While I've never attempted vegetarianism, I do like to have several meatless options for meals for myself and the fam because I definitely go through phases where just the thought of chicken makes me want to barf and if I see it raw, forget about it! Something about the veins just ruins it. Interesting as I like steak with blood on the plate, but as my dad used to say as he choked down his chicken dinner, "They call it fowl (read: foul) for a reason!"
My weekly email from BabyCenter had a section with recommendations for family-friendly vegetarian cookbooks. I picked a couple that I'll be adding to my collection and listed them here for you. My sister, Sherri, is a huge fan of The Moosewood Cookbook, so I knew this one would be good. Even more, though, I like that it's designed to cook with your kids, adding in the math and science education that comes from culinary experience. Since H won't be going to pre-school, I'm always on the look-out for ways that I can 'home school' so he's ready for Kindergarten (I was shocked at the list of things kids need to demonstrate knowledge in for entry to K at a 'normal' level...aren't they supposed to learn to read in school?!) without feeling like I'm adding a bunch of new tasks to my plate; I've already got enough irons in the fire!
Without further ado, here's the list:
Pretend Soup and Other Real Recipes: A Cookbook for Preschoolers & Up
By Mollie Katzen and Ann L. Henderson (1994, Tricycle Press, $17. Reading level: Ages 4 to 8)
Vegetarian foodie Mollie Katzen (author of The Moosewood Cookbook) and educator Ann Henderson have teamed up to create a kid-friendly, nutritionally mindful, and parent-perfect book. Each of the 19 recipes starts with individual instructions for both the adult and child, is illustrated with cute animals, and includes insider reviews from kids who have tried the recipes. Children will love the easy-to-follow step-by-step illustrations, and parents will like that science and math lessons are covertly woven into assignments for mixing and measuring.
Feeding the Healthy Vegetarian Family
By Ken Haedrich (1998, Bantam Books, $16. Reading level: Adult)
Vegetarian father-of-four, Ken Haedrich dishes out more than 250 kid-tested, meat-free recipes that can be prepared in short order, taste good, use easy-to-find ingredients, and are healthy. The book is sprinkled with family anecdotes, sections just for the kids, and tips for enjoying vegetarian meals without feeling deprived.
Better Than Peanut Butter & Jelly: Quick Vegetarian Meals Your Kids Will Love!
By Wendy Muldawer (1997, McBrooks Press, $17. Reading level: Adult)
Yes, whipping up yet another pb&j is an easy way to keep the kids fed, but even the most change-averse child will get sick of the same old thing eventually. This book packs 150 low-fat, low-sugar, kid-friendly recipes, such as Brown Rice Fruit Salad and Cartwheel Carrots, that can be prepared without a lot of hassle. Snack and party ideas are included, as are vegan options.