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ddtwin 2 has decided to become a vegetarian. Help!

(10 Posts)
ImperialSantaKnickers Wed 02-Jan-13 11:10:54

She's nearly 14 and quite old enough to make this decision, which I respect. My practical problem is that ddtwin 1 quite emphatically doesn't want to stop eating meat, and neither do DP or me, so I'm looking for meals that are easily split without using up a lot of utensils/space in our tiny kitchen.

I've been trawling the Feed The World topic without much joy. I'd rather not end up with a constant diet of quorn nuggets for her etc. We never did eat meat every day of course, but irritatingly I have a freezer full atm having done very well in the Christmas/New Year supermarket bargain hunt!

I'd particularly appreciate advice about ensuring she eats properly for her age. I was vegetarian myself for a few years in my student days, but I was already 19 and fully grown and sharing a flat with other vegetarians, so the problems of mixed meals and child nutrition are new to me.

Any website/book suggestions would be much appreciated. TIA

Doraemon Wed 02-Jan-13 11:22:05

Ds1 has been veggie for over a year now - he was 6 when he decided (had a moment of revelation half way through a pork sausage). I have persuaded him to still eat fish, which helps, and generally as a family we have been eating less and less meat. Ds2 hates vegetables though....
Sometimes I do things like sausages or home-made meat pie for the rest of us and he has Linda McCartney pie or veggie sausages. Stir-fry is pretty easy to split, I might put meat in half of it and prawns in the other but if she's not eating fish then you could add tofu to your DDs portion for extra protein. Same for paella, rissotto etc. Ds1 loves eggs (probably eats too many of them to be honest) and cheese, so I've not been too worried about getting enough protein in him, and I've started adding nuts to things more often, and beans too.
Obviously I have no idea as yet how you get a teenager to eat a vaguely healthy diet, vegetarian or not......

NotGeoffVader Wed 02-Jan-13 11:23:07

Not much to offer in the way of advice but I went veggie at the age of 14 many, many years ago and have never looked back.

At the time, there was little out there in the way of useful information, and I did eat fish, so we put a few more fish meals on the menu, and muddled along using the Cranks cookbook (which to be fair, has some very tasty things in it).

As I've got older I've gone with the option of making food that is essentially veggie, but to which meat can be added for those who want it.

Curry, stir-fry, pizza and pasta dishes are all easy to do, and protein can be added for veggies by way of nuts & seeds, tofu, cheese, eggs or soya/quorn. Just remember to shove lots of green veggies in there - broccoli & spinach are my staples - I buy big bags of frozen and just dump bits into whatever I'm making.

I'm still veggie (but now don't eat fish), and am considering getting dairy out of my diet. Not wanting to go vegan but perhaps move a little closer to it. DH eats meat but rarely at home. DD (nearly 2) has been reared veggie. As and when she asks to eat meat then she's welcome to try it, but I don't really cook it.

PS - We have a kitchen the size of a postage stamp. Any meat products are cooked separately in foil trays/grilled on foil, etc.

Good book around at the moment is the River Cottage Veg one, which DH got me last year. Easy meals for the whole family and most of them are simple to 'convert' to meaty by just adding whatever you fancy to the finished product.

BelleoftheFall Wed 02-Jan-13 11:34:39

This is a free cookbook which has a lot of recipes as well as a great deal of writing on nutrition, shopping, useful cooking equipment, preparing ingredients and so on. It is really good and tbh I'd recommend it to anyone, vegetarian or not, as it really delves into all the different areas of a good diet and eating well.

MamaChocoholic Wed 02-Jan-13 11:42:55

I went veggie about 9, but my mum gave up when I went vegan about 14! So I can't help much with the meat, but I can think of a couple of easy veg meals we use, that I think you could add a meat option for everyone else:

- rice with peas, cashew nuts and yoghurt (others have rice + curry/stew/stir-fry)
- rice/tortillas with beans, tomatoes and spices, yoghurt, guacamole etc with optional fried halloumi, sausages
- pasta with almost any sauce. Add crushed nuts or nut butter for protein for her, meat for you.

ImperialSantaKnickers Wed 02-Jan-13 11:43:52

Thank you MN I knew you wouldn't let me down! Happy New Year to all of you.

<wanders off to start clicking links and looking for suggested cookbooks on eBay>

DozyDuck Wed 02-Jan-13 11:45:08

I chose to be veggi when I was 11. I cooked my own meals next to mum smile taught me how to cook, no extra work for her

ImperialSantaKnickers Wed 02-Jan-13 12:01:49

Hi Dozy yes she's looking forward to that aspect - and so am I. But it is a one person size kitchen, so I want to minimise space/utensil use.
Belle I've downloaded your book - ta!
MamaChoc That's exactly the sort of thing I wanted.
NotGeoff thanks for the foil tray tip to prevent cross contamination grin
Dora I'm going to have to stock up with some of those aren't I? Sadly like most of us there are nights when thanks to after-school stuff and work commitments grabbing something out the freezer is the only option.

I'm going to ask HQ to move this to Food so it won't go pouf in 90 days and will be there to help in the future. DP wants the PC for his accounts and I can't face MNetting on my phone so I'm going to actually have to do some housework before back to work tomorrow... Thanks again everyone.

RaspberryLemonPavlova Thu 03-Jan-13 23:51:19

DD has been pescatarian for 4 years since she was 8. The deal was she would try lots of other foods, especially beans and pulses. We probably all eat a more varied and healthy diet!

She actually eats very little fish, but does eat tuna, prawns and scampi.

I cook a large batch of chilli beans in the slow cooker and freeze it in portions, which we then eats with rice, in enchaladas, pasta bakes, all sorts!

sashh Fri 04-Jan-13 06:08:44

things that split easily

pasta and meatballs, bake the meatballs and add them when plating up.

Any roast she can have just the veg, she doesn't really need a protien option but you could use veggi sausage or quorn burger.

Veg rissotto with some meat on the side for the others

kebabs - do yours with meat not hers

vegi chilli is good and would do a pot for the whole family, or do a batch and freeze it in individual portions for when you are having something non splitable.

Is she eating eggs and milk? Omelettes and pancakes with different fillings. Have you seen the 'ziplock eggs'?

basically everyone gets some beaten egg that they put in a ziplog bag, then you add any extras such as ham / cheese / onion. Zip up the bag and put them all in a pan of boiling water.

I think at 14 she should be able to do some cooking so maybe let her cook for the whole family once a week and you will all eat vegi.

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