start preparing the cocottes for the oven
Put the tomato sauce in the cocotte and fill it up to ¾
Put one large spoon of the grilled zucchini on the sauce and put one egg on top
Place all the cocottes on a baking tray and place in the oven until the egg is completely cooked (it will take approx. 10minutes)
Sprinkle some Za’Atar on top and the optional parsley and let it cool down

Now, the dish is ready to be served. I hope you’ll like this as much as I do!

Chickpea Curry, the easy way (Preparation Time +/- 40min)

We try to limit our meat consumption to (at most) two times a week. This might seem impossible, but honestly it is really easy! In my dishes, I use all different kinds of beans, peas and vegetables as a meat replacement. An upside to not eating meat – besides the obvious environmental benefits – is that it can help in weight management too.

Obviously, the most important thing is that our children enjoy the food we serve them. This recipe does the trick: I guarantee any kid will love it!

Necessities:

A large casserole
A handheld blender
Vegetable oil
1-2 large onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
A piece of fresh ginger root, finely chopped (I use roughly 3cm of a normal sized piece of ginger)
1 teaspoon of ground cumin
2 teaspoons of ground coriander seeds
½ teaspoon of ground fennel seeds
2 teaspoons of Garam Masala (I make it myself, but you can also buy it in the supermarket. In case the store-bought Masala is too spicy, be sure to use less than 2 teaspoons!)
½ teaspoon of ginger powder
½ teaspoon of ground turmeric/curcuma
1 small can of tomato puree
½ cauliflower finely chopped (the smaller the pieces the quicker it is cooked)
1 can of peeled tomatoes
3 cans of chickpeas, drain the peas and rinse before use (you can use the dried ones, but you’ll need to soak those overnight)

Optional:

Fresh Coriander leaves for serving

How to prepare:

Fry the chopped onions in the large casserole with a little bit of vegetable oil until soft and golden brown
Add the chopped garlic and ginger root and fry for 1 minute
Add all the spices and fry for 1 minute
Add the tomato puree and fry for 1 minute
Add the finely chopped cauliflower and stir it a few times
Add the peeled tomatoes and let it simmer until the cauliflower is soft
When the cauliflower is completely cooked, use the handheld blender to make a smooth sauce. This is the secret to getting your children to eat the hidden veggies 😉
Let the sauce simmer and add the chickpeas
Add salt and freshly ground pepper and sprinkle a little bit of garam masala on top
The dish is ready to be served when the chickpeas are warm

Serve this curry with brown rice and the optional Coriander leaves and enjoy!

Easy Cauliflower Dish (preparation time +/- 40 minutes)

This dish is easy, extremely easy! It looks tasty, it smells delicious and tastes so good. It is an “omelet” packed with veggies. It looks like lasagne, but it is a healthier (and easier) version.

Necessities for eight squares of “omelets”

Oven dish, buttered well
Frying pan
Vegetable oil
10 eggs
3 onions, finely chopped
½ cauliflower (chopped in cubes/small pieces)
5/6 grated carrots
Grated Parmesan Cheese/Aged goat cheese or any other cheese you prefer
Salt & Pepper

How to prepare:

Preheat the oven at 160 degrees. Make sure that the casserole is buttered well in order to make clean-cut squares of omelets.

Put some vegetable oil in a frying pan on medium heat. Fry the chopped onion in the pan until golden brown. Add the cauliflower and fry for two minutes. Let it cool down a little bit.
Wisk all the eggs in the large bowl, stir in the onion/cauliflower mixture and the grated carrots. Add a little bit of salt and freshly ground pepper (the cheese will make it salty as well so easy on the salt!). Put the mixture in the oven dish and scatter the grated cheese on top until you have a (very) thin layer of cheese.

Put it in the oven for about 20 minutes. The total time in the oven depends on the size of your oven dish. I used a square oven dish by Le Creuset of 30/23cm and it took around 20 minutes to be completely cooked.
After taking it out of the oven, let it cool down a little bit before cutting the squares.

