Help me eat more vegetables - Mothering Forums

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Old 08-16-2009, 04:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm trying REALLY hard to incorporate more fresh foods into our meal planning - less packaged, processed stuff, etc. I'm doing pretty well in most departments but the vegetables to go with dinner are still a mystery to me.

I'm REALLY really sick of steamed veg. I'm really sick of stir fry. I'm also really sick of buying veg and then throwing it out a week or two later when it goes bad.

So far I eat carrot, pepper, and celery sticks with salad dressing as a snack, and then we eat steamed beans with dinner. I've given up- all we have in the freezer is beans and corn, and I've stopped buying fresh stuff because i just throw it out. I seriously need help!

DH claims to hate "cold food" so I stopped thinking about salads but I'm getting annoyed with his increasingly picky eating habits- so phooey on him.

Does anyone have ANY tasty ideas for vegetables? Salads, side-dishes, main courses with lots of vegetables, etc?


(I keep thinking-guiltily- why couldn't I have married a man who liked to cook, instead of one who thinks a pot of rice and hot sauce constitutes a meal?)

Grace - wife to Jeff and mama to Nigella (11/08) and Orrin (01/10)- expecting a new addition (05/12)! Life is a whirlwind, but I'm learning to enjoy the ride!

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Old 08-16-2009, 07:17 PM
 
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I suggest making veggies that YOU enjoy, and DH has the option of eating it or not eating it. Hey, just make some rice as a side dish, put the hot sauce on the table, and you know he won't go hungry even if he doesnt' like anything else you've prepared!

I'd suggest buying the pre-washed salads in small-ish packages. It's more money for less food than buying the loose greens you wash and prepare yourself, but these packages keep pretty well before opening, and they're so simple to prepare that you're more likely to eat them. Just open a bag, pour all into a serving-sized bowl or half into a large salad bowl for yourself, add some olive oil and lemon juice (or olive oil and vinegar or a bottled dressing) and enjoy! Maybe have salads at lunchtime and then a cooked veggie (or two) for dinner.

For cooked veggies, I'd suggest frozen veggies. They keep well until you're ready to prepare them, so there will be less waste.

Here are some ideas for making them tasty:

Mix frozen broccoli or spinach (or green beans or any other green veggie) in a baking dish with soy sauce and toasted sesame oil. Mix it around so all the broccoli is coated. Bake until heated through- about half an hour in a 350 degree oven.

Bake veggies in the oven with other oils and spices. Even a bottle of an oil-based pre-packaged salad dressing is yummy. Experiment with different flavors, and use spices that compliment the rest of the meal. This is so convenient if you're also baking rice and a meat for the meal.

Pour a cheese sauce over those steamed veggies. This is especially good with macaroni- make enough cheese sauce for pasta AND veggies, and serve in 3 dishes (one for pasta, one for veggies, one for sauce) and mix together on your plate or bowl.

Bake yams as a side dish instead of rice or potatoes. This can be instead of or in addition to a green veggie. Just bake them whole for about an hour in the oven. Then serve with butter or margarine.

Pasta primavera: Boil pasta. When it's almost cooked, add cut up fresh veggies or some frozen veggies to the pasta pot (or boil in a separate pot if your pot and/or colander isn't big enough.) This works well with carrots, green beans, and broccolli, or a bag of mixed frozen veggies. When everything is hot (about 3-5 minutes after adding the veggies to the pot), drain and serve with cream sauce.

You can also use veggies to make the sauce itself. I once had a recipe for "green spaghetti" from a kids' cookbook. It called for putting spinach in the blender with some other stuff (I think cottage cheese and some spices?) and pouring this sauce over spaghetti. Tomato sauce is already a vegetable- I think half a cup is considered a vegetable serving. Served over spinach (with cheese melted on top?) is 2 servings.

Do you know how to make a roux? It means melting butter, adding flour and stirring constantly until the flour cooks, then slowly adding a liquid while stirring, until you have a nice thick sauce. Add milk or cream for cream sauce. Add cheese to cream sauce for cheese sauce. Use broth instead of milk for gravy. A good sauce makes the whole rest of the meal much tastier. I suppose you could uses some pre-packaged sauces instead of always making from scratch, but homemade is healthier and tastier.

