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How do you sneak in enough veggies?

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Old 02-27-2005, 11:47 PM   #1
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Default How do you sneak in enough veggies?

I don't particularly care for veggies, but know I need to eat more of them..... any suggestions?
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Old 02-28-2005, 02:13 AM   #2
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If you are cooking a casserole, stew or even making a gravy or sauce, chop up lots of celery, carrot, onion, peppers, even finely chopped broccoli and cauliflower, it all counts, and it cooks down so you hardly know it's there.

If you are grabbing a sandwich for lunch, chop up a small salad to have with it, I don't care for lettuce, but I will eat rocket (aragula I think you call it) or raw spinach, peppers, tomato, cucumber, finely chopped it seems to taste better, I don't use a dressing, I have begun to enjoy the taste of veggies.

Omlettes and other egg dishes are also a good hiding place for veggies. As are lean meat dishes.

Hope that helps!
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Old 02-28-2005, 10:39 AM   #3
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Default hmm, well I like veggies..

My main problem was finding easy ways to make them. If it seems too time consuming, etc I wont do it.

raw:
carrot sticks, celery sticks, cucumber sticks - with a fat free dip or salsa
salads - just cause you dont like one type of lettuce.. there are TONS more out there. Add some tomatoes, carrots, cucumber, red onion - whatever you like and there ya go. If you like mexican food, add some salsa to your salad. It adds even more veggies!
tomato slices - pretty good by themselves, you can even marinate them in balsamic vinagree/vinagrette and add some basil for a whole nother taste dimension

cooked:
Zucchini/yellow squash - I cut these in half, sprinkle with some seasoning like garlic powder, black pepper, or whatever spice you like.. and bake in the oven til soft. You could do this with a number of veggies and give it the flavors YOU like.
Green beans - put a can of these in a saucepan, add a 2x2 square of bacon and boil it. The flavor of the bacon goes all through the beans without adding much fat at all.
bell peppers, mushrooms, and onions - sauteed together or eaten with chicken - instant fajitas
Broccoli - I steam/boil this and then add fat free cheddar on top.
carrots - make easy glazed carrots on the stovetop or add carrots and onions to potatoes and a roast in the oven. My dad made these with some marsala wine and they were GREAT. Even my brother in law who hates cooked carrots loved them.

Hiding veggies - zucchini, peppers, and mushrooms can easily be added to any pasta sauce or chili. Soups with veggies in them are a great way to add them to a diet. Baked potato - top it with broccoli and low fat cheese, salsa and low fat sour cream, etc etc. Low fat chicken pot pie types of recipes have carrots, peas, etc in them.

I find that its easy to find ways to get them in if you have an open mind to trying them. Figure out what things you DO like to eat, what flavors appeal to you, and search for veggie recipes that include those or ways you can add veggies to foods you already make.
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Old 02-28-2005, 08:06 PM   #4
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Low sodium V8 juice.

carrots, celery, peppers, cucumbers, etc w/your sandwich at lunch instead of chips. Still crunchy, way less fat.
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Old 02-28-2005, 08:37 PM   #5
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I never really considered myself a vegetable fan either. But, really, I just don't care for them as a plain old side dish. I find that I eat plenty of them and enjoy them more if I incorporate them into other dishes instead.

