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I need some new meal ideas for my impossible to feed family

(24 Posts)
allhailtheaubergine Mon 12-Sep-11 11:27:41

Even a week's meal plan would be great!

Me: Vegetarian. Pregnant and very funny about eggs and onions atm.
Daughter: Normal 5yo fussiness but not too bad.
Son: Dairy allergy.
Husband: Can just eat what he's given and be grateful!

We tend to either eat vegan, or I have to cook 2 or 3 different dishes per meal.

I'm bored of root veg soups and casseroles and the same old curries and cheeseless pastas.

Any ideas?

Pootles2010 Mon 12-Sep-11 11:33:36

Hmmm... that is a toughie! Do you eat many risottos? Obviously you couldn't have the onion & butter, but i'm sure it'd be ok with just garlic and oil. And you could take ds's portion out before you add butter + parmasan at the end?

Can your son have sheeps/goats cheese? I quite like this nigella recipe, although not sure if your fussy dd would eat aubergine!

noisymonkiesmum Mon 12-Sep-11 11:35:10

Wow, that's hard, I have enough trouble with fussy children all wanting different things but how you cope with being a pregnant vegetarian and a dairy allergy I don't know! Only suggestion is Yotam Ottelenghi who you may know but has great recipes for many veggie dishes that actually have a taste, my favourite at the moment! Good luck

GypsyMoth Mon 12-Sep-11 11:36:54

Beans on toast??grin

SenoritaViva Mon 12-Sep-11 11:38:26

Both the above are great suggestions (Ottelenghi is SUPERB!!!)

Rissotto often excludes onions; you can try celery instead which is rather tasty.

Donna Hay has a great book, 'the 30 minute cook' which I like because most of the recipes offer 2-3 variations so you could tailor to your family or do the basics and add a few different things which is better than a different meal from scratch.

onepieceofcremeegg Mon 12-Sep-11 11:38:41

I was about to say risotto as well! I just use any veg that we have to hand. (it's fine with no onion, as long as you have a decent stock, I use an organic stock cube)

Also jacket potatoes and vary the fillings. e.g everyone apart from ds can have cheese, do some different salads, beans, and easy to please your dd as well?

oven chips with something (I had cheesy quorn fillets last night, not the healthiest but veggie and easy to cook)

If you are tired and pregnant and feeling a bit funny about some foods, could you afford to make a trip to Waitrose/M&S. Get some of the nicer ready meals or different bits to make up a meal?

Pootles2010 Mon 12-Sep-11 11:40:10

Oh yes good point about the celery. My dp's grandad always does onion/carrot/celery as base for risotto, so maybe just without the onion would work well!

allhailtheaubergine Mon 12-Sep-11 11:41:22

There's an idea Pootles. Haven't had risotto for ages because what is the point without lashings of parmasan? But yes, I could take ds's bit out before adding. Am silly not to have thought of that.

Yes, he can have sheeps and goat cheese, but I live abroad and can't always get it. I do use it when it's available.

I haven't heard of Yotam Ottelenghi - I'll look him up. Thanks noisy.

I don't really pander to dd's fussiness. There are too many other things to think about. I just try and make sure we have 2 or 3 meals a week where she's not poking doubtfully at it and declaring that she doesn't like "cooked brown things" hmm.

munstersmum Mon 12-Sep-11 11:42:55

Nigella has a sweet potato & butternut squash red thai curry. Just ignore the prawns & fish sauce - I have done it for veggie friends.

What about homemade pizza then kids can put on own toppings?

allhailtheaubergine Mon 12-Sep-11 11:45:38

Lots of X post smile

grin @ beans on toast. That just about sums it up! A meal we can all eat and enjoy!

Good idea about celery.

I'll look up Donna Hay as well.

Unfortunately no quorn, Waitrose or M&S in Oman.

I'll do jacket spuds tonight. I always feel it's a bit of a snacky meal though, plus no microwave so the oven has to be on for hours. Still, a good idea, just not too often.

allhailtheaubergine Mon 12-Sep-11 11:48:03

I sometimes do a vegan dish and then grill some fish or occasionally sausages on the side for husband and kids. I'm the only veggie and I don't mind cooking a bit of meat once in a while.

allhailtheaubergine Mon 12-Sep-11 14:03:43

Just an update - the smell of the baking potatoes is making me feel awful hmm grin. Stupid morning all day sickness.

Any more ideas?

I have had a trawl through my vegan cookbook and am not inspired. Unfortunately they have just closed the only large bookshop in town down. I will have a rummage in a little bookshop for a new vegan cookery book though.

