I love trying out breakfasts in different countries. It’s nice to have something more filling than toast, cereal, or oatmeal. As a vegetarian we need to have protein, especially when we will be going all day. One of my favourites was Vegetarian Gallo Pinto, which I had with my dad in the morning for breakfasts in Costa Rica. My dad and I went on kayaking trips together and when you spend 4-8 hours a day paddling on a river you NEED to have a good breakfast to give you the energy to tackle the day.
This is a super easy breakfast to make, it is even delicious for lunches and dinners. It requires mostly ingredients you probably already have on hand. For non-meat eaters protein is always a consideration so luckily Vegetarian Gallo Pinto has lots of protein for anyone to eat. My kids also loved eating this from a very early age as it is baby and toddler friendly.
What’s your favourite breakfast memory from your travels? Where were you and what was it?
Where to start:
Vegetarian Gallo Pinto
Recipe Type: Vegetarian
Cuisine: Costa Rican
Finely Diced Jalapeno (or regular pepper)
Salt & Pepper to taste
Set your rice to cook (microwave or stove depending on your preference).
Boil water for poaching your eggs.
Heat olive oil in a large pan (even as large as a stir fry pan or wok). Cook olive oil until translucent, add jalapeno to cook for another 3 minutes. Add black beans and cook for another five minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Once rice is cooked add to the bean mixture. Cook for a few more minutes and stir well to combine.
When water is boiling poach eggs (usually 2-3 minutes in boiling water for me).
For serving, add a scoop of rice and beans mixture to each plate, sprinkle some shredded cheese on top and finish with a poached egg.
Voila! Enjoy your amazingly filling Costa Rican breakfast!
If you like this recipe for Vegetarian Gallo Pinto make sure you are following this board to hook you up with other amazing vegetarian recipes.
I love jalapeno poppers! My favourite are healthy ones and Wonton Jalapeno Poppers fit the bill. I used to love the breaded version from M&M, but they changed the recipe and then it just wasn’t worth the calories. Have you ever gotten a treat you were willing to spurge the calories (or weight watcher points) on, but then took a bite and realized it didn’t taste as good as it looked? Then it is totally not worth eating. I adapted this recipe and found one I fell in love with. I hope you love these Wonton jalapeno poppers as much as I do!
Grab a bowl of water, pastry brush, dumpling press (if you have, if not a fork).
In each wonton wrapper put a small spoon of cream cheese, a pinch or two of shredded cheese, and a few of the minced jalapeno, more if you like it spicier.
To close it you have two options, use the brush and put water around the outside of the wonton, use the dumpling press to close it, or you can seal it with your fingers or by pressing a fork.
Put it in the oven and bake for 11 minutes, give or take depending on your baking sheet and oven. Don't let them over cook too much or all the cheese will explode out, but you want it as close to golden brown as possible.
This is one of our FAVOURITE dinners in my house. I hate repetition, but we have it every month or so. My kids love to dip things, and as vegetarians I am always looking for easy ways to get some iron (spinach) and protein (lentils) into them. This is a whole meal and one, but doesn’t take a long time to make or require a lot of ingredients.
•2 cups Lentils (rinsed and maybe soaked for 5 min if you have time)
•Water to cover lentils in pot, I found aboutt 3-3½ cups
•2 tbsp. Tomato Paste
•4 tbsp. Lemon juice
Prep everything first, put lentils to soak, cut the onions, wash the spinach, cut the paneer, drain lentils.
In a pot fry ½ onions for about five minutes until translucent, add in garlic and stir. While that cooks add in all the spices and stir. Add in lentils and enough water to cover, about 3½ cups I found. Add in tomato paste and stir. You can cook for 25-45 minutes, keep stirring regularly.
Preheat the oven and put in the naan bread to warm. Only needs to be in about 5-10 minutes.
Add the other ½ of minced onions and cook for five minutes again, until translucent. Add in the paneer cheese, stir/flip regularly until starting to brown, add in a hand full or two of the spinach and cook. We like our paneer a little crispy so prefer it too cook longer. (Check on your naan!) Spinach shrinks a lot when hot so keep adding in handfuls of spinach until your bag is done and it is all wilted. Ensure the cheese is done to your preference.
Serve all three on a plate and watch your kids actually eat!
Want to see how to make it?
What are your kids favourite Indian dishes? Any favourite recipes to share? Please link them below for me!