I have a recipe for vegetable lasagna that is really good. I also stir fry a lot of vegetables. If I make pasta that has a light sauce (like a lemon sauce) I always throw in some fresh spinach to saute. Also, I love grilled vegetables: mushrooms, zuchinni, squash, onion, and bell peppers are all good grilled. I also top our homemade pizzas with a ton of vegetables and just a little cheese. If you like eggplant, there are lots of light eggplant parmesan recipes to choose from. I've also seen a couple of carrot cake recipes that have been lightened up and made much more healthful than the traditional cake - I would still only use it as an occasional treat but it is still a sneaky way to fit in a vegetable serving. Also, when I make fajitas I reduce the amount of meat that I use and double up on the peppers and onions- sometimes I leave the meat out all together.
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Old 03-01-2005, 08:41 AM   #6
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I know someone that blends veggies up into a pasta sauce and puts in her lasagna or spaghetti sauces to hide the veggies from her young sons. I have never tried it before, but I may ask her more about it.
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Old 03-01-2005, 04:57 PM   #7
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i put mine in pasta too and with the sauce i don't even notice that they are there. I also spray that fake butter stuff on it and it ends up tasting so much better to me!
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Old 03-01-2005, 06:23 PM   #8
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I love whole frozen green beans (I get the thin Haricots Verts, though they are hard to find) and toss them (still frozen) with a little olive oil, worcestershire sauce, and fresh cracked black pepper. Then I roast them in the oven at about 425 for 15 to 17 minutes, or until they start to shrivel.

I love a good salad, and try to use baby spinach leaves instead of or in addition to a good lettuce.

I also add spinach leaves to sandwiches, and add roasted red bell peppers to just about everything.

I make a veggie chili with kidney beans, black beans, onions, red bell peppers, crushed tomatoes, and seasonings. It's virtually fat free, but loaded with nutrition.

I love spinach and feta cheese casserole. Oooh, and cook sliced zucchini, peppers, onions, and anything else on your gas or charcoal grill, season it (herbs, good balsamic, olive oil, etc), then put it on a good Italian or French roll with thin slivers of fresh parmesan cheese.
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Old 03-02-2005, 12:53 PM   #9
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Also don't mind veggies as long as I "do" something with them, even if its just add some spices, e.g. California frozen mix, toss with basil & then nuke... adds a little something. And always cooked. I can't think of a single veggie that I don't prefer at least lightly steamed!
Slightly off topic, but I'm the same with fruit. Toss an apple with some raisins in the microwave - no problem. Eat it raw? Ugh.
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Old 03-02-2005, 04:43 PM   #10
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To eat more raw veggies, try something new, which you don't normally eat raw, or give yourself more variety on a daily basis. I do like veggies, and now that I am taking the time and care to plan and prepare my meals, I'm happy to eat raw veggies every day with lunch - but I always make sure I have 3 or 4 different kinds. The combination of taste and texture (the sweetness of a carrot juxtaposed against the sharp spiciness of a thinly sliced radish) keeps the mix interesting. I also like to thinly slice a small apple and eat the slices along with my veggies, for more variety and contrast.

Chopped frozen spinach is a great filler and thickener in a variety of sauces and cassaroles, especially long-cooking ones. It takes on the flavor and texture of whatever the sauce or spice is doing. I like it in big pots of curry, rice and beans, soups, chili and in pasta sauces. I always have several packages in the freezer because I find it really useful.

Like Charlotte2 suggested, try easy alterations to frozen and/or canned (or fresh - though when fresh, I usually like my veggies pretty simple) to up the flavor factor.

Like spicy food? Try this version of Masaledar Sem (spicy green beans), which I adapted to also satisfy my taste for old-fashioned green beans and new potatoes and for easy preparation.

Ingredients:
2 cans green beans
1/2 to 3/4" fresh ginger, peeled
2-4 cloves garlic peeled
1/4 to 1/2 cup water
1 tsp olive oil + olive oil spray as necessary
1 to 1.5 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
3/4 to 1 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
1 small can whole tomatoes (14 oz - or smaller) roughly chopped
[Optional: 3-4 ounces new, dutch or fingerling potatoes, quartered]
Salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
1.5 tblsp fresh lemon juice (or to taste)

Directions:

Put ginger and garlic into a food processor or blender and add 1/4 to 1/2 cup water. Blend until fairly smooth.

Heat the oil/spray in a non-stick saucepan over a medium flame. When hot, put in the cumin seeds. Stir for half a minute. Pour in the ginger-garlic paste. Stir and cook for about two minutes. Put in the coriander and stir a few times.