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18 (commuting to college), and Jack, 13(homeschooled)
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Old 08-17-2009, 12:14 AM
 
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Don't be afraid to cook veggies with fat! Butter or bacon grease make many veggies (especially greens) taste amazing! And adding some fat to veggies actually helps your body absorb fat soluble vitamins - so yay! :

What about soups? I make potato leek zucchini soup and corn chowder (that includes red peppers and potatoes) regularly. They can be a main dish with warm bread or serve them as a side with roasted chicken, etc (then you will have leftovers for lunches, etc.). There are so many possibilities with soup!

Chop things really small and just toss the in! Works really well in various pasta dishes - in red sauce, onions, mushrooms, roasted eggplant, grated zucchini - all incorporate well and if small enough and the overall sauce is tasty they go over well. In white sauces, leeks, mushrooms, broccoli, spinach, etc all go really well. Lots of other options too!

Quiches or frittatas are another great place to add veggies (chopped fine!). I like onion, potato, and chopped greens - plus other things sometimes. Add a salad on the side with a good dressing (balsamic vinaigrette is my fav) and you can get lettuce

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Old 08-17-2009, 02:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ruthla- I love the idea of the baked veg with salad dressing or seasame oil/soy sauce. It sounds delicious!

Cheese sauce- yep, I know how to make one and I love home made mac and cheese so I'll put that w/ a side of veggies on our regular meal rotation (not that I have one, but i can make one!)

Green spaghetti sounds wonderful, I need to try that.

And I LOVE yams- definitely my favorite food. DH doesn't like them (or any other squash) but I'll just make him some rice and he'll survive



Artemis- mmmm, bacon grease & butter. I love both! (I wish I was a better cook- my sister made a salad dressing with bacon grease instead of oil and it was the most fabulous salad I have ever eaten, but I've tried to recreate it a few times and it was a dismal failure)

I tend to make soups and sauces the way my mom does them- celery, onion, and a bit of carrot with whatever meat of the day. They taste fine, but I don't know why it never occurred to me to add in other vegetables- I'm sure I can hide sweet potatoes and squash in soups and sauce and DH won't notice, as well as add veg he does like- zucchini, mushrooms, etc.



Thanks for the tips ladies, now I have somewhere to start! (and I'm soooo glad to start moving away from my standard steamed frozen beans!)


Grace - wife to Jeff and mama to Nigella (11/08) and Orrin (01/10)- expecting a new addition (05/12)! Life is a whirlwind, but I'm learning to enjoy the ride!

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Old 08-17-2009, 05:16 PM
 
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I definitely agree with making salads for yourself, but here are some ways we incorporate fresh veggies into food other than steamed or stir fried.

If summer squash looks good, we might make squash pasta. For instance: Prep: Mince garlic, chop onions, summer squash, button mushrooms, fresh heirloom tomatoes and cooked chicken. (perfect for leftovers)

Saute garlic and rosemary and onions in olive oil and chicken fat.
Add salt and pepper, and a sploosh of balsamic vinegar, with some torn up basil, and oregano.
Add the mushrooms, and saute.
Add the squash and saute until mushrooms and squash are tender.
Add fresh tomatoes, and chicken, cook until warmed through.
Adjust seasonings to taste.
Serve over pasta, with a bit of Parmesan.

Or sauted squash in butter.

If corn and avocado are on special, we might make fry bread salads (with other veggies.) (Make up a bread dough, sourdough or regular, for this I like corn sourdough, let it rise, then when you normally would put it in the oven, flatten it into little rounds and fry it up. Spread with avocado or guacamole (avocado, lime juice, salt, and if you want, tomatoes, hot sauce, salsa, cilantro, onions, etc, but simple is good.) on the breads. Add sourkraut on top. fill with fresh veggies: corn, tomatoes, peppers. Top with chicken (pulled chicken in sauce is great. cook some cooked shredded chicken in stock (enough to cover), sauted onions, cumin, paprika, salt and pepper, until the stock is almost completely absorbed. can top with hot sauce. Its pretty easy, full of raw veggies, and yet still a "hot" meal. Any other sorts of veggies are good too. raw onions? cilantro? raw cabbage instead of sourkraut (raw kraut is healthier, but cabbage is still good))

sauted onions start as the begining of almost every single cooked dish in our house: chili, soup, chicken, stir fries, pasta sauce, everything. They're just so scrumptious.

