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Old 09-21-2017, 09:31 PM   #1
charla
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Default Creative ideas for more veggies

I'd like to figure out how to creatively incorporate more veggies into our meals that people will actually eat. What are your best creative ideas?

I cook gluten free and egg free, but feel free to offer any ideas. I hope this thread will be a good resource for all of us with varying diets.

One example I hadn't thought of from another thread is a poster mentioned adding cauliflower to potato soup. I thought that was genius!
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Last edited by charla; 09-21-2017 at 09:33 PM.
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Old 09-21-2017, 11:25 PM   #2
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Default Re: Creative ideas for more veggies

When I make meatloaf, I use pureed carrots instead of tomato sauce due to allergies. I then thinly slice spinach leaves into the mixture. It doesn't take away from the taste of the meatloaf and it adds another veggie to the meal.
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Old 09-22-2017, 12:01 AM   #3
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Default Re: Creative ideas for more veggies

Cauliflower fried "rice" was a big hit here.
I've also added finely grated carrots and zucchini to bolognese sauce and homemade sausage rolls.
I made a roast leftover pie (dice roast meat and vegetables, add some gravy and put in a savoury pie or pastie crust)
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Old 09-22-2017, 12:06 AM   #4
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Default Re: Creative ideas for more veggies

Adding to baking is pretty easy, you can puree anything, almost and mix it in things like muffins and cookies.

Smoothies can hide stuff of similar colors.

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Old 09-22-2017, 02:25 AM   #5
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Default Re: Creative ideas for more veggies

When I make broth I always add a bunch of veggies to it, cook them down and puree them in to the broth. It makes a really nice flavourful thicker broth that my kids love. Not veggies but I also cook and puree beans in to my broth to make it thicker and more stew like without anyone even knowing they are eating beans.
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Old 09-22-2017, 06:33 AM   #6
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Default Re: Creative ideas for more veggies

Great ideas. I'd like to offer more veggies with lunches. Having them prepped and ready is just not happening, but I think it would be good.
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Old 09-22-2017, 06:42 AM   #7
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Default Re: Creative ideas for more veggies

The kids won't do it, but I make sure to have veggies for breakfast. This is usually either eggs scrambled with leftover dinner veggies, or a small bowl of kimchi or sauerkraut with whatever we're having.

I put a surprisingly large amount of shredded carrots and finely chopped mushrooms in almost anything with ground beef, usually spaghetti sauce or taco meat filling around here. (I also add red lentils to those things, but not technically a veggie . .) Stretches the expensive ground beef, sneaks in extra veggies, all the good things.

We are stuck in a rut of baby carrots being the only portable lunch veggie so I need to be better about cutting up cukes and celery at the beginning of the week.

We don't like cauliflower rice but I add zucchini noodles to regular noodles for the kids and sometimes the adults have straight zoodles.

Does buying red pepper and kale hummus count?
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Old 09-22-2017, 07:36 AM   #8
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Default Re: Creative ideas for more veggies

green smoothies or put greens in other smoothies (you can't see them in blueberry or chocolate smoothies. pb chocolate banana is a favorite around here).

You could check some of those sneaky chef books out from the library (I wouldn't lie to my kids about veggies, but those recipes make them palatable for kids so I like them).

if you bake you can do pumpkin muffins, zucchini bread, etc. I also like substituting pureed beans for some of the fat in recipes, but that's not strictly a veggie.

I finally figured out after many years that if I pureed the mushrooms with the sauce, my kids would eat stroganoff but they just didn't like mushroom pieces. Mushrooms are very nutritious so that's a good one.
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Old 09-22-2017, 07:50 AM   #9
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Default Re: Creative ideas for more veggies

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maedchen View Post
When I make meatloaf, I use pureed carrots instead of tomato sauce due to allergies. I then thinly slice spinach leaves into the mixture. It doesn't take away from the taste of the meatloaf and it adds another veggie to the meal.
I have done this in the past, but the kids weren't too happy about it, but I do think carrots and spinach would go over well. Maybe grated zucchini.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Barefoot View Post
Cauliflower fried "rice" was a big hit here.
I've also added finely grated carrots and zucchini to bolognese sauce and homemade sausage rolls.
This is a great idea. I could add more veggies to my spaghetti sauce and I don't think anyone would be the wiser.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MaySunflowers View Post
Adding to baking is pretty easy, you can puree anything, almost and mix it in things like muffins and cookies.

Smoothies can hide stuff of similar colors.

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What kind of veggies do you use in baking? How do you sub? I'm making gluten free stuff so I know it's already kind of complicated.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2sunshines View Post
When I make broth I always add a bunch of veggies to it, cook them down and puree them in to the broth. It makes a really nice flavourful thicker broth that my kids love. Not veggies but I also cook and puree beans in to my broth to make it thicker and more stew like without anyone even knowing they are eating beans.
What veggies do you use in your broth?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Singingmom View Post
Great ideas. I'd like to offer more veggies with lunches. Having them prepped and ready is just not happening, but I think it would be good.
Me, too. Lunch is definitely where I'm falling down on veggie intake.

