Mom’s Request: Fast and Vegetarian Meals

Vegetables Lovin'  KidI received a request from my friend Louisa last week on Facebook for fast vegetarian meals. So this post is dedicated to her and my friend Eliza, both busy moms. They are always on the hunt for tasty meals that can satisfy both parents and children.

The best way to get your kids to enjoy vegetables and crave them later in life, is to make recipes that are vegetable based that can become part of your family’s dinner time favorites. Here are three recipes to add to your collection, that are fast to prepare, kid friendly, and bursting with vital vegetables and legumes:

Quinoa Risotto

Kids love quinoa because it’s mild tasting and looks like mini pasta shapes. You’ll love this dish because it has both spinach, the super hero of the veggie world, and quinoa – both high in iron and a great way to get two sources of iron in this quinoa risotto.

Black Bean Quesadilla

When I was in grad school, taking a full load of classes and working a part-time job, time to cook was really scarce. I relied on cooking easy hot meals like quesadillas filled with cheese and thinly sliced zucchini. Surprise you kids tonight with a quesadilla that they will love because they can eat it with their hands, no silverware required. And you’ll love it because it has three rich sources of protein – black beans, tofu, and cheese. One half a quesadilla gives you a whopping 17 grams of protein, more than half of a toddler’s requirements for a day. Cook the beans ahead and use them throughout the week.

Lentil Tacos

When I was a kid, I always looked forward to “Mexican” night at my house. My granny would make tacos with all the fixings, so I could fill my own warm tacos. Most kids don’t like the look of a mushy lentil soup, but lentils in these tasty tacos look like ground meat and have the same seasoning. You’ll love these tacos because lentils are bursting with fiber, just one cup gives you more then half you daily needs along with half the folate that your kids needs for healthy cell production.

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