Butternut Squash Pasta

Fast, Kid-friendly Vegetarian Dinners

It’s 5:30, you’re staring at a few hungry, grubby faces and thinking, “What are we having for dinner?”  I’m usually a big believer in menu planning.  However, there are plenty of days when I don’t have a plan, but everyone still needs to be fed.

If we lived in the US, we might go out to eat, but in Ireland, there really aren’t many of the “fast-casual” restaurants.  There are no Chili’s, Applebees, etc.  The closest thing to the fast-casual restaurant is the local pub.  Some pubs have great food, and some do not.  Our local (as they are called here), has great atmosphere, but the food is a total dud.  Fast food is not very common either.  So, it is handy to have a few go-to kid-friendly recipes around to get dinner on the table quickly.  We are vegetarian most of the time,  but most of these meals could easily incorporate meat.

For the record, I define fast as: “Idea – to – Table” in 45 minutes or less.

Pasta with Butternut Squash, Pine Nuts and Sage Leaves.  We almost always have these ingredients on hand, thanks to the sage bush in our back garden.

Lentil Sloppy-Joes.  I was really skeptical of this recipe before we tried it, but it is so good! It tastes as good or better than sloppy joes made with manwich and ground beef.  Since this recipe uses lentils and canned tomatoes, you can keep almost all the ingredients in your pantry until needed. Also, this recipe freezes really well, so you can make a double batch and stick it in the freezer for a super-quick meal.

Frittata.  We don’t really use a recipe any more, but I have included one to get you started.  The main difference between this recipe and ours is that we thinly slice our potatoes in the food processor and saute them until crisp along the edges.  With a food processor, this dish is so easy to make.

Pasta with yogurt, peas, and chile.   My kids love peas, and they love yogurt, so they really enjoy this recipe.  If you eat vegetarian regularly, you need to check out Yotam Ottlenghi’s recipes and cookbooks.  We have Plenty and love it. He has a new one coming out this year, Plenty More.

Baked Ravioli.  Another great recipe to help break out of the “pasta and tomato sauce” rut.

For more ideas, you can follow my Pinterest Board, “What To Eat for Dinner 2014“.  I post recipes that we cook for dinner that are available online. What are some of your go-to recipes?  I’m always looking for new ideas!