3 Gorgeous, Kid-Friendly Vegan Recipes from Food by Maria

In our extended family, we have one person who’s a vegetarian, one who avoids dairy, another who is gluten intolerant, someone else who is sensitive to food dyes, and yet one more who cannot eat eggs. Deciding on a menu when we all gather for a meal can be challenging to say the least. With several young children in our group, we have to find dishes that not only meet our collective dietary needs, but that are also kid-friendly.

Vegan recipes are a great starting point. There is no meat, dairy, or eggs to worry about and most use whole ingredients, helping us avoid those pesky artificial colors. Granted, not all vegan recipes are without gluten but happily, there are now so many alternative gluten-free ingredients available that it is usually quite easy to make a swap.

Now the kid-friendly aspect is where it gets a little trickier. It’s important to remember that little ones can and will eat more than chicken nuggets or mac and cheese, provided we offer them something that appeals to their senses. Of course every child is different but generally, kiddos are drawn to fun colors, finger-friendly dishes, and familiar textures.

Lucky for us, fitness and healthful food enthusiast Maria Koutsogiannis includes heaps of vegan recipes on her blog, Food by Maria. Not only are her dishes healthful and simple to create, they taste as marvelous as they look. Take a peek at these gorgeous goodies, which will satisfy any appetite, vegan or otherwise:

Buckwheat Crust Pizza

There are so many things to love about pizza, especially when you make it at home. You can add whatever toppings you like, customizing sections of the pie for different family members or creating individual pizzas for each person. It is quick and easy to make and fun to eat; no utensils required. You can even make it vegan and super healthy, when you know how.

Maria uses buckwheat to form the crust of this pizza. Not just buckwheat flour, mind you, but whole, cooked buckwheat as well. Despite the name, buckwheat is not a version of wheat at all. In fact, it is the seed of a plant related to rhubarb and it is completely safe for those avoiding gluten. The buckwheat makes the crust delightfully crisp and crunchy, which is so enjoyable to eat.

You can prebake the crust just a bit, load up and bake to completion, or if you prefer fresh, raw toppings, bake the crust alone and then pile on sauce, veggies, or anything else you like.

The Vegan “Kolokithokeftedes”

Greek fritters made with courgettes, which you may know by the name zucchini, kolokithokeftedes are a mouthful in more ways than one. In fact, if you would rather call them Greek zucchini fritters, that is perfectly acceptable. Maria has made these traditional squash patties completely vegan, and they are a healthful and delectable way to use up this bountiful summer produce.

She uses flax eggs to bind the cakes together. If you have never tried this vegan egg replacement, you will be delighted at how easy they are to make. All you do is mix a tablespoon of flax seeds or meal (or chia seeds) with three tablespoons of water and let it stand for about five minutes to thicken. Easy peasy.

You can mix the ingredients together quickly, and then all you have to do is shape the patties and fry on both sides. Kids will love dipping them in a dollop of fresh tzatziki, which is a mouthwatering cucumber yogurt dip.

All That Veg Vermicelli Beauty Bowl

There is something about noodles that kids just love. Think mac and cheese, ramen and spaghetti with marinara. This recipe is loaded with noodles and other vegan goodies that are not only lovely to look at, but they are also scrumptious to eat.

The dish (or should I say bowl?) begins with a heap of cooked vermicelli noodles. (There are oodles of gluten-free noodles available that taste amazing, so if you need to avoid wheat, just switch them out.) Next, a colorful array of veggies –vivid purple cabbage, bright kernels of corn, and emerald Brussels sprouts—become even yummier after a quick sauté in coconut oil.

While the farm fresh tidbits are cooking, you can whip up the sauce that ties this dish together. The combo of crunchy peanut butter (Maria says the crunchiness adds amazing texture), hoisin, soy sauce, horseradish, and hot sauce gives this meal a decidedly Asian flare. Of course, if it is a bit too spicy for your tiniest tots, you can tone it down as you see fit.

Top it all off with additional appetizing garnishes, such as baby tomatoes, sesame seeds, cilantro and lemon juice.

Fun, tempting and gorgeous vegan goodies like these make it easy to feed your loved ones well.

What are some of your favorite kid-friendly vegan dishes? Share your recipes with us!

Tags : recipes   dinner recipes   lunch recipes   vegan recipes   

Tania Mashti
That pizza is too pretty to eat
Anya Henners
These look amazing
Jessica Pardo
Wow love all the color