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Going vegetarian is a great way to keep the body clean and energized, but the process can be difficult to transition into for those who have been meat eaters for some time.  One of the most challenging parts about adopting the vegetarian lifestyle is coming up with recipes that make eating a plant-based diet interesting and appetizing, especially for children who tend to be picky eaters. But, there is no need to worry.  There are dozens of tasty recipes available to help any little one transition into the vegetarian lifestyle with ease and with a little fun.  If you’re seeking a few quick and easy food recipes that are child friendly, here are four that are sure to be a hit.

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Grilled Mozzarella Sandwich

Grilled cheese is one of the easiest recipes to make for children as well as one of the tastiest, especially when made with mozzarella.  Seeing the cheese ooze over layers of bread cut into triangles is visually appealing to children and a fun way to incorporate learning about shapes into meal time (cutting into squares is also an option). For this recipe you will need:

1 pound fresh buffalo mozzarella, cut into 4 equal pieces about 3-inches by 4-inches

8 ½ inch thick firm white sandwich bread (or wheat if you prefer)

2 large eggs

½ cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

1 teaspoon coarse salt

1 teaspoon of nutmeg

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

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Directions

1. Place the mozzarella on 4 slices of bread and cover them to make sandwiches.  Trim off the crusts to make perfect 4-inch sandwich squares.

2. In a wide shallow bowl, whisk the eggs and add the cream, thyme leaves, salt and nutmeg.  Whisk until blended.  In a 10-12-inch non-stick sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium high heat until smoking.  Add 1 tablespoon of the butter and cook until the sizzling ends.

3. Dip two of the sandwiches in the egg mixture making sure to coat each side, place in the pan and cook until golden brown on each side for about 2 minutes.  Transfer the sandwich to a plate, repeat the process for the remaining sandwiches, cut in half and serve.  Let the sandwiches cool before biting into their cheesy center.

Cheese Lasagna

Lasagna is a classic dish that many people love, and if it’s good enough for Garfield the cat then it’s definitely a great dish to make for the kiddos.  It’s easy to make and looks awesome on a plate when all of its layers are exposed in each piece.  To make classic lasagna that will create 8 servings, you will need:

1 pound whole milk ricotta cheese

1 large egg

1/8 tablespoon freshly grated nutmeg

3/4  teaspoon coarse salt

Freshly ground pepper

1 pound fresh mozzarella

Marinara sauce

Fresh lasagna noodles cut into 4-by-13 inch strips and cooked.  You can also buy dried lasagna from the store and cook.

5 ounces coarsely grated parmesan cheese (about 1 ¾ cups)

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

2. In a medium sized bowl, combine ricotta, egg, nutmeg, salt, pepper and ½ of coarsely grated mozzarella.  Mix everything together and sit the mixture aside.  Use your fingers to shred the remaining mozzarella into 2-inch strips.

3. Use a 9-by-13-inch baking dish to build the lasagna pattern.  Spread ½ cup marinara in the bottom of the dish.  Place a layer of noodles over the marinara and then spread 1/3 of the ricotta mixture over the noodles.  Sprinkle ½ parmesan over the mixture and place another layer of noodles over the cheese layer.  Spread 1 cup marinara over the noodles and repeat the layering pattern two more times to create a full dish (noodles, marinara, noodles, ricotta mixture, parmesan).

4. Spread the remaining marinara over the cheese layer and top off with shredded mozzarella.

Kid-Approved Vegetarian Recipes  was originally published on blackdoctor.org

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