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

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.

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

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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