As the sunshine is out and the air conditioner is starting to run all the time, I’m often whipping up the top five summer recipes my picky little eaters will always eat.
Best Vegan Recipes for Picky Eaters
1. It’s easy to get caught up in the laziness of summer. The pool, the games, the general feeling of relaxation. So my first pick is my super easy and delightful Tomato Rice Casserole.
Tomato Rice Casserole sounds fancier than it really is. It is organic rice (brown or jasmine–sometimes I use both) thrown into your crock pot with some super delicious organic grape tomatoes, garlic, salt and pepper, and a little vegan butter. (I use Earth Balance, Soy-Free). Let it all cook on low for an hour or more while you enjoy your summer. Then, when you and your little crew are ready for dinner, simply dish it up and enjoy! My kids can not get enough of the little tomatoes!
2. Second on my list is my famous (well in my house) funky monkey smoothie. If you put a little vegan protein powder in there, this smoothie can actually serve as a meal. I know, right?!
Funky Monkey Smoothie is so easy and so delicious. Get out your nutri blender (or blender of choice), and combine frozen bananas (yes, this requires you to plan ahead–peel and freeze bananas to always have them on hand), organic almond milk, chocolate protein powder (I use Aloha Vegan brand), dandelion greens, and a handful of dairy-free chocolate chips. (I use Enjoy Life brand). Blend these until the mixture looks like ice cream. Top with a funky topping of your choice! We use nuts, vegan chocolate chips, cranberries, sprinkles, and sometimes cherries.
3. When we’re sitting by the pool and soaking up the sun, I try to keep things simple for lunch. I make Frushi Rolls for my kiddos. Use a Vegan Tortilla (I use Udi’s because we are gluten free as well), spread some nut butter of your choice on the tortilla, add diced grapes and strawberries, and roll it up! Or try it “The King” style with peanut butter and bananas. Get creative! Slice it in small bites and use chopsticks to enjoy!
4. After a long day, no one really wants to spend an hour cooking. My Vegan Nachos always do the trick. The kids always want seconds, and I can go to bed knowing they were well nourished. This one will take some preparation, but if you are like me, having some cashew cheddar cheese on hand is a must. If you don’t have a vegan cheese on hand, go ahead and soak two cups of raw cashews an hour before you want to make this dish. Place your cashews in your nutri blender with a little water, nutritional yeast, red pepper, salt, and garlic. Blend until smooth and set aside. Grab your GMO-free corn chips, lay them on the plate, and put your cashew cheese all over them. Let your kids choose which additional toppings they want. We love onions, black olives, black beans, corn, tomatoes, cilantro, and avocado. Get your little ones involved, and they will be sure to eat their masterpiece!
5. Lastly, with so many reasons to not eat healthy in the summer, we have to try to get some goodness into our kids when we can. Avocados are so wonderfully complete in nutrition, and they make the perfect snack. We eat avocado halves topped with salt and pepper all the time, but for the times when you need a little more, we love our Av-O-Cado-Da-Vida Salad. (Yep, we think we are so clever.) Take organic black beans, corn, diced tomatoes, cucumber (optional), and loads of diced avocado. Add salt, pepper, and a dash of garlic. Boom baby!
Try these recipes yourself and let me know what your family thinks! In the meantime, have a safe, happy, and peaceful summer.
What are your favorite vegan recipes for picky eaters?
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Photos: Ange Alex