Sunday, December 16, 2007

Yummy Ways To Prepare Veggies

My son is super picky, and he went through a phase where he didn't want to eat any vegetables at all. Luckily, it was short lived and he eats much better now, but there are still some veggies he won't eat.

Many kids and a lot of adults fall short of the eight servings of vegetables recommended by nutritionists, and one of the biggest reasons is because people don't like the way vegetables taste. Fortunately, there are easy ways to dress up those same old carrots. Here are some ideas from Prevention magazine for preparing vegetables so they taste good, yet maintain their healthfulness.


Twice baked potatoes with broccoli: Scoop the flesh out of baked potatoes, mash with steamed broccoli and cottage cheese, then stuff filling back into skin.

Low-fat potato salad: Toss steamed, quartered new potatoes with green beans and dress with honey mustard and olive oil.

Gnocchi: Check the refrigerated section at the grocery store for these pasta made with potatoes. Serve with steamed peas and pesto.

If you don't like potatoes, try cauliflower. The texture is similar, and it makes a great base for cream soups.


Honey Carrots: Steam carrots until just tender. Add butter and honey for a sweet side dish.

Sandwich Topping: Finely shred carrots and mix with peanut butter, then spread on whole grain bread for a crunchy sandwich.

Carrot fries: Slice carrots lengthwise and coat with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast at 450 for 30-40 minutes for a nutritious twist on french fries.

If you don't like carrots, try butternut squash. This vegetable becomes sweeter when you cook it. Or slice it and toss it into stews, soups or pasta dishes.

Insalata caprese: Serve sliced tomatoes with fresh mozzarella and fresh basil. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Roasted Tomatoes and Chicken: Quarter plum tomatoes, coat with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast at 400 for 20 minutes. Serve over grilled chicken.

Southwestern rice: toss brown rice with canned diced tomatoes and chilies. Serve with shredded cheese.

If you don't like tomatoes, try red bell peppers. Serve raw with dip, or roast with onions, or puree to add to sauces.

Dips: Microwave florets until tender and serve with ranch dressing or melted cheddar cheese.

Vegetable salad: Microwave florets and let cool, then combine with grape tomatoes, lemon juice and olive oil.

Pasta Salad: Combine florets with penne pasta and chicken tenders, then top with marinara sauce and red pepper flakes.

If you don't like broccoli, try asparagus. Wrap asparagus in chicken breasts and bake, or chop and steam, or coat in olive oil and roast.

Polenta: Top cooked polenta with marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese.

Chicken salad: Steam frozen corn, cool and combine with black beans, cooked chicken, scallions, olive oil, lime juice and garlic powder.

Creamed corn: Mix frozen corn with canned cream corn, bake until set and sprinkle with cheese.

If you don't like corn, try peas. Add to rice for a colorful side dish, or toss into soups and stews.

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