The Family Beast’s Top 3: Non-Cooking Meals

Cooking for children is like a culinary Tough Mudder. It seems endless, is fraught with traps, pitfalls and meltdowns. Blood is not uncommon. It is relentless and at the end – actually, what does happen at the end? Is there an end? Does anybody survive?

The following three recipes are are brilliant for two reasons. Number one – they don’t actually necessitate complex cooking (come on, rice does not count), and number two – they are easily adapted for fussy eaters.

Number 1 – Sushi
sushiSushi is surprisingly easy, free of all the usual suspects (gluten, dairy, nuts) and can be filled with just about anything – carrot, celary, avocado, tuna, capsicum etc, and only involves cooking some rice.

Wiki How has a great step-by-step guide to rolling sushi and older children can do their own. Once you’ve mastered the art of rolling sushi – and let’s face it, if you’ve driven a car with 3 screaming children in the back, there’s not much you can’t master given a clear surface area and a sharp knife, sushi becomes just as easy as dashing off some sandwiches for school lunches and is a great alternative.

Number 2 – Rice Paper Rolls
RicePaperRolls

Rice paper rolls are very similar to Sushi in that they are healthy, and they can be custom built depending on tastes.

Here are two recipe options – one vegetarian and one not – but really, you can put anything at all in.

This vegetarian recipe is from Stacey at The Veggie Mamma and includes ideas for dipping sauces:
Vegetarian Rice Paper Rolls

If you prefer something a little meatier:
Rice Paper Rolls with Chicken

Number 3 – Hummus Sharing Plate
hummusHummus is another non-cooker.  Many recipes will tell you to soak the chickpeas overnight and then boil them for about a week to soften them however they do come pre-cooked and provided you can use a can opener, then I suggest you make life simple and  use the tinned variety. One tin makes just the right amount as well.

Ingredients:
1 x 450g tin of chickpeas
2 tablespoons of tahini
3 tablespoons of olive oil or avocado oil
Juice of one lemon
Salt/pepper/paprika (optional) to taste

Method:
Drain the chickpeas, rinse and place in a food processor (or a bowl with a barmix) along with the tahini, salt, pepper (and paprika if using) and lemon juice. Blend well, adding the olive oil slowly as you blend until you have a nice creamy texture. Place in a bowl and serve with sliced vegetables, crackers and flatbread.

Happy non-cooking!

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