We just made a quinoa salad with some delicious fresh veggies (ok, so they weren't exactly in season, but they were going bad in the fridge, so time to use them up!) we soaked the quinoa for about an hour (to get rid of the saponin), cooked it up according to directions on the internet, tossed it with a dressing that was about 1:1 acv with olive oil, plenty of mustard and salt til it tasted perfect, let that sit, and roasted some small peices of sweet potato and turnip (the turnip, (or was it a rutabaga?) didn't turn out how I liked. maybe parsnips next time.) after coating them in olive oil and a touch of salt. Tossed those into the salad with some raisins. Yum! (and warm. lol)

Also, my absolutely favorite veggie atm is roasted broccoli. Mix olive oil with lemon juice or apple cider vinegar, toss the brocolli until coated, add a bit more oil, and sprinkle salt all over. roast (any temp really. I like between 350 and 400) until you can't resist eating them anymore, eat half of them off the tray before they go on the plates.

in the winter, baked sweet potatoes make a sneaky veggie. They feel more like a baked potato and are made the same way (poke with fork, put in hot oven, remove when soft). topped with plenty of butter and salt, they are delicious. but they're completely packed with nutrients (especially when you top them with butter, to really absorb the nutrients most efficiently. also, be sure to eat the skins with butter. yum and tons of goodies nutrient wise)

And two of my favorite pasta sauces (great on fussilli or penne):
1. pasta with broccolli cream sauce (optional ham)
cook your pasta. also, steam or boil your broccolli. cook it until really really mushy. (I know, I know, but you want it that way.) add drained pasta, cooked broccolli, plenty of cream, and optional slices of ham to a pot or pan. stir, and cook over low heat until the cream thickens. The broccoli should be so mushy it sort of comes apart, and then becomes a creamy broccolli sauce instead of pasta with broccolli. serve with a bit of parmi. yum!

2. penne rose with spinach
Start with leftover spagetti sauce, canned spagetti sauce, or fresh spagetti sauce. (Easy to make. saute some onions and garlic, dump in some canned tomatoes and a can of tomato paste, a sploosh of wine or wine vinegar (I like red), salt and pepper, oregano, a bay leaf, let cook for a while.)

ok, well you don't start with it, but you'll need it.
start by sauteing some onion in oil over low heat. When its good and translucent-golden, wilt a ton of spinach. When its all wilted but not mush, pour in the sauce. Add cream until its a nice pinkish color, and some grated cheese (parmi is good but expensive. your just thickening the sauce a bit). Cook til hot. optional, chili flakes or powder for a little heat. also you can add some fresh tomatoes if they're in season. serve with parmi. YUM! (I imagine frozen spinach might also work, though I think fresh has more nutrients. isn't frozen cooked which lost some of its nutrients to the water it was cooked in).

Caroline, partner to J, post partum doula, kitchen manager, aspiring midwife, soon to be nursing student, mama to my furbaby, someday a mama to not so furry munchkins, G-d willing
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Old 08-17-2009, 06:11 PM
 
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I like to add veggies to the food I'm making.

For instance, if I'm making soup, I add extra veggies. Tonight, I'm making gumbo. My gumbo recipe starts with onions, bell peppers, and celery. That's the basic recipe. Tonight, I'll do that, plus add okra and tomatoes. Bonus, 2 veggies, not a big change in flavor.

In the summer, I add tomatoes to everything (I love tomatoes, and we grow a lot of them). That means everything! Yesterday, we had them in scrambled eggs, in tortilla soup for lunch, then as a salad for supper (just cherry tomatoes with Italian salad dressing).