One of my favourite things to eat is easy vegetarian wonton soup. Before I was a full vegetarian as a kid I would just pick the wontons out of the soup at restaurants with my parents and leave the meat. I love eating wonton soup, but making it, particularly stuffing the dumpling part is very time consuming and I don’t always have the time to do it with two kids demanding my attention. This version is like a de-constructed version of a wonton soup. You can easily have the wonton experience, but without the dumpling work. I hope you enjoy!
•3-4 handfuls (roughly half a bag) of bean sprouts
Put 7 cups of water on the stove to boil in a large pot. Add bouillon cubes once boiling
Cut the mushrooms (I halved or left whole depending on the size) and fry in a pan with some oil. As it cooks cut your tofu in half. Cube half of it. Once the mushrooms are starting to brown, add garlic, the tofu. Crumble the other half into the pan. Stir as it browns a bit. Add in sauces.
I do both pots at once: 1 tsp sesame oil in tofu mixture & 1 tsp in water, add 1 tbsp. soy sauce to tofu mixture & 1 tbsp to the water, add 1 tsp sriacha to pot only (and tofu mixture if you like it spicy).
Cut the bok choy into slices, add to tofu mixture and cook a few minutes. Taste it, add any additional seasonings as desired. Otherwise put in the pot on low to simmer for as long as you have (I like 30 minutes but that's what I have time for).
When you are almost ready to serve cut up the wontons into small squares and add to the pot with the bean sprouts (make sure to separate the wontons so it doesn't stick in the water). It should float when done, about 3 minutes.
As most other moms, I like easy lunches! But they have to be easy lunches my kids will eat, so these quesadillas are a staple in my house that I can make in advance and still be guaranteed that my kids will eat it.
Need an easy lunch?
I got the idea of these from a good friend of mine while camping, every summer she brings quesadillas as one of her camping lunches, and my kids always share them with her since they love them so much. This s a super easy lunch that you can make in advance, then wrap in foil or stick in a container for future lunches for work, school, picnics, or camping.
Scoop in a few spoonful’s of salsa, a handful of shredded cheese and a handful or two of black beans on one half of the tortilla.
Close tortilla in half and repeat until your baking sheet is full (I tend to make two sheets full).
Place in the oven for about 15 minutes, enough so the cheese melts but not so the tortilla starts to get crispy. You can even put a pot lid on top of the quesadillas to help keep them flat while cooking.
Take the quesadillas out of the oven and let cool, wrap in foil or put in lunch containers for the week.
What is one of your favourite lunches to make in advance? Any tried and true recipes your kids are guaranteed to eat?
My kids love avocados! Being vegetarian we try to add protein into regular foods, and everyone knows how much kids LOVE pasta. This is a big favourite in my house. Super easy to make and really quick. I can make the sauce as the pasta cooks and everyone demolishes it. My three-year-old even helps me make the sauce, she can scoop avocado, and help measure ingredients.
fresh basil (a few leaves from your garden if you have any)
1 tbsp. hemp hearts
2 tbsp. sliced almonds
1 tsp olive oil
1 tbsp. lemon juice
salt & pepper to taste
optional: 1-2 c spinach leaves
While water is boiling and pasta is cooking you can assemble the following in a food processor or blender.
Scoop out the pulp from one or two avocado's into food processor. If you have any spinach add that in now, it is not essential but gives it extra iron and nutrients. Add in greek yogurt, hemp hearts, basil, almonds, olive oil, lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.
I love to get my daughter involved in cooking as much as possible. My daughter loves picking herbs in the garden, then helping to measure out the ingredients and push the button on the food processor. Everyone eats this dinner!
I just love wonton’s! Before the kids came along we used to have wonton Saturday’s where we would experiment and make different things out of wontons. I really miss those days, having hours to prepare a delicious meal and then sit down and enjoy it while it is still hot. Ahhh the good old days.
One of my favourite things to make with wontons is vegetable dumplings. Unfortunately, being a vegetarian there are not a lot of pre-made vegetable dumplings in the stores, lots of one’s filled with meat, but not with vegetables. Where I live there are not even any restaurants I have found with some vegetable dumplings. When we lived in Montreal there were a number of restaurants with delicious vegetable dumplings and I really miss that!
