Georgina Hayden’s healthy budget dishes for kids – recipes | Vegetarian food and drinks

Clooking for kids can be the biggest battleground: one day they’re eating something you made with love, only to push it away (or throw it on the floor — we’ve all been there the next). Then there’s the question of vegetables: There doesn’t seem to be a rhyme or reason about which ones are in favor at any given time. The most important thing I’ve learned is that if you include them in the process, they’re much more likely to eat a dish — or at least try it. Today’s coconut rice is a great example of an inexpensive meal they can help with, while the quiche is the baking equivalent of messy play: rolling, dusting, grating… Mushrooms aren’t the easiest to sell to my little ones, at least, so making them cheesy and playful works wonders.

Red pepper, kidney beans and coconut rice

This is one of my daughters favorite meals; there are so many parts to this Caribbean-inspired rice that they can help with, making them enjoy it all the more. It is also nutritious.

Preparation 10 minutes
Cook 50 minutes
Serves 4-6

3 tablespoon peanut oil
1 bunch
spring onions trimmed and finely sliced ​​or clipped
2 cloves of garlic
peeled and finely grated or chopped
2 red peppers
halved, marrow and seeds removed and discarded, flesh torn or cut into small pieces
1 medium tomato

6 sprigs of fresh thyme
6 allspice berries
3 cm piece of fresh ginger
1 can of 400 ml
coconut milk
1 x 400g can of kidney beans
200 g long grain rice

sea ​​salt and black pepper (optional)
4 large eggs (optional)
2 limes cut into wedges to serve
chili sauce
to serve (optional)

Place a large saucepan or casserole over medium heat, add the oil, scallions, garlic and bell pepper and cook, stirring frequently, for 12-15 minutes, until softened. Cut the tomato into pieces and add it to the pan with the thyme and allspice. Finely grate the ginger, cook for a few minutes, stirring, and then add the coconut milk and kidney beans, including the liquid from the bean tin. Add 250 ml of water, bring to the boil and stir in the rice. Season to taste, cover the pan and simmer over low heat for 30 minutes.

If using the eggs and the rice is almost done, bring a medium pot of water to a boil, add the eggs and cook for seven minutes. Drain and let cool in cold water.

After 30 minutes, remove the rice from the heat, remove the lid, cover with a tea towel and let it steam for a few minutes.

Serve the stretched rice with a peeled boiled egg, lemon wedges to squeeze over and a bottle of chili sauce for those who like a little heat.

Quiche with chestnut mushrooms, mustard and cheddar

Quiche with mushrooms, mustard and cheddar from Georgina Hayden.
Quiche with mushrooms, mustard and cheddar from Georgina Hayden.

I’ve always had a hard time getting my girls to eat mushrooms, but when I wrap them in a cheesy, creamy quiche filling, they love it. The addition of subtle flavors like mustard powder and chives is a great way to gently distract their taste buds from simpler foods, and they’re both ingredients that help kids prepare.

Preparation 15 minutes
Hang out 20 minutes
Cook 1 hour
Serves 6-8

Flourto dust
500 g shortcrust pastry
500 g chestnut mushrooms
1 large knob of butter
tablespoon olive oil
sea ​​salt and
black pepper (optional)
3 large eggs
200 ml whipped cream
100 whole milk
1 tsp mustard powder
10 g bunch of chives
100 g mature cheddar cheese
or vegetarian alternative

Dust a work surface with some flour and roll out the dough into a large circle about cm thick, large enough to line a 25 cm loose-bottomed pie dish. Carefully roll the dough over the rolling pin and then drape it into the tin. Tear off a piece of the overhang and use it to push the dough straight into the ridged edges (keep that piece aside, in case you need it later to fill in any gaps). Leave the rest of the overhang, prick the bottom of the dough with a fork and put the mold in the freezer for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200C (180C Fan)/390F/Gas 6. Wipe the mushrooms clean and tear into approximately 2½cm pieces. Place a large skillet over medium heat, add the butter, oil and mushrooms, season and cook, stirring frequently, for 15-20 minutes, until mushrooms lose their moisture and begin to turn golden brown.

Place the cooled cake tin on an oven tray, line the dough with baking paper and fill with baking beans or similar. Blind bake for 10 minutes, then carefully lift out the paper and beans and bake for an additional 12-15 minutes, until golden brown.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs, cream, milk and mustard powder and cut through the chives. Coarsely grate the cheddar and stir most of it into the egg mixture.

When the quiche tin is ready, trim off the excess dough and scoop the mushrooms into it evenly. Pour over the cream mixture, sprinkle over the remaining cheddar and bake for 30 minutes, until the filling is just firm but still wobbles slightly in the center. Let the quiche cool for at least 15 minutes before removing from the mold, slicing and serving.

  • Georgina Hayden’s latest book, Nistisima: The Secret to Delicious Vegan Cooking from the Mediterranean and Beyond, is published by Bloomsbury for £26. To order a copy for £22.62, go to