In the winter, I find myself putting frozen spinach in everything. It goes in soups, in curry, in Italian food, in any Mexican food. It can become a dip for chips (the old Knorr vegetable soup spinach dip). It is very versatile, doesn't change the flavor much, but boosts any and all dishes. Plus, it's the cheapest veggie I can buy (it goes on sale for less than 75 cents here).

When I make macaroni and cheese, I add tomatoes or cauliflower or broccoli. When I make carbonara, I add chard or spinach. When we have chili, I add peppers and carrots to the meat. If I make cube steaks in gravy, I add tomatoes or mushrooms to the gravy.

You get the idea. Just start thinking about what you can add to the stuff you normally make. For me, that's easier than coming up with separate side dishes to incorporate into meals.
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Old 08-17-2009, 06:13 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magelet View Post
I definitely agree with making salads for yourself, but here are some ways we incorporate fresh veggies into food other than steamed or stir fried.

If summer squash looks good, we might make squash pasta. For instance: Prep: Mince garlic, chop onions, summer squash, button mushrooms, fresh heirloom tomatoes and cooked chicken. (perfect for leftovers)

Saute garlic and rosemary and onions in olive oil and chicken fat.
Add salt and pepper, and a sploosh of balsamic vinegar, with some torn up basil, and oregano.
Add the mushrooms, and saute.
Add the squash and saute until mushrooms and squash are tender.
Add fresh tomatoes, and chicken, cook until warmed through.
Adjust seasonings to taste.
Serve over pasta, with a bit of Parmesan.

Or sauted squash in butter.

If corn and avocado are on special, we might make fry bread salads (with other veggies.) (Make up a bread dough, sourdough or regular, for this I like corn sourdough, let it rise, then when you normally would put it in the oven, flatten it into little rounds and fry it up. Spread with avocado or guacamole (avocado, lime juice, salt, and if you want, tomatoes, hot sauce, salsa, cilantro, onions, etc, but simple is good.) on the breads. Add sourkraut on top. fill with fresh veggies: corn, tomatoes, peppers. Top with chicken (pulled chicken in sauce is great. cook some cooked shredded chicken in stock (enough to cover), sauted onions, cumin, paprika, salt and pepper, until the stock is almost completely absorbed. can top with hot sauce. Its pretty easy, full of raw veggies, and yet still a "hot" meal. Any other sorts of veggies are good too. raw onions? cilantro? raw cabbage instead of sourkraut (raw kraut is healthier, but cabbage is still good))

sauted onions start as the begining of almost every single cooked dish in our house: chili, soup, chicken, stir fries, pasta sauce, everything. They're just so scrumptious.

We just made a quinoa salad with some delicious fresh veggies (ok, so they weren't exactly in season, but they were going bad in the fridge, so time to use them up!) we soaked the quinoa for about an hour (to get rid of the saponin), cooked it up according to directions on the internet, tossed it with a dressing that was about 1:1 acv with olive oil, plenty of mustard and salt til it tasted perfect, let that sit, and roasted some small peices of sweet potato and turnip (the turnip, (or was it a rutabaga?) didn't turn out how I liked. maybe parsnips next time.) after coating them in olive oil and a touch of salt. Tossed those into the salad with some raisins. Yum! (and warm. lol)

Also, my absolutely favorite veggie atm is roasted broccoli. Mix olive oil with lemon juice or apple cider vinegar, toss the brocolli until coated, add a bit more oil, and sprinkle salt all over. roast (any temp really. I like between 350 and 400) until you can't resist eating them anymore, eat half of them off the tray before they go on the plates.

in the winter, baked sweet potatoes make a sneaky veggie. They feel more like a baked potato and are made the same way (poke with fork, put in hot oven, remove when soft). topped with plenty of butter and salt, they are delicious. but they're completely packed with nutrients (especially when you top them with butter, to really absorb the nutrients most efficiently. also, be sure to eat the skins with butter. yum and tons of goodies nutrient wise)

And two of my favorite pasta sauces (great on fussilli or penne):
1. pasta with broccolli cream sauce (optional ham)
cook your pasta. also, steam or boil your broccolli. cook it until really really mushy. (I know, I know, but you want it that way.) add drained pasta, cooked broccolli, plenty of cream, and optional slices of ham to a pot or pan. stir, and cook over low heat until the cream thickens. The broccoli should be so mushy it sort of comes apart, and then becomes a creamy broccolli sauce instead of pasta with broccolli. serve with a bit of parmi. yum!

