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Healthy Recipe Ideas for Veggie Avoiders

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04.29.15
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Hi Hungry Girl,

My husband refuses to eat vegetables, and my kids aren't crazy about them either, but I don't want to serve family meals devoid of veggies. Do you have any sneaky recipe ideas that will get my family on the veggie-loving bandwagon?

Health-Food Hider

Genius Tricks for Veggie Avoiders


Hi Health-Food Hider,

You've come to the right place. I'm all about making healthier versions of the foods we all crave. One great way to do it? Secretly super-sizing portions with veggies! Here are three must-try recipe ideas that'll win over even die-hard veggie avoiders...

1. Turn veggies into pasta. Yup... You can serve vegetables in the form of noodles! One of my favorites is spaghetti squash. Nobody's going to be fooled into thinking it's real spaghetti, but it will satisfy cravings for the carby stuff when you dress it up like pasta. Try it in this Spaghetti Swap & Meatballs, and click here for slow-cooker spaghetti squash and more squash recipes! Zucchini is another veggie that can be served up as pasta. Use a veggie spiralizer like the Veggetti, or just peel it into fettuccine-like ribbons. Bonus? The zucchini takes only a minute or so to cook. Try it straight, or mix it with whole-wheat fettuccine. It's also delicious raw -- click here for a pasta-salad swap. You can also use slabs of zucchini and eggplant in place of lasagna noodles -- check it out! And look out for more zucchini-noodle recipes coming soon.

2. Serve up French fries and mashies made from veggies. Your family members will never complain that these dishes are vegetable based. I make baked French fries out of butternut squash, carrots... even turnips! The first two taste just like sweet potato fries, and turnips taste similar to standard spud fries. Bake 'em up solo, or mix them with real potato spears. Here are tons of fry recipes to peruse. And cauliflower is an amazing swap or super-sizer to use when whipping up mashed potatoes. These Cheesed-Up Mashies ROCK. Click for more mashie recipes!

3. Hide veggies in classic comfort food: mac 'n cheese and more. Okay, don't just shove raw radishes into cheesy mac. (That's not fooling anyone!) You've gotta be strategic. When it comes to mac 'n cheese, both cauliflower and butternut squash blend in so well. Try 'em in my classic Mega Mac & Cheese or this slow-cooker Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese. For meatloaf, I add chopped broccoli cole slaw. Here's a chili casserole that's got extra cooked veggies added to the chili. And this All-American Beefy Mac has veggies cooked right into the sauce.

Try 'em all, and let me know how it goes!

 
 

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