Sunday, September 6, 2009

Veggies for the ultra-picky crowd -- and a recipe to get you started!

Are you having a hard time getting your kid to eat anything grown on a tree or a vine? Try sneaking nutritious veggies into their favorite foods!

  • Got a little pasta lover? Puree broccoli or peppers (a great source of vitamin C) and carrots and spinach (full of vitamin A) and add it to a tomato-based pasta sauce for some surprise nutrients. It won’t change the flavor, and you can even use it as pizza sauce! If all they eat is mac’n’cheese, try some steamed cauliflower mushed up into the cheese sauce.
  • That cauliflower trick works for mashed potatoes, too: just substitute steamed cauliflower for part or all of the potatoes! Add a little garlic and cheese, and they’ll never notice.
  • Mmm…smoothies! Enjoy the rest of summer with fresh (or frozen, in winter) fruit like strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, mango, papaya, and bananas blended into a milk- or yogurt-based smoothie. It’s a perfect way to get them to eat their A, C, potassium, calcium, and folate! Experiment with different combinations of fruit (and maybe a spoonful of peanut or almond butter?) to find your kid’s favorites.
  • Chili and meatloaf are already chock full of protein, and there’s no reason why you can’t shred or chop some carrots, broccoli, mushrooms, or onions to add to those or other meat or casserole dishes. We bet they’ll never even notice the change!
This recipe for Crispy Kale has the crunch and salty tang of french fries, but less fat and way more vitamins. It's a good side dish or movie-watching snack.

Prep Time: 25 minutes


* 6-8 cups chopped fresh kale, hard stems removed
* 2 Tbsp. olive oil
* 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
* 1/2 tsp. kosher salt or sea salt


1. Place a rack on the lowest shelf of your oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Spread kale out on a sturdy baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and apple cider vinegar. Toss to coat completely.

3. Place on the lowest rack of the oven and bake for 10 minutes.

4. Remove from oven and stir so that kale can get crispy all over.

5. Bake another 8 to 12 minutes or until kale is crispy. It should be just lightly browned and crispy to the touch. If kale still bends, rather than crackles, when you touch it, it isn't done yet. Return it to the oven. Turn down the heat if it is getting too brown. Continue cooking until crispy.

6. Remove from oven, sprinkle with sea salt, and serve immediately.

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