Here’s how to get more veggies in your diet!
By: Leanne Ely
I’ve been enjoying the Dear Dinner Diva emails (got a question or comment, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org)
In addition to the great questions that were asked, a few folks sent in some great ideas for becoming a more conscientious veggie and fruit eater. Here are just a few:
* When my kids were little, I started being a sneaky cook. I add grated carrots and zucchini to spaghetti sauce. I add peppers and onions to scrambled eggs. Mac and cheese can enjoy frozen peas, salads benefit from sprouts, jicama, frozen peas, broccoli, cauliflower and even snow peas, raw turnips, radishes, and chopped apples, or grapes.
Zucchini is so versatile, it is great in muffins, soup, even stir fry’s and quiche.
I have started making sure I have a piece of fruit with me whenever I leave the hours for work. Oranges, bananas, even grapefruit disappear when I have them with me instead of dumped in a crisper drawer.
* I LOVE the bags of coleslaw mix. I add them to scrambled eggs, breakfast burritos, soups, and lots of other things. The coleslaw adds fiber and texture without adding lots of “taste” to most anything you cook. Kathy in Nebraska
* I’ve found that meatloaf is a really easy food to squeeze a TON of veggies into. I use lean ground turkey and add frozen chopped spinach (my “go-to” veggies as well!) and any veggies I find in the fridge–carrots, zucchini, chopped broccoli, onion (does that one count?), celery…you get the idea. If you chop them up, it disguises them pretty well which makes it kid friendly but super nutritious!
* Dear Leanne, My tip is pumpkin! It is really great used in any baked product instead of oil For years we’ve done this with applesauce, abut pumpkin is packed with nutrients! If I am making brownies, for instance, I open a can of pumpkin and measure out the same amount the recipe requires of oil. I freeze the rest unless I have immediate plans for it. I have taste tested this on my most critical audience….my veggie-hating adult nephew. He couldn’t believe it when I told him the brownies were healthy and actually contained a veg (I usually try to count chocolate as fruit……well, it grows on trees….I wish). He doubly couldn’t believe it contained pumpkin which he doesn’t like.
For April Fool’s day I made Fauxberry Pie from FamilyFun.com, and it uses almost no butter. For the “berry” part you use a can of beets which are put into a blender only until they are chopped small enough to pass for berries (set it on 2 or 3). The chocolate part of the pie is really Shepherd’s pie and you sneak in an onion and whatever else you want. It looks like a yummy desert pie, and let me tell you it was a big hit with kids and adults alike (my Bunko group loved it) and NONE of them guessed it had beets in it. Oh, and I didn’t say I HATE BEETS but I love this recipe! It’s listed under their holiday selections of recipes, and April Fool’s Day. So I guess my tip here is to use veggies instead of fats…..and to make it FUN!
Thanks for all you do to bless our families! I love your cookbooks!!! I have given them as gifts to lots of people!! Kathy
* I have to tell you first of all, how much I love your products and suggestions.
I also have a suggestion for people with kids who think that salads are “gross.”
We make “mini” salads for the kids. We start with spring mix and baby spinach, then add carrot, by peeling curls off the carrot with a regular vegetable peeler. Sometimes they even let us sneak some raw green peppers and sprouts in there, now. All of the pieces are small for little mouths, and have lots of crunch and texture. We make them their own salad dressing, a traditional Mediterranean one: equal parts lemon juice and olive oil with a little salt, pepper and paprika. They love it, and we can get two more veggie servings into them a couple times a week.
Keep up the good work!
That’s all for now, but stay TUNED…there’s more where that came from!
Our Menu Mailer recipes include suggested sides to help you eat even healthier!