Quote:
Originally Posted by greengirl19 View Post
The kids won't do it, but I make sure to have veggies for breakfast. This is usually either eggs scrambled with leftover dinner veggies, or a small bowl of kimchi or sauerkraut with whatever we're having.

I put a surprisingly large amount of shredded carrots and finely chopped mushrooms in almost anything with ground beef, usually spaghetti sauce or taco meat filling around here. (I also add red lentils to those things, but not technically a veggie . .) Stretches the expensive ground beef, sneaks in extra veggies, all the good things.

We are stuck in a rut of baby carrots being the only portable lunch veggie so I need to be better about cutting up cukes and celery at the beginning of the week.

We don't like cauliflower rice but I add zucchini noodles to regular noodles for the kids and sometimes the adults have straight zoodles.

Does buying red pepper and kale hummus count?
How do you add the lentils to your ground beef? My kids love zucchini noodles. We need to have them more often. Oh and I think red pepper and kale hummus counts.


I was reminded that when I've made potato soup lately, I've added a handful of chopped kale to it. I think everyone thinks it is some kind of herb.

---------- Post added at 09:50 AM ---------- Previous post was at 09:46 AM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aerynne View Post
green smoothies or put greens in other smoothies (you can't see them in blueberry or chocolate smoothies. pb chocolate banana is a favorite around here).

You could check some of those sneaky chef books out from the library (I wouldn't lie to my kids about veggies, but those recipes make them palatable for kids so I like them).

if you bake you can do pumpkin muffins, zucchini bread, etc. I also like substituting pureed beans for some of the fat in recipes, but that's not strictly a veggie.

I finally figured out after many years that if I pureed the mushrooms with the sauce, my kids would eat stroganoff but they just didn't like mushroom pieces. Mushrooms are very nutritious so that's a good one.

I'm supposed to be adding more legumes to my diet and my children aren't all that happy about them, so ways to add them is awesome, too.

Yes, I keep forgetting about mushrooms. I used to chop them up and add them to ground beef to make the beef go further.

I love the ideas for adding in/hiding veggies so keep them coming, bu I also would like to talk about making meals more veggie centered rather than "meat and starch". How does one accomplish that in a palatable way?
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Old 09-22-2017, 08:27 AM   #10
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Default Re: Creative ideas for more veggies

I don't know how to make gluten free or anything... but with my muffins, for example I just add about a half a cup extra flour to absorb the extra liquid of purees added. I've not had to in awhile, but I have done things like carrots, mangoes, apples, cauliflower, broccoli (in chocolate cake mix in place of most of the liquid called for... beats hide well in chocolate too). Basically anything you can soften by cooking than pureed smoothly you can hide with the right flavor.

Another thing I have done is rolling meat in pureed veg (like carrot or yellow peppers) and then breading it (that is less concentrated though).

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---------- Post added at 04:27 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:58 PM ----------

Book suggestion, maybe you can tweek recipes for your gf needs, "Deceptively Delicious: Simple Secrets to Get Your Kids Eating Good Food" Jessica Seinfeld.



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Old 09-22-2017, 08:32 AM   #11
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Default Re: Creative ideas for more veggies

I used pureed butternut squash in recipes that call for small-ish amounts of pumpkin.
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Old 09-22-2017, 08:40 AM   #12
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Default Re: Creative ideas for more veggies

Quote:
Originally Posted by charla View Post
I love the ideas for adding in/hiding veggies so keep them coming, bu I also would like to talk about making meals more veggie centered rather than "meat and starch". How does one accomplish that in a palatable way?
Sweet potato fries are another one I forgot to mention- we bake them.

I do breaded, baked cauliflower as a meat sub in tacos. It has a nice, meaty texture. I also make bean patties instead of meat patties.

Soups are good for more veggie centered meals. Also potatoes may be starchy but they have a lot of vitamins so they have some veggie qualities, too.
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Old 09-22-2017, 08:40 AM   #13
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Default Re: Creative ideas for more veggies

Add bacon
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Old 09-22-2017, 09:12 AM   #14
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Default Re: Creative ideas for more veggies

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aerynne View Post
Sweet potato fries are another one I forgot to mention- we bake them.

I do breaded, baked cauliflower as a meat sub in tacos. It has a nice, meaty texture. I also make bean patties instead of meat patties.

Soups are good for more veggie centered meals. Also potatoes may be starchy but they have a lot of vitamins so they have some veggie qualities, too.
Do your sweet potato fries get crispy? If so I'd love your tips.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sparrow View Post
Add bacon
Bacon. Yes, bacon. It counts if it is in a BLT, right?
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Old 09-22-2017, 09:31 AM   #15
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Default Re: Creative ideas for more veggies

Quote:
Originally Posted by charla View Post
Do your sweet potato fries get crispy? If so I'd love your tips.



Bacon. Yes, bacon. It counts if it is in a BLT, right?
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You can coat them in oil if they aren't getting crispy (put in a bag with oil and shake). Oil also makes the salt stick. But it might be a humidity thing- I live in the desert.
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