Meatless Monday is an international initiative to encourage the healthful and environmentally sound practice of cutting back on meat one day a week. It’s also a hot local trend. Ready to give Meatless Monday a try?
Adults may enjoy curried eggplant or tofu stir-fry, but kids are often less adventuresome about food. We’ve taken a couple of familiar cheese-based meatless meals and added some plant-based nutritional punch for your next family Meatless Monday.
Kids are more likely to eat healthy foods if they take a hand in making them, so we’ve gone with easy dishes that don’t require precise measurements but do include plenty of stirring and sprinkling and fun.
Stripey homemade pizza lets kids pick their favorite toppings. We’ve used a Mediterranean palette of vegetables, but you might choose pineapple and spinach!
Super Stripey Pizza
prepared pizza crust (we used a whole grain mix)
prepared pizza sauce
favorite vegetables (we used mushrooms, peppers, artichoke hearts, tomatoes, and fresh basil)
Let the kids help read labels and choose the healthiest options for this super-easy treat. We made individual-sized pies, spreading the dough with sauce and cheese and then piling on the veggies in stripes.
Heat your oven to its highest temperature (ours goes to 500 degrees) and bake pizzas for 15-20 minutes for a crisp crust.
Macaroni and cheese is a perennial favorite. We’ve mixed ours up with real dairy products — go low-fat if you want to — and added peas and walnuts for added fiber, protein, and flavor.
Macaroni with Peas and Walnuts
2 c elbow macaroni
1 c fresh or frozen peas
1/2 c. cream cheese
1/2 c. sour cream
1/2 c. grated cheese
1/4 c. walnuts, chopped
Let kids help measure out the ingredients. The quantities listed will serve a family of four, and you can easily increase the quantities for a larger family.
Fill a large saucepan with water, let it come to a boil over high heat, and add macaroni. After 3 minutes, stir in peas and boil for an additional 3 minutes. Drain and return peas and noodles to pan.
While the pasta is cooking, combine cream cheese, sour cream, and grated cheese. Stir into peas and macaroni. Turn into a baking dish and top with walnuts. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes, till top is browned.
Serve your family-friendly meatless main dishes with fruit and vegetables. Here’s the easy salad we chose:
2 c. coleslaw mix
1/2 c. thinly sliced radishes
1/4 c. fresh mint, chopped
1/4 c. olive oil
juice of one lemon
Combine all ingredients and serve.