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ItoLina
06-03-2012, 10:43 PM
So I found this great group of homeschoolers and we meet once a week (rotating houses) and have a little school, a little play, and lunch together. Two of the families in the group are vegan, so we do vegan luches. My family is definately not vegan, so I am at a loss of what to make when it is my turn. So far I have been doing a lot of beans and rice because my kids will eat that too, but I feel like I should change it up a bit here.

So, any tried and true vegan recipes that my picky eaters would also eat? Thanks!

dragonfly
06-04-2012, 02:24 AM
I know it's similar to rice and beans, but you could do a vegan chili. There's lots of ways to do it--you can get pre-packaged starter mixes that have the spices and vegan "meat" to which you'd add tomatoes, onions, etc. I've done some great chili with no meat, but lots of veggies, like onions, peppers, broccoli, olives, zucchini... (broccoli is great 'cause it adds a nice chunkiness). You can also get frozen vegan recipe crumbles (Boca makes a good one), which is just like crumbled burger (but, you know--no meat). You'd be surprised by how much it is like hamburger once it's in the chili.

I just made some vegan chili earlier, so that's why it popped into my head here. I made a separate skillet of browned hamburger to add to the individual servings for my son and dh, because they eat cow and I don't. (Or bird, or pig. Unless it's bacon or pepperoni. I just can't resist.)

Oh, and I actually made some vegan cornbread, too--it's not hard, just use almond, rice, or whatever non-dairy milk you like. Oh wait--it had eggs--but that's pretty easy to replace with flaxseed meal. You can get that already made, or get a bag of flaxseed and grind some in a (clean) coffee grinder. One tablespoon of meal plus three tablespoons of water (let it soak for a few minutes) can replace one egg in bread recipes.

Hummus and vegan chips and raw veggies are always a good standby. If you can find some vegan wraps or tortillas, hummus wraps are awesome. You can fill them with tomatoes, sprouts, shredded carrot, onions, etc. Cheese is really good in them for the non-vegans. You can get vegan cheese, but I've found it usually tastes pretty bad. But that may be just the one or two that I've tried.

Eccentricowls
06-04-2012, 02:54 AM
Try typing Vegan before any dish you can think of in a search engine and it will probably come up with tons of ideas. It is so awesome that you are willing to make vegan friendly foods even though you don't eat that way. I eat vegan, so that means I usually eat before I go anywhere or I will go hungry.

Kids usually like to dip, so a veggie/fruit platter with hummus/peanut butter/re-fried black beans (watch for lard) to dip
Ants on a log, celery filled with peanut butter and topped with raisins
Noodles with spaghetti sauce
This looks yummy http://allrecipes.com/recipe/quinoa-cranberry-salad-with-pecans/
I love these brownies! http://allrecipes.com/recipe/vegan-brownies/ (http://allrecipes.com/recipe/vegan-brownies/) I cut down the sugar to 1.5cup and added vegan chocolate chunks and walnuts to the batter. I also like thicker brownies so I use a slightly smaller pan and bake longer but maybe for kids a thinner treat would be better.

If all else fails go to whole foods they have a great salad bar with lots of vegan choices. I am a big fan of the Vegan "egg" salad they offer but there are tons of choices.

hockeymom
06-04-2012, 06:30 AM
Soups are easy, most of the soups I make are vegan. Broccoli (my son's fave), anything tomato (think tomato tortellini--watch for egg, tomato rice, etc), spring veggie and so on. Gazpacho if it's hot, or a melon soup to make them feel fancy. :)

Noodles! Udon or whole wheat spaghetti noodles topped with veggies and a light Asian sauce (peanut or just soy sauce, rice vinegar and lime juice) topped with sesame seeds or seaweed. We could eat that every day.

Salads. Not just green salads, but think grains. Quinoa tabbouleh is so simple and filling, or use any grains as a base.

Kale chips for fun! I bake them with a bit of Braggs and a dusting of nutritional yeast, but just sea salt is good too. We think the dinosaur kale is yummiest; my son will eat an entire bunch at once if he gets the chance. You can also make your own chips using beets, parsnips or carrots. Fun and so pretty (and yummy!).

Don't forget homemade berry sorbet for dessert; Martha Stewart has a super simple recipe (I'm sure there are many).

Munchie33
06-05-2012, 12:26 PM
We do a few things which, upon reflection, are vegan. My kids can make them on their own, which speaks of how easy they are to make.