•A package of wontons (found usually in the produce section by the bagged salads or tofu). I prefer the smaller ones to the bigger ones but they both work
•Firm tofu - crumble it manually by hand
•Bean Sprouts - wash and roughly chop
•A bag of coleslaw (precut cabbage, if you want to buy a cabbage and do this manually you can too)
•Green onions - chopped
•Mushrooms - chopped
•Carrots - grated or finely chopped
•Pepper - chopped (I prefer red)
•Soy sauce to taste (usually a tablespoon or two)
•Sesame Oil (a teaspoon or two)
•Wash and cut the veggies. Or you can use a food processor if you don't feel like cutting.
•In a frying pan sauté the onions, mushrooms and pepper. Add the crumbled tofu and start to brown. Add the carrots and coleslaw and cook until soft. Add soy sauce and sesame oil to taste. Add bean sprouts and cook until they are tender but cooked too.
•This is the time consuming part, the assembling. I have a little dumpling press which makes this part much easier, but you can do it manually too. I grab a wonton, use my fingers to brush water along the edges, add a spoon of filling and close it up. How you choose to close it is a personal preference, you can do it like a present (the edges overlapped at the top) or like a triangle and press the edges together. Experiment with what you prefer and what tastes best.
•I have a bamboo steamer and I love it! I put some water in a saucepan (a few inches) and boil it. I add the dumplings to the steamer and put it in the pan on the water (you don't want the water to touch them). I like to cook them for 3 minutes, but again personal preference.
•Use a small spatula to carefully take out the dumplings (they can be pretty fragile).
That’s it! Douse in your favourite sauce, mine is the peanut sauce that I linked below. If you have kids who like to help in the kitchen they will be great assembling, my daughter loves to work the dumpling press. It’s a great way to encourage kids to help in the kitchen.
I love wontons! When I learned you can make ravioli with wontons’s I was ecstatic! I love experimenting and trying out different recipes with wontons. This is my laterst creation, a mix of protein, vegetables, and awesome cheese.
First I added all the beets into the food processor. With it I added a can of chick peas, 1 tbsp. tahini, 1 tbsp. lemon juice, 1 tbsp. maple syrup, 1 tsp minced garlic, and salt & pepper. I put the food processor on and processed until smooth, adding some water as needed to get it smooth. Then I added a package of goat cheese and pulsed some more.
Once the mixture is smooth I started putting it in wontons. How you put it in the wonton is a personal preference, as is cooking it.
My favourite way is more like a pot sticker, so wrapping it like a package makes it the most durable. A little filling in the middle, wet the edges, then fold all four sides in.
If you like to bake it, then a triangle is a nice way to fold it. A little in the middle spread it around one diagonal half but not to the edge, wet the edge, fold diagonal and press down to form a triangle. I found you could bake it for 8-10 minutes at 350 if you liked it crispy.
I prefer a little soft and prefer the pot sticker way. I like to pan fry it for a few minutes and get it crispy on the edges, then add about ¼ cup of water and put on a lid. Let the water all soak up.
They are so delicious! Even my toddlers ate it!
I love how easy this is to make. The biggest time consumer is filling the wontons. My preschooler even helped to pour ingredients and scoop filling into the wontons. It is an easy dish to have kids help with, my daughter loves chickpeas and hummus so she was only too happy to help sample!
What is your favourite type of ravioli? Please comment below.
This is a family favourite in my house. Vegetarian and gluten-free, all members can eat it from baby to toddler to adult. This dish has a lot of protein in it, plus tons of veggies so even your baby-led weaning baby can eat it (but avoid the tofu since it is a honey sauce and they are not supposed to have honey). This is my husbands specialty (truth be told I have never ACTUALLY made it myself, he always does), but he told me how to make it so I could share it with you guys.
Cut up tofu and fry in a frying pan with some olive oil. Add in Honey Garlic sauce once browned a bit and let it cook while you finish everything else up.
Cut up mushrooms and broccoli. Fry it in a pan with some olive oil. Once it is soft add in at least one egg per person (we usually do 4-6 eggs) and cook it like you are scrambling eggs.
Once everything is cooked assemble on the plate, a big scoop of rice, some veggie/egg mix and tofu on top with some honey garlic sauce.
I hope your family loves this dish as much as we do. We eat it almost every Saturday when my husband is on dinner-duty, and even I don’t get tired of it (and I usually like to have a lot of variety in my meals, I hate repetition).
What is your favourite dish that you could eat every week and not get tired of?