Making meals for kids can be a challenging thing, especially if you are a parent of picky eaters. Every kid has their own idea about what makes a great snack or lunch for school so you will need a nutritious meal that he or she will actually finish. There is a little trick – If you include at least one type of food your child really likes, you can offer a balanced meal, whether he/she eats other ingredients or not. An extra tip – always try to get your kids involved! You little chefs are more likely to eat what they make for the simple reason that they will be more adventurous about trying their own food. Your child can start by simply whisking the ingredients, move to adding spices, wash or tear a salad, and finally assemble their sandwiches.

Here is the recipe for vegan hot dogs but you can experiment with the ingredients and make burgers or pasta for your child. The recipe calls for brown lentils that are highly versatile so you can experiment endlessly with them. They have an earthy and rich texture, adding thickness and bulk to your vegan recipes. Brown lentils are a nutritional powerhouse food. One half cup of uncooked brown lentils brings 24g protein, 26g fiber, 80mg calcium, 4mg iron, and 900mg potassium. 

Prep time 10 minutes

Cook time 20 minutes

Total time 30 minutes

Servings 2


1 tablespoon olive oil

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 cup dried brown lentil, soaked overnight, drained and rinsed

1 cup vegetable stock

4 tablespoons tomato paste

1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon dried basil

1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary

1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes

Sea salt, to taste

2 seitan sausages

2 whole-wheat hot dog buns, medium, split

1 cucumber, peeled and cut into sticks

1 bell pepper, seeded and sliced


Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Then, sauté the onion and until tender and translucent, approximately 2 minutes.

Stir in the garlic and continue to sauté an additional 30 seconds or until fragrant.

Add in the lentils, vegetable stock, tomato paste and spices; bring to a simmer and continue to cook for about 15 minutes or until lentils are tender.

(You can cook the lentil mixture for a few minutes longer or until it has thickened.)

Meanwhile, cook the sausages according to the package directions or until heated through, turning occasionally. Serve warm sausages on buns. Top each with the lentil mixture and season to taste.

Garnish your Sloppy Joe dogs with cucumber and bell pepper. You can also add vegan condiments of choice (mustard, ketchup, mayo) and you are ready for school!

Nutrition Facts

(Amount per 227g = 1 serving)

Calories 364

Total Carbohydrates 44.3g

Protein 17.1g

Total Fat 15.8g

Chef’s notes:

Double or triple the recipe and you’ve got healthy lunches for the whole week! For example, omit seitan sausages and add a grilled tofu or tempeh, add different salad, seeds or sauces every day, use different types of whole-wheat bread to make sandwiches, and so forth.