DamselInDisarray Mon 12-Sep-11 14:20:21

You might want to get a south-east asian cookbook and make lots of delicious meals with tofu (use soy sauce if the recipe asks for fish sauce and leave out any onions). Serve with different types of rice or noodles for variety.

flimflammery Mon 12-Sep-11 14:29:38

My mum used to make red dragon pie - do you know it? It's made with adzuki beans (hope you can get them in Oman), potato on top. It's yummy. Just did a quick google and found this recipe
If you get tinned adzuke beans you don't need to soak them.

bessie26 Mon 12-Sep-11 17:27:12

Have you seen this book? Vegetarian Cooking Without?

Can you get tofu where you are?

allhailtheaubergine Tue 13-Sep-11 08:18:53

That book looks made for us. I will try and get someone to bring it out from UK for me.

I had a trawl through our crappy little bookshop this morning and the only vegan cookbook they had was "The Idiot's Guide to Vegan Cooking" which I didn't buy on the basis that (a) I am not an idiot, and (b) I have never seen a less inspiring collection of recipes in my life. "Sloppy No's" anyone? Well quite.

I shall have a bash at Red Dragon pie. Thank you Flim. The kids will go for it based on name alone.

We can get Tofu, though the local market recently ran out of fresh so it's imported long life American stuff only at the moment. Hope that's only temporary. My neighbour is Japanese - I'll ask her if she has a source.

I do quite a bit of Far Asian cooking but am a bit in a rut with it. I need a decent Chinese / Thai / Far Asian vegetarian book.

I am going to do Mexican tomorrow. Have found some dairy free wraps and will make a vegan bean dish plus bowls of guac, salsa, cheese, sour cream, lettuce, tomato etc and people can add the things they eat.

Any more ideas? <hopeful>

SenoritaViva Tue 13-Sep-11 10:28:27

Can you get paneer cheese - would your DS be allergic to that?

Also pecorino and halloumi (sp?) are not cow's milk but not sure if they are available in Oman. (You're making this very hard!) Pecorino is a great substitute for parmesan in risotto and fried halloumi is delicious.

SenoritaViva Tue 13-Sep-11 10:31:29

There are lots of sites if you look up on the internet but you'd have to trawl through and work out what might suit your family. (example below)

dairyfreecooking.about.com/od/vegetarianentreessides/Vegetarian_Entrees_Main_Courses.htm

pregnantpause Tue 13-Sep-11 11:13:13

Stuffed peppers? Bake peppers stuff with rice, spring onions(if you will way them) mushrooms, other chopped peppers of different colours. Spice with crushed cumin seeds, tumeric, tomato paste, garlic and cayenne if you like spice.

pregnantpause Tue 13-Sep-11 11:19:35

A cous cous salad? Cous cous with salt pepper oil lemon and chopped corriander and parsley, add any cupped salad veg- peppers cougette etc.

A beetroot cous cous is delicious too.

allhailtheaubergine Tue 13-Sep-11 11:37:17

Ooh, beetroot couscous. Yum. (I can already hear dd complaining loudly that she's not keen on beetroot hmm. Never mind. She can just get on with it.)

Unfortunately Viva, I have found that most mass produced cheeses that are traditionally goat or sheep milk tend to also contain cow milk. It is very rare to find a 100% pure goat or sheep cheese in your average supermarket. I guess cow milk is more widely available and cheaper so they mix it in with the goat or sheep. There is a sheep feta often available that I pick up when I see it. Have yet to find a cow-free halloumi or pecorino though.

Stuffed peppers <adds to list>.

Am going to go and explore that link now.

Thanks all! (And sorry for making it so hard grin)

allhailtheaubergine Tue 13-Sep-11 11:44:19

I'll tell you something else too. A lot of vegan food is pretty unhealthy. I'm not too keen on 'substitute foods' - they are SO processed. Vegan cheese has an ingredients list as long as my leg. Soy milk is not my favourite component of my 3-yo's diet. I think a pure vegan diet comprised of fruit, veggies, pulses and grains is a good thing (if hard work for the cook) but your average western vegan diet of soy, quorn etc is not brilliant.

Just musing.

pregnantpause Tue 13-Sep-11 12:47:05

A nice dhal- spinach, or lentil with pita/naan bread.( spinach dhal is on my meal plan this week- Cant wait)

bessie26 Tue 13-Sep-11 23:03:24

that book is really good, I bought it for a friend who was on a restricted diet (suspected allergies) but she already had it so I kept it! (I am veggie, but don't like eating too much cheese or quorn)

Here are a couple of our favourite recipes as an example. The book also has some good tips too, like putting ground nuts on top of lasagne instead of cheese!

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