Monday, September 24, 2012

Vegetarian Food My Kids Will Eat: Vegan Tacos

Since becoming a vegetarian, family meal times have been rather lacking around here. I love for all of us to sit down and eat together at least a few times a week, but when Chris and I are usually eating something different than the kids, we tend to let them eat first and feed ourselves later. My goal is to find more meals that everyone will eat so we can once again enjoy dining together. Besides grilled cheese sandwiches and pasta! It's too bad we didn't start this vegetarian stuff years ago, because then the little munchkins would have grown up with tofu and meat substitutes.

I hope to make this a regular feature on the blog. Maybe that will inspire and motivate me to find recipes and actually cook!

Fantastic World Foods
Today I'm going to start with something totally easy, and a kid-pleaser to boot. Chris found Fantastic World Foods Vegan Taco Filling at Meijer. I have yet to find it at Kroger, but I haven't looked all that hard because Chris keeps buying it from Meijer*. We have had this as a family a couple times, and the kids devour it. Well, Mathilda is a wild card but she barely eats anyway, so we won't count her.

This meal couldn't be simpler, seriously. It is a box mix, so essentially you add the contents of the box to boiling water, reduce heat, and simmer for 5-6 minutes. When it's done, it kind of resembles ground beef. From here you can make it your own and eat it as you would any normal taco. We spoon it onto soft flour or corn tortillas and add freshly shredded cheese and chopped lettuce, sour cream optional. Chris and I also add cooked black beans and chopped fresh tomato, but the kids aren't going that far yet. Obviously, because of our additions (cheese and sour cream), this is not a vegan* meal for us. But if vegan is your thing, you could easily use vegan substitutes and make this meal work.

There is a long list of ingredients, which I try to avoid, but most of these are spices and seasonings. It has a great mild taco flavor (not spicy). Also, in case allergies are an issue, please note that this taco filling may contain wheat and soy. Here is some more info you might be interested in:
  • 100 calories and 1 gram of fat per 1/4 cup serving (0 g trans or saturated fat)
  • Good source of iron (15% daily value) and protein (12 g)
  • Kosher
Also of note, the box says that it contains approximately 4 servings, but all 6 of us ate this, some having seconds, and there was enough left for Chris and I to eat for lunch the next day.

And another thing. I don't believe that we are somehow morally obligated to supply our kids with a grocery list of ingredients for every meal we feed them. We don't lie to them, but we certainly didn't make it a big deal to them that they were about to eat a vegetarian meal, which for whatever reason, automatically renders a meal inedible in the mind of many kids. Once everyone was seated around the table and it was clear this dinner was a winner, we did mention it was vegetarian. We wanted them to realize that vegetarian food can taste good!

If you have any kid-friendly vegetarian dishes you'd like me test out on my family and feature on MichiGal, drop me a line or leave a comment!

*Chris and I kind of split the grocery shopping. He's a Meijer guy, I'm a Kroger gal.

** Vegan food excludes any animal products, including dairy.

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