Add the chopped tomatoes, the liquid from the can, and potatoes, if using. Stir and cook for 2 minutes - feel free to mash the tomato pieces even further - but not the potatoes! Add the beans and water (to keep them simmering) as necessary. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer. Simmer 8-10 minutes, or [if you've added a few potatoes], until the potatoes are cooked. Add the lemon juice and a generous amount of freshly ground pepper to taste.

At this point, you can turn up the heat and boil away the liquid or keep them just a bit soupy (which is usually I do), as you like.

Prefer classic flavors? Dress up frozen brussels sprouts (easily!) as follows:

Ingredients

1 box frozen brussels sprouts
2 cloves garlic
[Optional: a pinch or two ground coriander]
olive oil spray
1/2 lemon
1 to 2 tablespoons sherry or white wine
[Optional: 2 chopped green onions, for garnish]

Cook the frozen brussels sprouts according to package directions, but reduce cooking time by about 1/4. Drain. When the sprouts are cool enough to handle, cut them in half and set aside.

Meanwhile, mince 1-2 cloves garlic (depending on size) and heat olive oil spray in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add coriander if available and garlic and sautée for 1 minute. Add the cooked, halved sprouts and sautée for another minute or two, stirring fairly constantly. Be careful not to let the garlic burn.

After a minute or two, add the juice from the 1/2 lemon directly into the skillet, as well as a tablespoon or two of sherry or white wine. [If you prefer to cook without alcohol, rice wine vinager would be a workable substitute. If that's not available, water is fine.] Zest the lemon rind and add as much zest as you can easily get directly to the skillet. Stir regularly while the liquid cooks off - which will be quickly, just another few minutes. Toss in chopped green onions for the last 1/2 minute. I like to cook my sprouts for another 30 seconds to 1 minute in the hot skillet after the liquid has cooked off, but I keep a pretty close eye on the garlic so it doesn't burn.

Serve! The lemon flavor suffuses the brussels sprouts, and the garlic mellows out. The coriander has a lemony flavor itself, so it marries together quite nicely. You could probably use this recipe for a whole variety of frozen vegetables, and/or try it with orange or lime instead of lemon.

Like tacos, mexican food, and fajitas? Add salsa squash to your next Mexican meal:

Ingredients

1-2 zucchini, halved and then sliced into half-rounds
1-2 yellow squash, ditto
1 yellow onion, chopped or sliced
Salsa (canned or homemade - preferably sugar-free!) to taste
Olive oil spray
Water (if necessary)

Spray a non-stick skillet with cooking spray (or, alternatively, use a reasonable portion of olive or enova oil). Sautée onions, zucchini and squash until tender. If the veggies start to scorch before the vegetables are cooked, add a trace of water or just add the salsa to coat and continue to cook until tender. I add salsa to coat the vegetables, but not so much that they become at all soupy. I use less salsa if I'm making these as a quesadilla filling, and more if I'm making them as a side dish.

For a side dish - just keep warm or cool and reheat as necessary. Serve warm/hot, with additional salsa for garnish.

For quesadillas - spread a layer of salsa squash over half a tortilla. Add a serving of your choice of shredded cheese (cheddar or a cheddar/jack or cheddar/pepper jack mixutre are my favorites) and cooked chicken breast if desired (I don't use the chicken, I keep my vegetarian). Fold the tortilla over and press down. Spray with cooking spray and bake in the oven on cookie sheets (covered with parchment paper or aluminum foil, if desired) at 350 degrees until the tortilla is crispy and delicious and the cheese is melted - usually 30 minutes or more - flipping the quesadillas about halfway through to ensure even browning. Serve with shredded lettuce, radishes, salsa and non-fat yogurt for garnish. You can keep unbaked quesadillas in the fridge for a day or two, and just bake them off in the oven when you wish to serve.
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Old 03-06-2005, 11:29 PM   #11
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I like to make mashed potates with Cauliflower you can't tell it is in there
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