2. penne rose with spinach
Start with leftover spagetti sauce, canned spagetti sauce, or fresh spagetti sauce. (Easy to make. saute some onions and garlic, dump in some canned tomatoes and a can of tomato paste, a sploosh of wine or wine vinegar (I like red), salt and pepper, oregano, a bay leaf, let cook for a while.)

ok, well you don't start with it, but you'll need it.
start by sauteing some onion in oil over low heat. When its good and translucent-golden, wilt a ton of spinach. When its all wilted but not mush, pour in the sauce. Add cream until its a nice pinkish color, and some grated cheese (parmi is good but expensive. your just thickening the sauce a bit). Cook til hot. optional, chili flakes or powder for a little heat. also you can add some fresh tomatoes if they're in season. serve with parmi. YUM! (I imagine frozen spinach might also work, though I think fresh has more nutrients. isn't frozen cooked which lost some of its nutrients to the water it was cooked in).
Excellent- esp. the quinoa and rose sauce idea- Sounds amazing.
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Old 08-17-2009, 06:32 PM
 
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Add veggies to smoothies. I make one almost every day to have with dinner. Here's what I've been making lately:

2 juiced carrots + pulp
About 1/2-1 cup spinach
A bunch of strawberries
Handful or 2 of blueberries
Banana
A little orange juice
Coconut oil
Flax seeds
Ice
Sometimes I'll add almonds for a little extra protein

Someone I know will make mashed potatoes but instead of using butter and/or cream to make them fluffy he will blend up steamed cauliflower and mix that in with some seasonings.

Add stuff like squash & onions to spaghetti sauce.

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Old 08-17-2009, 06:33 PM
 
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Here are some favorite veggie dishes around here...

Asparagus
Drizzle with olive oil and salt & pepper. Roast at 425 for about 8-10 minutes

Combine soy sauce, a little sesame oil, garlic and olive oil, toss with asparagus, sprinkle with sesame seeds. Roast at 425 for about 8-10 minutes

Steam asparagus for about 5 minutes and top with lemon juice and shaved parm cheese.

A good Hollandaise or Bernaise sauce is awesome on hot or cold asparagus.

Broccoli
Steam; serve with butter and salt and pepper
Steam; then toss with olive oil, garlic, basil and oregano (dried or fresh)

Toss raw broccoli with olive oil and salt and pepper. Roast at 425 for about 20-25 minutes. Then toss with parmesan cheese, a little lemon juice and pine nuts.

Broccoli Casserole – make a cheese sauce (using a roux) and then pour over broccoli. Top with bread crumbs and bake at about 375 for about 30 minutes. You can do this same exact recipe with cauliflower.

Cabbage (Cole Slaw)
Make a blue cheese dressing (I use this one: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Bobs-Bl...ng/Detail.aspx). Toss with shredded cabbage, shredded carrots and top with toasted pecans.

Make an asian dressing (I use this one: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Chinese...ad/Detail.aspx). Toss with shredded cabbage, shredded carrots, green onions, crushed and dried ramen noodles and top with slivered almonds or peanuts.

Spinach
Baby Spinach salad with mushrooms, strawberries, hard boiled egg, nuts and a light vinaigrette.

Sauté baby or regular spinach with butter, olive oil, garlic and lemon juice.

Brussels Sprouts
I know this isn’t most people’s favorite veggie, but we love them cooked this way. Just make sure not to overcook them because they will get mushy and taste awful.

Cook them in boiling water for about 8 minutes. Let cool and then cut each Brussels sprouts in half. Sauté these with butter, crumbled bacon and salt and pepper. When they’re heated through toss in toasted pecans or walnuts. You can also add a nice big handful of crumbled blue or goat cheese. Seriously, these are awesome!

Sweet Potatoes
Bake just like a regular potato (wrapped in foil at about 425 for 45-60min). Serve with butter and sprinkle with a little brown sugar.

