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Daycare Menus, Breakfast, Lunch and Snack Ideas>Meat Alternatives
MommyMuffin 05:23 PM 10-05-2011
I've noticed food prices going up at my grocery stores. And my income isnt going

On the food program we have to serve a meat with lunch. Meat is so expensive.
I sometimes make egg salad or serve cottage cheese with some lunch meat to satisfy the fp.

Any ideas, recipies for meat alternatives. Just this week I made a pasta with beans, but I have no more ideas. I dont want to serve chicken and lunchmeat all the time.
Meyou 04:29 AM 10-06-2011
TVP - textured vegatable protein (you buy it dry and rehydrate it with water and then use it as a ground beef substitute in sauces and casseroles

Tofu - chopped fine it takes on the flavor of what you're cooking and disapears into the dish

Quinoa - a south american grain that is high in protein (use it like you would rice)

Legumes (beans, peanuts, lentils, chick peas)

Peanut or almond butter



I do alot of meat alternatives because I have one vegetarian and two pescetarians (no meat but eat fish). It's really not that hard once you get rolling. I found the hardest part was to retrain my brain to understand that a meal can be complete without meat on the plate.
meganlavonnesmommy 04:33 AM 10-06-2011
Meatless ideas:
Scrambled eggs
egg and cheese burritos
breakfast pizza
hard boiled eggs
black bean quesadillas
refried bean tacos
grilled cheese sandwiches
chili with beans
spaghetti with white bean tomato sauce
split pea soup
string cheese and yogurt
KEG123 05:13 AM 10-06-2011
BEANS! I make chilli and then put it in a tortilla like a quesadilla. Or a bean burrito. Or lentil tacos. Basically, Mexican food.
MommyMuffin 05:19 AM 10-06-2011
What wonderful ideas! Thank you. I am just starting to learn to cook so I'm going to have to find some recipes and practice.
queenbee 06:55 PM 10-26-2011

I run a vegetarian daycare so my specialty is finding and using meat-alternatives

I will be posting a few of my menus in the Weekly Menus thread in a day or two if you are interested.
Unregistered 09:33 AM 12-31-2011
I see this is an older thread, but I've been looking for ideas myself. So far I've had some successes and some failures. We've been eating a lot of cheese and yogurt (a favorite with the kids). I've also done things to extend the meat - like making a cheeseburger (half the met required when you add half the cheese required ). I've made meatless meatballs and meatless hamburgers (still perfecting the recipe, but the last one was pretty good). Used beans, but lentils are good, too, along with oatmeal and rice. And so many carrots that each hamburger qualified as a veggie as well.

Some other ideas I've been working on - veggie stew served with some cottage cheese or hard cheese or a hard boiled egg, pot pies the same way. And again, you can make the above with half the meat and add half the cheese or some beans!

I haven't done a lot with tofu, and am really looking forward to some recipes for that! I really shy away from the TVP and soy sauce as they are basically loaded with msg. I am deathly allergic and so I don't use it at all. I loved the other ideas - bean and cheese tacos and burritos and bean tomato sauce! yummy! And chili on burritos!

I make breakfast pizza and veggie pizza as well, just make sure I put enough cheese on it. A Mexican pizza with beans would be a fun try! Maybe next week......
HelenS1985 11:10 PM 03-25-2012
does it irritate you when people use the word meat to mean Lamb?

why do people talk about eating chiken, or aash or goroor goos but then switch to the word meat when they should say berrir goos?

Get it right

Meat = Mangsho = Goos
Bella99 02:18 PM 03-26-2012
Would almond milk count as a meat alternative (almonds) or milk (milk type)

craftymissbeth 10:06 AM 07-31-2014
I know I'm dredging up an older thread, but it's an awesome source of meat alternatives.

I'm currently working on August's menu for the Food Program and am going to start Meatless Mondays (and any other days I can fit it in).

One thing that my FP doesn't allow as a meat alt. is tofu. Which bummed me out because I think my kids would love baked tofu.