Mexican bake (it's vaguely Central American-themed)
Ingredients:
large packet of corn chips, a tin of mix beans, tin of sliced mushrooms, 1 diced avocado, a tin of salsa/a few chopped tomatos and your favourite spices. This is the smallest version and feeds 2, so double etc. as necessary. Don't worry about proportions, it'll always taste good. And if you're missing things, like the avocado or the mushrooms, it still works fine.
Put the lot (minus juice from tins of beans and mushrooms) in an oven-proof container. Try not to crush the chips too much, they get soggy.
Bake at 180'C for 20-30 minutes and enjoy.

Pumpkin Cakes ('cake' as in 'pancake')
Ingredients:
pumpkin, self raising flour, sugar, cinnamon (optional but I like it)
Chop up a pumpkin. This will need an adult. boil the pieces until soft and mash them. Mix in roughly an equal volume of flour, lots of sugar (be liberal - I use about a third as much as I do flour) and some cinnamon. Fry like little pancakes (aim for small and lots - about 2 inches diameter each). This is a traditional Chinese food and it's unbelievably yummy.


Easiest Sorbet on Earth
Ingredients:
a tin of whatever fruit you want the sorbet to be the flavour of. That's all you need. Seriously.
Blend the tin contents, juice and all, until as smooth as it will get. Freeze for 2-4 hours (depends on how much sorbet you're making!) and eat. Good for lactose, gluten, egg, and peanut-allergic people.

Soy Banana Smoothies (DH is lactose-intolerant)
Ingredients:
Soy milk (about 1 cup per person), 1 tsp vanilla, 1-2 tbs sugar, 1 banana
Blend the lot and enjoy. I like to sprinkle nutmeg on top but my kids hate it.

Actually, chop up and blend any fruits you can think of for some delicious and easy Summer fruit smoothies. Smoothies are almost impossible to get wrong. Mix up any old fruits and it is almost guaranteed to taste fantastic.

Oh, and if you're okay with gluten, go find your nearest Chinese or Asian supermarket. Buy some tinned fake duck or chicken that's made of gluten. It is amazing. Vegetarianism and veganism are relatively new and minor in the West, but they're much more 'standard' in China and they've had a few thousand years to figure some darn tasty recipes.

Mslksdh
06-05-2012, 12:59 PM
There's lots of ways to do it--you can get pre-packaged starter mixes that have the spices and vegan "meat" to which you'd add tomatoes, onions, etc.


Just make sure to read the package because some of the starter meals have egg and dairy in them! Hubby was trying to be nice and grabbed one and was all proud. It's still in the freezer cause it has egg in it and so I can't eat it :-/

AddlepatedMonkeyMama
06-05-2012, 08:07 PM
My standby vegan dish is pasta salad with lots of veggies--halved grape tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, blanched broccoli or green beans--and a simple dressing.

Hockeymom--how do I get invited to lunch? :)

ItoLina
06-06-2012, 09:02 PM
Thanks to everyone for all the ideas. I appreciate it. I feel like it will be easier already. I am not a "cook" as it is, so I think I just needed a little push to think outside the box here. =) Some of this stuff sounds really yummy.

hockeymom
06-07-2012, 07:19 AM
Hockeymom--how do I get invited to lunch? :)

Come on up any time, AMM! :)

hockeymom
06-07-2012, 07:21 AM
Thanks to everyone for all the ideas. I appreciate it. I feel like it will be easier already. I am not a "cook" as it is, so I think I just needed a little push to think outside the box here. =) Some of this stuff sounds really yummy.

It isn't as mysterious as it might initially sound (hmm, kind of like homeschooling! lol). It's awesome that you are being so accommodating and willing to try new foods for these kids--you are setting a great example right there! :)

LuvMyPink83
06-15-2012, 01:29 PM
I know I'm late but kids seem to really love sweet potatoe fries. I just cut them put olive oil all over then season them as I would regular fries. They're so yummy. The other night we just ate that and a huge bowl of assorted fruit: sliced bananas, strawberries, grapes, apple slices, or whatever fruit you wanna add.

linseym
07-26-2012, 03:10 PM
I work as a personal chef (in addition to homeschooling :) ) and one of my clients is vegan. Here are a few things I make for them that they LOVE. (Ice cream esp. is a BIG hit with kids!) For these recipes too you can easily add a protein (like lean chicken) for non-vegans.

Fried Polenta with Roasted Vegetable Ragu'

Polenta recipe:
3 cups water
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups polenta (or just use cornmeal if you can't find Polenta)
1 tsp thyme
1/8 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
2 Tbs olive oil
oil for loaf pan and for frying.

Directions: Bring water and salt to a simmer over medium high heat (do not boil). Slowly whisk in polenta and continue to whisk until thickened (about 3-5 minutes). Add thyme and olive oil. Oil loaf pan and spread polenta out in the pan evenly. allow to cool then cover with plastic wrap and place in fridge overnight. When ready to serve remove polenta from pan, slice into 1/2 inch slices and gently fry in a few tablespoons of olive oil until warmed through and lightly golden brown.

