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So dd11 and ds13 want to be vegetarian...

29 replies

Howmanysleepstilchristmas · 07/06/2019 12:25

Can anyone help me feed them please? I used to be vegetarian in my teens/ twenties and managed fine, but dd is a much fussier eater. She won’t eat tofu, Quorn, eggs, seeds or nuts. That leaves dairy, lentils and beans as protein sources doesn’t it? Ds at least eats eggs, which makes it easier...
Can anyone suggest any quick easy meals, preferably ones I can make alongside a meat version for dh who wouldn’t view something as a meal without meat. I also have a ds5 and a ds7 who wouldn’t be into stew/ casserole type things just to further complicate matters!

OP posts:
Howmanysleepstilchristmas · 07/06/2019 12:25

Oh, and neither are fond of an extensive range of veg!

OP posts:
Florencenotflo · 07/06/2019 12:28

Get them to come up with 14 meals they will both eat! Not 14 each, 14 they will both eat. At 11 and 13 they can take some responsibility for thinking ahead. That gives you at least a 2 week meal rotation to start with.

SDTGisAnEvilWolefGenius · 07/06/2019 12:29

I'd suggest you asking them to make some suggestions - at 11 and 13 they are old enough to do some research and meal planning.

Tell them what the parameters are - the meals need to be something everyone will eat because you aren't going to make three different meals for three people, and they need to be affordable within the family budget, nutritious, and not too difficult/time consuming to prepare.

I think that, if they want to do this, they need to take on some of the mental load - and some of the cooking too.

SDTGisAnEvilWolefGenius · 07/06/2019 12:29

Great minds, @Florencenotflo!

MyPatronusIsAnOrca · 07/06/2019 12:31

Do they like Indian food?

I find there’s more choice for vegetarians with Indian food. Things like : paneer, kidney bean curry (my favourite!), dahl, chickpea patties etc .

Using soya mince to make keema.

If you’re doing a vegetable curry (like cauliflower etc) you can make chapattis out of chickpea flour etc

alligatorsmile · 07/06/2019 12:32

Bean burgers? Veggie sausages? Cauliflower cheese grills? Veggie burgers/fingers? These are my veggie staples.

Hollywhiskey · 07/06/2019 12:32

Jacket potato with cheese, beans, veggie chilli
Home made pizza
Quorn alongside whatever side you're having eg bangers and mash
Curry eg potato, chickpea or dahl
Fried egg on top of potatoes and whatever roast veg they'll eat
Mexican fajita/burrito with rice, beans, salsa, guacamole, peppers if they eat them

I was that teen, lived like it for a couple of years. Now in my thirties, still veggie but now I eat a normal healthy diet. The thing that really helped me was learning to cook, picking things out of recipe books that I liked the look of and trying new veg - so if we hadn't eaten much aubergine I was much more open to that being part of my new diet than something like carrots I'd been refusing for years.

squee123 · 07/06/2019 12:35

Carbonara or mac and cheese for the kids, add bacon or ham for those that want it?
You could try sauces with hidden veg as an alternative to dairy, e.g. [[ this mac and cheese is made from butternut squash] and is so delicious I've fed it to plenty of carnivores.

cherryblossomgin · 07/06/2019 12:38

Linda McCartney has a nice range of veggie food they could try. It might be difficult if they don't like veg.

squee123 · 07/06/2019 12:39

these aubergine and olive meatballs are surprisingly delicious too

Teddybear45 · 07/06/2019 12:41

I would give your dd an ultimatum that she has to eat nuts or eggs or she won’t get anything made for her. She needs something with omega 3 and folate in her diet and lentils don’t provide much of that.

Howmanysleepstilchristmas · 07/06/2019 12:42

Unfortunately if I ask them to suggest stuff it’s pasta pesto, macaroni cheese, roast dinner minus the meat then they’re out of ideas. No protein in sight!
Meat substitutes are out as neither eat them.
Mexican type stuff with beans would work, or a veggie spaghetti Bol with lentils rather than mince. Beyond that I’m struggling!

OP posts:
BiscuitMachine · 07/06/2019 12:48

I have lots of meals that can be adapted easily for meat eaters (OH eats meat, the rest of us don't). Eg pasta in tomato sauce (with lots of veg chopped small) you can add mince to the sauce separately. Same principle with mixed bean chilli, fajitas, cottage/shepherds pie, currys, stews.
It is a bit of a pain though, my youngest is very fussy and thank goodness she loves eggs!

CassianAndor · 07/06/2019 12:54

so there's a wide range of veggie sausages

tins or pouches of lentils (I use puy a lot) as a mince substitute for spag bol, chilli, shepherd's pie etc

Lots of veg curries out there

lots of pasta dishes with cheese (if they are doing this strictly you can get veggie parmesan from Sainsbo's)

Personally I think we're all a bit obsessed with protein these days. DD and DH are veggie but neither are that keen on eggs, and we do have some meals with minimal protein. Both appear to be perfectly fit and very active on that!

(and multivitamins)

Nowisthemonthofmaying · 07/06/2019 12:55

If they have trouble thinking of meal ideas out of thin air, can you get them a veggie cookbook/plonk them down in front of a veggie recipe website and get them to bookmark the things they like the look of?

