Friday, October 15, 2010

sneaky vegetables

if you know me, you know that i like vegetables.

i like them for their taste, but especially for their nutritional value.  vegetables (especially leafy greens) really pack a punch nutritionally, so i try to include them with every meal.

"every meal?  even breakfast?"  you may be wondering.  yes, its true.  i would say that the majority of breakfasts that i serve have vegetables.  here are three ways that i make sure my family starts off the day with veggies.

green smoothies

though i call them green smoothies, these smoothies are rarely actually green.  to our morning smoothies i will add all types of vegetables (depending on what we have at the house): carrots, cucumber, summer or winter squash, kale, spinach, bok choy, or mustard greens.  if you have a right balance of fruit and veggies and blend it for long enough, the veggies aren't even noticeable.

egg fritatta

i love eggs!  if they weren't so expensive i would probably serve them more than i do (we usually eat them about once a week).  veggies go pretty naturally with eggs, so its not too much of a stretch here.  i put an emphasis on the veggies, and use about a half to whole cup of chopped veggies per egg.  i always use chopped onion in my eggs, and in addition to that 2-3 other veggies, such as cabbage, leafy greens, peppers and tomatoes.  to simplify my life since we got the kids, i usually make this in a baking dish, and bake it at 350 degrees until it is done.

anything squash/pumpkin

i LOVE squash season!  there are so many delicious ways to serve this amazing food.  you can put squash or pumpkin into pancakes, waffles, muffins or bread.  you can even put them in eggs (trust me... i have done it on more than one occasion).

this week, i baked butternut squash sprinkled with sucanat, cinnamon and butter.  when it was done i mashed it with a fork and served it topped with some lightly sweetened homemade frozen yogurt.  it was delish!

Farmer's Market Foods Organic Canned Pumpkin, 15-Ounce Cans (Pack of 12)another breakfast i have in mind for a day soon is pumpkin parfait: mixing mashed pumpkin and plain yogurt together, topped with pumpkin seeds and chopped toasted pecans.

sneaky vegetables in other meals:

*finely chopped veggies in meatloaf.  this is an especially great way to get in more leafy greens!  make the meatloaf with a chopped onion, a chopped bunch of leafy greens (i usually use kale or mustard greens), a pound of grass-fed ground beef and a couple of pastured eggs and you will be having a nutritional heyday.

*mashed cauliflower.  it is similar to mashed potatoes, but it is less starchy, and helps pack in more vitamins.  Here is one suggestion on how to make it.

*on many recipes that call for rice, i will replace about 1/4 of the rice with grated summer squash.

happy vegging! :)

i would love to hear your suggestions on how you include more veggies in your meals.  leave a comment to share your tips!

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