We try to keep a mostly vegetarian diet at home – let’s go ahead and call us flexitarians, since we’re adding in fish and eggs at times (and a small amount of meat when there’s guests or we’re invited for dinner elsewhere). We’ve traded milk out to oatmeal, rice and soy and are feeling really good about that! Only exception being parmesan cheese.. that’s a hard one for me to let go of..
Felix loves to help out in the kitchen and I try to have him join as much as possible to keep his interest in food and ingredients high. He has never been a big fan of meats so for him, the vegetarian lifestyle have been really natural and easy – he’s still a kid and can be quite suspicious towards vegetables so when he’s participating in cooking he gets much more enthusiastic over trying the different things and the rule is to try everything once to figure out his preferences.
The other day, we made a vegetable bolognese if you can call it that, chopping a lot of veggies together (the trick is to prep the harder vegetables beforehand. Felix can get pretty annoyed and loose interest if the cooking takes to long or if he’s not the one that gets to chop it all. He enjoyed chopping the soft mushrooms and eggplant with a steak knife (under my watching eye) and pouring the different ingredients into the wok and stir.
You can use which ever vegetables you’d like and prefer, we went with the ones above. To make it easier on me (and less messy) I got a ready made organic tomato sauce. Also, we added salt, pepper, some vegetable stock and red wine into the sauce. To make it thicker and better we also added a couple of tablespoons of the starchy pasta water.
Chop chop chop into small dices – if you want more of a rustic veggie stew, just make the bits bigger. Remember to split up the frying of the different kinds of veggies to get the cooking of them even. Start by frying the harder vegetables in some olive oil (carrot, celery, onion, garlic) and when they are getting softer add in the other vegetables (eggplant, squash, mushroom). This way you won’t end up with some being too hard and some being too mushy.
To finish, add in some fresh, organic basil and if you’d like – parmesan cheese and a good brand pasta (if you don’t eat eggs or cow milk, you can replace it with a vegan brand cheese and pasta made out of lentils or peas) .
I hope you like it!
Do you cook together with your kids at home?