5 Kid Friendly Protein-Rich Meatless Recipes Your Kids Will Enjoy!
Each cup of chickpeas or garbanzo beans provides 12 grams of protein, or 24 percent of the daily value based on a 2,000-calorie diet. Protein is an essential nutrient for building muscles, repairing body tissues and supporting digestion and immune functions.
Chickpeas Balls are easy to eat, crunchy and delicious! These little spheres are packed with flavor and your kids are sure to adore them. Most kids seem to like things that they can just pop into their mouths and this is just perfect!
1. Soak 1 cup chickpeas overnight with 3 cups of water.
2. Once soaked, pressure cook until soft.
3. Peel the chickpeas, if you don’t like the skin. This is an optional step. I kept it on.
4. Blend the chickpeas and into it add 2 tablespoons tahini. Blend again until nice and smooth.
5. Add 1/4 teaspoon each of desired spices (I added 1/4 teaspoon each of cumin and paprika), enough salt and any kind of nuts (almonds, pistachios etc…) and blend to incorporate well.
6. Grease palms and make small balls with your hands and line them on a parchment paper.
7. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until crispy on the outside.
8. Serve with a salad or just as it is.
CURRIED LENTIL SOUP
Lentils have been a staple in the human diet since ancient times and are an inexpensive, low-fat source of protein. Lentils contain more protein than most other types of beans and legumes. A 1-cup serving has 17.8 grams of protein, an amount that fulfills almost 32 percent of a man’s daily protein needs and 38 percent of a woman’s.
Red lentils are the protein hero here, and the entire soup can be prepped and cooked in less than an hour. So tasty; so healthy.
1. In a large pot on medium heat, add 1 1/2 tablespoons water, 1 1/2 cups diced onion, 1 cup diced celery, 1 cup diced carrots, 3 large cloves of minced garlic, enough salt and pepper, 3/4 to 1 teaspoon mild curry powder, 1 teaspoon paprika and 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme. Stir to combine.
2. Cover and cook for 7 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Rinse 2 cups red lentils. Add the lentils, 3 cups vegetable stock, 3 1/2 cups of water and combine well.
3. Bring mixture to a boil. Now add 2 to 3 teaspoons of freshly chopped rosemary or 1 1/2 teaspoons of dried rosemary. Reduce heat to low and cover, and cook for 25 minutes. Add 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, and more water as desired to thin the soup.
SWEET NUT BUTTER DIP
Nuts are a perfect example of good things that come in small packages. These bite-size nutritional powerhouses are packed with protein.
Use your favorite nut butter, and make this creamy, lightly sweetened dip in just a minute or two! Kids will love dipping it with fresh fruit, or even eating it as a pudding.
1. Add all 1/2 cup of any nut butter of your choice (peanut, almond, cashew etc…), 2/3 cup hung yoghurt, 2 teaspoons maple syrup, enough salt and 1/8 teaspoon of ground cinnamon to a food processor or blender and puree until very smooth, or whisk in a bowl by hand until smooth.
2. Serve with freshly cut assorted fruit, or celery sticks or simply as a pudding.
CRISPY OVEN BAKED TOFU
Tofu, or bean curd, is a popular food derived from soya. Tofu is a good source of protein and contains all eight essential amino acids. A 100 gram serving contains 8.2 grams of protein.
This is a delicious and quick recipe that you can quickly prepare as part of your kids’ lunches. It is a snap to prepare, and versatile for parents to use in dinners and lunches.
1. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
2. In a greased baking dish, stir together 2 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, 2 tablespoons light soy sauce and 1 teaspoon maple syrup. Add 350 grams diced tofu and coat each side with marinade. Bake uncovered for 17 to 22 minutes, turning once through baking.
3. Remove and let it cool slightly. Pour any remaining marinade over the tofu and serve warm with fresh salads on the side.
GREEN PEAS AND BROAD BEANS HUMMUS
Peas are one of the most overlooked sources of plant based protein, and can be more tolerable than beans and other legumes for many peopleFoods in the legume family are good sources of vegetarian protein, and peas are no exception: One cup green peas contains 7.9 grams of protein —about the same as a cup of milk.
Usually, hummus is made from chickpeas, but this version uses green peas and is tasty and quick to prepare.
1. Combine 1 cup cooked green peas, 1/2 cup cooked broad beans, 6 tablespoons chopped walnuts, 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, 6 cloves of minced garlic, enough salt and pepper in a blender or food processor.
2. Process until smooth.
3. Serve on crackers or as a dip with crudites. (crudites are freshly cut vegetable strips)
There has been a rise in the trend of people going vegan and relying solely on plant based or vegetarian diets. But the worry in such cases are how are you going to feed your children with protein-rich foods.
Here are a list of great kid-friendly non-meat sources of protein that are easy to cook and eat! A lot of these recipes can be easily incorporated into your child’s snack boxes.