FlamingoFlamenco · 07/06/2019 12:56

Have a look at the GOSH veggie range of foods -sausages, burgers, bakes, and bites. I found them in Morrisons, but daresay they're in other places too.
They include things like beetroot burgers, spinach and pine nut bites, and Moroccan spiced bakes. Really good to serve in pittas, with rice, or with veg n spud type meals.

No, I don't work for them - just am a gluten free veggie who find that these work for me.

Nowisthemonthofmaying · 07/06/2019 12:56

Also things like jacket potatoes, pasta, stir-fry, fried rice, curry etc can all be cooked veggie and have the meat added in later.

plantsplantsplants · 07/06/2019 12:59

Do they eat peas? People tend to think of them as veg, but they're a legume, so good for protein, so actually, pasta with pesto and peas is a pretty good meal – macaroni and cheese with peas in it (or on the side), and roast dinner with peas also.

I also echo @Cassianandor's statement that protein is FAR less important than people think.

CMOTDibbler · 07/06/2019 13:05

They need to research what is a healthy veggie diet, and then give you the 14 day menu that they will both eat, and that complies with the requirements for at least 5 fruit and veg a day, sufficient protein (and complete), calcium, B vitamins, iron etc for their age. And make it fit within your budget.

If they can't do that, then they can't be veggie and will have to wait until they will eat a wide enough range of foods to do so safely.

EvaHarknessRose · 07/06/2019 13:11

Same or similar boat here. What I have been doing is making two versions of something then freezing the rest for another time, so like
Cottage pie/lentil cottage pie (I made this with red lentils, spices, onion, tinned tomatoes and roasted veg and put sweet potato and cheese on top)
Chicken curry/chickpea or lentil curry
Moussaka/Jamie's veggie moussaka
Chicken stir fry/Cashew nut stir fry (popular)
Omelette, quiche or cheese salad
I recommend the Bosh recipes too, though they are vegan.
I'm also trying to encourage more houmous/falafels/nuts for snacks (pistachios and nut bars) and a Spatone Iron sachet in fruit juice.

ColdTattyWaitingForSummer · 07/06/2019 13:14

Get them to have a look on Pinterest or YouTube for recipe ideas. If you don’t have many cook books at home then they could borrow some from the library as well. I find my 12 year old more willing to try new things if he’s been involved in choosing, prepping and cooking. Any vegetarian pasta dish would work, with a chicken breast on the side for the meat eaters if you like. Falafel on pitta with hummus and salad is quick and easy. Build your own fajitas or tacos; veggies just eat the cheese / beans / peppers / salsa etc, but the carnivores also have chicken / beef / mince. Perhaps your dh could also compromise my having one or two days meat free if it makes your life easier.

ColdTattyWaitingForSummer · 07/06/2019 13:14

*by having

exexpat · 07/06/2019 13:22

We are a vegetarian/pescetarian household (I'm veggie, DCs were raised pescetarian from birth but DD has now given up fish; DP is an odd non-dairy/pescetarian mix).

None of us much like meat substitutes, which rules out a lot of Linda McCartney and Quorn stuff, but Cauldron Foods and some of the supermarket own-brand vegetarian ranges are a good source of more recognisably bean/lentil/quinoa based burgers and similar.

Does your daughter eat eggs if they are part of a recipe, e.g. cakes, pancakes, rather than by themselves? My DD won't eat anything recognisably eggy like omelette, boiled/scrambled eggs, quiche etc, but will eat pancakes, yorkshire pudding and things using egg as a binder, like some veggie burgers or nut/lentil loaves.

Regular meals for us include a lot of rice and noodles with veg/tofu stir-fries; falafels and/or chickpea stew with couscous and roasted veg; burritos with refried beans, homemade lentil burgers; butternut squash and red lentil soup; fresh egg pasta with veg-heavy sauce (also sometimes including puy/green/brown lentils); paella with veg and cashew nuts; baked potatoes with beans/cheese/chilli etc.

I agree with previous posters that you need to involve the DCs in meal planning and make it clear that they have to have a reasonably balanced diet. I turned vegetarian at 16 and my mother made me read up on nutrition and cook for myself.

spanishwife · 07/06/2019 13:29

They are definitely old enough to choose some meals for themselves and help with the process. Why not get them a cook book e.g. 'easy vegetarian meals' - Miguel Barclay has just released a '£1 vegetarian meals' book and he's great.

SDTGisAnEvilWolefGenius · 07/06/2019 13:54

”Unfortunately if I ask them to suggest stuff it’s pasta pesto, macaroni cheese, roast dinner minus the meat then they’re out of ideas. No protein in sight!”

Then they need to be told they have to buck their ideas up, if they want to be vegetarian, @Howmanysleepstilchristmas. Be blunt - “If you two want to become vegetarian, you need to do your share of the work - and that includes the mental load - researching recipes, and planning a balanced, nutritious meal plan that doesn’t blow the family budget. I am not going to do it all for you, whilst you sit back and let me do all the work, whilst you nitpick about what you will and won’t accept as part of a vegetarian diet. And it is going to have to include vegetables!”

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