I’ve been doing a lot of reading and research lately following my childrens’ decision to be vegetarians. After recently learning what meat is my two little animal-lovers were devastated. So, faced with the guilt of lying to them about it, I thought it best to face the facts and allow them to decide *not* to eat animals.  While their decision seems to change and deviate daily, I have been trying to incorporate more vegetarian meals into our repertoire none-the-less for health, environmental and ethical reasons.

I suppose going back to this way of life should be second nature for me but I have struggled to provide my children with the proper protein they require, while preparing the traditional veggie dishes I used to make. Balancing proper nutrition and actually getting my kids to eat well, while omitting meat from their diet is proving to be quite a challenge thus far, and we’ve only just begun! It doesn’t really help matters any that my two are *extremely* picky eaters, and even a cheese sandwich is occasionally rejected if not properly presented, shaped or cooked just right. I blame this on my husband, who was apparently also Mr. fussy as a child, and evidently passed this along to our offspring. Meanwhile, I ate anything and everything I was given. Let’s hope that at least our kids got my genes in the height department 🙂

When I was following the veggie lifestyle, I made dishes such as chickpea burgers, spicy rice and beans, stir-fry’s with nuts and of course plenty of tofu. Generally speaking, these don’t go over too well with the young’uns. So, I am on a mission. I am searching for recipes that are both vegetarian and that my children will actually try. Notice I said *try* not *eat* That is an entirely different matter all together.

This evening I came across a very inspirational set of vegetarian and vegan recipes and was particularly interested in trying this one because it sounds delicious. Basically it seems to be a vegetarian “meatloaf” minus the meat part. I can’t wait to try it and will let you know if I can convince my kiddos that it is in fact meatless and delicious enough to try. Fingers crossed!

Baked Vegan Nut Loaf

8 oz chopped mixed nuts

1 onion, chopped

1 green pepper, chopped

1/2 cup broccoli, finely chopped

1 stick of celery, chopped

1 grated carrot

1 cup mushrooms, finely chopped

2oz breadcrumbs

1 oz wholemeal flour (I used regular unbleached)

5 oz vegetable stock

1 TBSP Mixed herbs (I used garlic powder, thyme, salt and pepper, parsley flakes)

1 TBSP vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 375 °F. Heat the vegetable oil in a pan and saute the onion for a few minutes. Add pepper, celery and mushrooms and saute for 2 more minutes. Add the grated carrot and fry for one more minute. Remove from the heat, add the flour and stir. Add vegetable stock, nuts, breadcrumbs, mixed herbs and a little salt and pepper. Grease the inside of a loaf tin. Put the mixture into the tin, pressing it down with a spoon. Bake for around 35 minutes and serve with mushroom gravy and a salad.