Right now we do a whole lot of:
Cottage Cheese
Yogurt (why doesn't this count as a meat alt. for infants, though? My 8 mo dcb LOVES yogurt)

I'd love some new ideas if anyone else has any to add. Especially ones that infants can eat as well according to FP standards
Rachel 10:10 AM 07-31-2014
I made my kids homemade falafal with homemade tortillas the other day. the kids loved it.

Just soak chickpeas overnight. blend in food processor with a few spices (I think I used garlic, and a couple of spoonfuls of techina).

Add some flour. Enough so it sticks together but not too much.

Put in fridge covered for a few hours. Take out and heat oil, form balls and fry (test one first to see if it falls apart, if it does add a bit more flour).

Serve in a wrap with chummus and raw veggies and yum!

Another favorite here is lentil patties. I don't have an exact recipe but cook lentils until really, really, soft. Add breadcrumbs & egg & whatever you would add to ground beef. Form into patties and pan fry.
nothingwithoutjoy 10:13 AM 07-31-2014
Originally Posted by craftymissbeth:
One thing that my FP doesn't allow as a meat alt. is tofu. Which bummed me out because I think my kids would love baked tofu.
I'm not on the food program now, mostly because of silly rules like this one. But when I was, my food program representative pretty much told me to lie when I served tofu (well, not lie, but be vague) and write "soybeans." So dumb, but it worked.
SignMeUp 03:12 PM 08-01-2014
One of my DCKs favorite recipes is a tofu-egg-cheese-spinach quiche.
Make a whole wheat crust and hand-press into pie plate.
10 oz pkg frozen chopped spinach (or equivalent fresh)
1 pkg tofu
2-3 eggs
-1 onion, chopped
Splash of soy sauce
4-6 oz grated cheese

Save some of the cheese to sprinkle on top (not too much or it browns too much). Bake at 350 for 45-60 minutes, or until filling is well set.
SignMeUp 03:18 PM 08-01-2014
And for saving money on your protein, I don't think anything can beat cooking your own beans or peas from dry. I usually keep about a dozen jars full of a variety of beans in my cupboard.
Another favorite of my kids is Yellow Pea Soup.
It's just yellow peas (like green peas. only pretty )
Cook until fairly soft with salt, pepper and a generous amount of onion. I also add in some sliced carrots when I start the peas because it adds a bit of a sweet taste.
When peas start to soften, I add barley. And a bit later, more sliced carrots. These will stay in whole slices - the carrots put in earlier will cook down.

I make a huge batch and freeze in meal-size portions. I make it quite thick because it doesn't take much space in the freezer. When you thaw it, you can add water to the consistency you desire. (Though my kids prefer it just a bit thinner than mashed potatoes )
Unregistered 02:52 AM 10-14-2014
Lunch ideas
Eggs-scrambled with chunks of pre-cooked potatoes and cheese I call "skillet meal" on my menu
Cottage cheese
Beans and Spanish rice
String cheese
Bean/cheese burritos
Grilled cheese
French toast bake

I'd hesitate with soy products because of the high natural estrogen and also soybeans in this country are all almost GMO.
Elko 06:47 PM 10-23-2014
I'm a non-cook for the most part, and the "thing" I do with tofu is "marinate" it in any "asian" type (yeah, lots of quotes in this post) salad dressing (usually sesame-based), then cut it into cubes or french-fry shapes (for "those" kids) and bake it at 350 for 30 minutes, turning them over halfway through. I get the extra-firm kind.

I might be mis-remembering a recipe (temperature and time) I read a long time ago, but I just do it so the texture is interesting and the flavor is good enough It's not always a hit, but it's an option to try if you have adventurous eaters! The last dressing I used was orange-sesame, and it was a total dud. I didn't even like it...
Unregistered 04:49 AM 04-24-2015
I've had good luck with lentil loaf. I do add a few more eggs and use crackers over oatmeal as the filler. I've had good luck with it tasting " meaty", which isn't necessary for me as I'm a vegetarian. I've had kids gobble it up. I do find finely & thinly chopped onion helps add good flavor. If it tiny and thin it cooks right in and kids don't notice it.
Tags:2011, health food, meat, meat alternatives, vegan, vegetarian
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