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5 Delicious Meatless Mains to try This Week

Jul 12, 2011 at 4:48 PM Chime in now

Corn pancakes with scallions


SWEET POTATO 5: Meatless Mains

By CERI MARSH, Sweet Potato Chronicles

Sometimes dinner isn’t about what’s on the table. In fact, sometimes it’s about what’s not on the table. Stick with me here, I’m about to make sense, I promise. Yes, meals are about the food on the plate and hopefully making it both healthy and delicious for kids and parents alike. But the meals we prepare when our kids are small are also a chance to set some standards and, hey, maybe even some ideals. What defines dinner? Is it the meat and two veg combo that I grew up with? Or do you join the growing trend toward flexitarianism and make a dinner or two a week meatless? The health benefits to you and your kids of reducing your meat intake even by one day a week are undeniable. Multiple studies show that scaling back on meat reduces the risk for cancer, heart disease, diabetes and obesity. Admittedly, it can be a tough switch for some adults to make. Which is why setting the expectations for meatless meals in our kids is so important. And when you think of how many more vegetables, fruits and grains there are out there compared to the few types of meat we eat, it actually opens the doors to millions of mealtime options. You can take the lead from Meatless Monday (a non-profit organization that promotes a reduction in meat consumption and a fantastic resource) and skip steak on Monday or give it a try any night.

Here are some meal ideas to get you started. First, it's breakfast-for-dinner with these delicious corn pancakes.

Corn Pancakes With Scallions

2 eggs, seperated
2 cups buttermilk (2 Tbsps vinegar added to regular milk and left to sit for 10 minutes becomes ad hoc buttermilk)
2 Tbsps vegetable oil, plus a bit for the pan
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 1/2 cups corn meal
1 cup frozen corn
4 scallions, trimmed and chopped from white to beginning of green


1. Pour corn into a bowl to thaw as you prepare the rest of the recipe.

2. Beat egg whites into soft peaks and set aside.

3.Blend egg yolks, oil and buttermilk well.

4.Mix flour, cornmeal, baking soda, baking powder, salt and sugar together until well combined.

5.Combine wet and dry ingredients and add corn and scallions. Gently fold in egg whites. Let stand for 10 minutes before cooking.

6.Heat a small amount of vegetable oil heat in a pan to just above medium. Pour a 1/4 cup of batter per pancake into the pan, cook until you see bubbles along the edges, flip and cook for a minute or two on the other side.

7.Serve with steamed vegetables for dinner!

And here are other mains where you won't miss the meat!

Veggie Chili
An easy-to-make classic that’s satisfying even to carnivores. Plus, it makes enough for lunch the next day.

Butternut Squash Risotto
Once you’ve got the basic technique of risotto making down you can take it in any direction you like. Kids love the sweetness and creaminess of this version.

Crispy Tofu
This recipe will convert even tofu-phobes. It’s a great one to get kids involved in prep.

Vegetable Enchiladas
Give your regular pizza delivery place the night off and try these easy, delicious enchiladas. We bet they become a regular.


For more kid-friendly recipes and snack ideas, sign up for the awesome & indispensable Sweet Potato Chronicles newsletter!

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No-Bake Strawberry Pie

5 Picky Eater Strategies for Easier Mealtimes


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