Roasted Vegetable Ragu'

1 leek trimmed and rinsed well. (cut into 1/2 inch wide half moon pieces) discard the dark green top (red onion is good in this too if you can't find or want to use leeks)
2 cups chopped cauliflower florets
1 cup carrots cut into bite sized pieces
8 oz. baby portabella mushrooms (cleaned and halved or quartered depending on size)
4 cloves chopped garlic
2 roma tomatoes chopped
1 tablespoon each fresh thyme and marjoram (feel free to use dried if you don't have fresh)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup fresh basil chiffonade (fresh is best here, cut into ribbons)
salt and pepper to taste
Directions:
Pre-heat oven to 425. Toss veggies with olive oil, salt & pepper. Spread out in a baking dish and roast for 20-25 minutes or until veggies are tender. Remove veggies to a dutch oven and place over medium heat. Cook for 5-10 minutes until thickened. Stir in thyme and marjoram. When ready, spoon over polenta, sprinkle basil on top and serve.

Mediterranean Farro Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette

(serves 4)
Ingredients:
1 head of Romaine lettuce chopped
4 cups baby spinach leaves
4 ripe tomatoes diced
2 T. Red onion sliced thinly
1 15oz. can Cannellini beans drained and rinsed
1 cup Farro cooked and cooled
2 oz. sliced black olives
2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
Citrus vinaigrette (recipe follows)

Directions:
Place lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, red onion, beans, farro and black olives in a large bowl. Toss with vinaigrette. Garnish with pine nuts and serve.

Citrus Vinaigrette

Ingredients:
Zest and juice of 1 lemon and 1 orange
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon water
tsp. sea salt
tsp. black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh tarragon chopped
shallot minced

Directions:
Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl and set aside till ready to serve.

Ice cream recipes.
When I make them I use glucose, but it can be hard to find for the average consumer. Sometimes you can find it at cake decorating shops. If you can't find it you can use light corn syrup. (make sure you get the light, not dark) It's important to use an invert sugar (ie: glucose or corn syrup) because it will help stop your ice cream from crystallizing. (which is hard to do with vegan ice creams since there is little to no fat to help this). Another item I use (that may be hard to find) it Tapioca starch. I get this from a Korean grocer. It's pretty cheap. The Tapioca starch will thicken your base to a custard like consistency and help control the water in the base (also hindering crystallization) It also helps with overrun. (the rate at which ice cream melts at room temperature) If you can't find tapioca starch you can use corn starch, it won't quite be the same, but good enough.

Horchata Ice cream
1 1/2 cup Almond milk
1 1/2 cup Rice Milk (vanilla flavor if you can find it)
2 tsp. cinnamon (toast it in a dry pan on high for a few minutes, shaking the pan to bring out the oils)
3/4 c. sugar
1 Tblsp. glucose or light corn syrup
1 Tblsp. tapioca starch mixed with 1 Tblsp. Almond milk

Directions:
Combine milks, cinnamon, sugar and glucose in a sauce pan over medium high heat whisking to combine. Bring to a rolling boil (whisking constantly) for 3 minutes. Add Tapioca starch slurry, whisking. Reduce heat to medium low and continue to stir till mixture is thickened (coats the back of a spoon). Pour in a bowl and allow to cool in fridge over night (minimum of 6 hours)
Process in ice cream maker (according to instructions) about 15 minutes. Place in sealed container and freeze at least 3 hours. Allow to sit out a few minutes before scooping.

Coconut Saffron Ice cream
3 cups coconut milk
pinch saffron
3/4 cup sugar
1 Tblsp. Glucose
1 Tblsp. Tapioca starch mixed with 1 Tblsp. coconut milk

Directions:
Combine milk, sugar glucose and saffron in a sauce pan over medium high heat whisking to combine. Bring to a rolling boil (whisking constantly) then remove from heat. Cover and allow to steep 15-20 minutes. Return to heat, bring back to a boil. Add Tapioca starch slurry, whisking. Reduce heat to medium low and continue to stir till mixture is thickened (coats the back of a spoon). Pour in a bowl and allow to cool in fridge over night (minimum of 6 hours)
Process in ice cream maker (according to instructions) about 15 minutes. Place in sealed container and freeze at least 3 hours. Allow to sit out a few minutes before scooping.

***Now, I realize that Saffron is hideously expensive. You can TOTALLY omit it and just have coconut ice cream. I have also done Coconut Lime, just add the zest of 1 lime. You can do Coconut Vanilla (add the seeds of 1 vanilla bean), Coconut lemongrass, coconut mint, the possibilities are just about endless.