I serve this dish with a small tomato salad and/or a green salad, but you can obviously skip that part and just dive in 🙂
These squares are also perfect to have for lunch the day after or you can freeze them for another day. Enjoy!

Mini Spinach Omelettes with Goat Cheese (preparation time +/- 30 minutes)

Spinach can be a hard vegetable to serve to small children. With these mini spinach omelettes you might be able to make your children love spinach! These omelettes are a big hit in our house.

Necessities:

Muffin tray(s), I use the mini muffin tray from Le Creuset. It is a non-stick baking tray (and when I say “non-stick”, I mean really non-stick!) and the muffins are bite-size. This makes them even more interesting to young children.
Eggs (approx. 4-5 eggs for the entire tray, which has 12 cups)
Frozen Spinach, 1/2 cup for the whole tray
Goat cheese (approx. 30-50 grams of soft goat cheese)

How to prepare:

Preheat your oven at 180 degrees
Put the eggs, the spinach and the goat cheese in a blender and blend it until it is smooth
Fill each entire cup with the mixture
Now you put the tray(s) in the oven for 15 minutes or until the eggs are cooked well.

Baby Omelettes with Vegetables (preparation time +/- 30 minutes)

I always try to come up with healthy and quick recipes for the kids. These small omelettes are one of their favourites.

Necessities:

Muffin tray(s)
Eggs (approx. 2 eggs for three small omelettes)
Vegetables (e.g. broccoli cut into small pieces, frozen peas and/or grated carrots)

Optional:

Feta cheese cut into small pieces, or
Parmesan cheese

How to prepare:

Preheat your oven at 180 degrees
Wisk the eggs and if you want to use feta cheese, you can add it to the mixture.
Put the vegetables in the cups of the tray. You can fill the each entire cup with vegetables.
Put the egg mixture in the cups and fill them up to the max.
If you want to add some parmesan cheese, you can grate it on top op the cups.*
Now you put the tray(s) in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until the eggs are cooked well.

* I would recommend using just a little bit of the cheese since it can make the omelettes too salty for small children

Buckwheat Pancakes (preparation time +/- 30 minutes)

We all know that kids love pancakes! I want to serve my kids something they really like, but at the same time I want their food to be healthy and nutritious. I bake them buckwheat pancakes occasionally and they love it! Buckwheat is high in protein, it is gluten-free and great for the digestion. The pancakes are really easy to make and you can make them as (un)healthy as you want.

Necessities:

Non-stick frying pan
For 4 large pancakes or 8 small ones*:
100 grams of Buckwheat flour
1/2 teaspoon of Ground Cinnamon
A pinch of salt
300ml Milk
1 Large Egg (or two small ones)
Butter or Vegetable Oil

* I usually make double (or even triple) the amount. You can freeze the pancakes for another day!

What to do:

Mix the milk and eggs in a large bowl. Sift the buckwheat flour, the cinnamon and salt and slowly add it to the milk mixture while whisking it. Whisk until it becomes a very smooth liquid batter without any lumps.

Add some oil or butter to a very hot frying pan and add a large scoop of the batter in the pan. Flip the pancake ONLY when the top is completely ‘dry’. And fry the other side for a minute or two before putting it on a plate. I usually bake all the pancakes in advance and put them on a plate covered with tin foil.

To finish the pancakes off, I put grated apple mixed with cinnamon on top or I spread mashed bananas on it. Obviously the options to finish these pancakes to the taste of your child are endless!

Blueberry Pancakes (preparation time +/- 30 minutes)

I did a post on buckwheat pancakes a few weeks ago. I always try different varieties (one healthier than the other). These blueberry (buckwheat) pancakes are definitely worth to try for lunch!

Necessities:

Non-stick frying pan
For 4 large pancakes or 8 small ones*:
100 grams Buckwheat flour
1/2 teaspoon of Ground Cinnamon
A pinch of salt
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of sugar
¼ teaspoon of vanilla extract
250ml Milk
1 Large Egg (or two small ones)
1/2 cup of frozen blueberries
Butter or Vegetable Oil

* I usually make double (or even triple) the amount. You can freeze the pancakes for another day!

What to do:

Mix the milk and eggs in a large bowl. Sift the buckwheat flour, the cinnamon, the salt and the baking powder and slowly add it to the milk mixture while whisking it. Whisk until it becomes a very smooth liquid batter without any lumps. Add the vanilla extract and the blueberries and gently mix the berries through the batter.

Add some oil or butter to a very hot frying pan and add a large scoop of the batter in the pan. Flip the pancake ONLY when the top is completely ‘dry’. And fry the other side for a minute or two before putting it on a plate. I usually bake all the pancakes in advance and put them on a plate covered with tin foil.

Add some Maple Syrup and you will have perfect pancakes!

Very Mild Thai Curry with vegetables (preparation time approx. 40 minutes)

My husband and I love Thai food and especially the spicy curries are our favourites. We really want our children to get familiar with all these exotic flavours, but the very spicy dishes are obviously not suitable for very young children. So, I came up with a Thai Curry paste that tastes like a real curry (it contains most of the original ingredients), but it is not spicy at all. The combination of the curry paste, vegetables and coconut milk makes it a little bit sweet so it is exactly what young children love! When I make this curry, I always make sure to make a lot since they would always eat more than one serving 🙂 I hope yours will love it too!

Necessities:

For the curry paste:
A food processor/blender
4 teaspoons of coriander seeds (roasted in a pan for 1-2 minutes)
1 teaspoon of black pepper corns
3 large shallots
2-3 minced garlic cloves
Ginger (approx. 3x2cm)
2 lemon grass stalks (you can keep those in the freezer, so buy a bunch at once and freeze the rest!)
6-7 lime leaves (you find those in every Asian supermarket in the frozen food section)
2 teaspoons shrimp paste (also available in Asian supermarkets. The paste smells horrible! But trust me, it really adds a lot of flavour to your curry)
A bunch of Fresh Coriander, stalks only! You can save the leaves to add to your plate once the curry is finished.

For the curry:
A wok
1 table spoon of coconut oil or vegetable oil
1 can of coconut milk (you can add more if you like more sauce or if you want the curry to be really mild)
Vegetables cut into pieces. You can use whatever vegetables you like. For instance: You can make a pumpkin curry by adding small cubes of pumpkin (I use a whole pumpkin and you can leave the skin on!) or you can use a broccoli. A variety of veggies are also an option.
Fish sauce instead of salt (use just a tiny bit of it, you can always add more)
Juice of one lime

Brown rice

Optional:
Chicken filet cut into small pieces

How to prepare:

The curry paste:

First, ground the coriander seeds and the black pepper corns in a food processor or in a blender.
Add all the other ingredients for the curry paste plus a little bit of water and blend them until it becomes a smooth puree. The curry paste might not look appetising, but it sure is!

Now, you are ready to make the curry:

Put the coconut oil in the wok on high heat
Add the curry paste and fry for 1-2 minutes
Add the optional chicken and fry until cooked
Add the vegetables (e.g. pumpkin or broccoli or a combination of vegetables)
Add the coconut milk and turn the heat low and let it simmer for 1-2 minutes if you like the vegetables to still have a bite, if you like the vegetables to be completely cooked (this might be a better option for young children), you can let this simmer until the vegetables are soft.
When the curry is ready, turn off the heat and add the lime juice and a tiny bit of fish sauce to taste

Your Thai curry is ready! Serve the curry with brown rice and put some coriander leaves on top if you like. As I mentioned before, I love spicy curries, so I sprinkle some sliced chili on top of my plate. Enjoy!

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