Peel (raw) and dice into 1 inch cubes. Saute with butter, maple syrup and salt and pepper

Fries: Take a raw sweet potato and cut into wedges (like 10-12 from each potato). Drizzle with melted butter and olive oil and bake at 400 for about 30 minutes, turning them once about ½ way.

Root Vegetables
I love this recipe: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/t...pe3/index.html
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Old 08-17-2009, 06:35 PM
 
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Originally Posted by JessicaRenee View Post
A nutritionist I know will make mashed potatoes but instead of using butter and/or cream to make them fluffy he will blend up steamed cauliflower and mix that in with some seasonings. .
Oh, I forgot about smashed cauliflower. I make this and the whole family raves about it. Just add some butter, sour cream, s & p and even a little but of cheese and mash the cauliflower to the right consistency. YUMMY!
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Old 08-17-2009, 06:44 PM
 
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Lots of great ideas.

I don't know if you have "organic girl" packaged greens where you are (spinach, salad mix, etc.), but they are very convenient and their packaging seems to keep things fresh. Organic Girl stuff is very expensive in my area, but I have found that I make a lot more salads when I have them around. (In the summer, we have a garden, but I like salads all year round...) If I'm feeling thrifty, I just buy greens and wash them and have them ready. It's much easier to make a salad if everything is ready to go.

I'll toss in cherry tomatoes, or scallions or whatever to make a salad. You can put as much or as little "extras" in as you like.

I make all our salad dressings, and just use oil/vinegar/salt & pepper if I am in a hurry.

Vegetables are probably a bigger bang for the nutritional buck. I like veggies too, but we eat salad several times a week.

edited to add: I second the recommendation for soup as another avenue for veggies. There are several soups from Moosewood cookbooks that I make a lot that are filled with veggies. Here's a link to a recipe that I like that is delicious and has lots of veggies. My way of making it is much faster: I saute the onion and celery, and toss all the veggies in together. I use a hand held blender but leave it somewhat chunky. I also add just about 1/2 c. of milk or half and half (not 2 cups, because I like my soup thicker). I melt the cheese right into the pot to speed things up also. It is flexible, and you can use whatever veggies you like.

http://www.recipezaar.com/Very-Cream...oosewood-55779
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Old 08-17-2009, 07:37 PM
 
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Oh my word Magelet, the thought of sourdough corn frybread with avocado has be absolutely drooling! Must try that. :

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Old 08-17-2009, 09:06 PM
 
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Artemis, I just came up with the idea one day, and decided to try it, to much success. The full recipe is in a recent blog post: at the kitchen table (includes a full recipe for the flat breads, though I have made fry flat breads with any lean bread dough (flour water salt yeast/starter, no fat or sugar).)

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Old 08-17-2009, 09:10 PM
 
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So many great suggestions already! Since your DH likes rice, here's something we eat a lot of:

I cook about a cup of brown rice. While that's cooking, I roast some chick peas (400 for about 45 mins) with spices (complementary to whatever we are eating - curry gets curry spices, Italian gets oregano, basil, etc.). Then I cook a bag of frozen spinach and mix all three together. Top with butter, some nutritional yeast and a little bit of parmesan cheese. Even picky eaters seem to really enjoy it.

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Old 08-18-2009, 02:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I LOVE the summer squash pasta, that looks delicious
And the sourdough frybed with avocado - I'm really regretting feeding my last avocado to my daughter, I want to eat that now!!

I don't know what quinoa is, I'll need to look it up.


veggies in smoothies- I've never thought of that. I know they sell pre-made bottles of fruit and vegetable juice, but I could definitely do that at home. Good idea!


I'll definitely need to try the brussel sprouts (i don't know if I've ever actually eaten a brussel sprout, believe it or not!) and the asian coleslaw sounds absolutely delicious, and has lots of stuff in it that DH would like

I love the recipes for roasted vegetables. I've only ever had roasted carrots and potatoes (and those are only roasted because they were cooked with a pot roast) so I definitely need to try those, so many options!

Cauliflower mixed into things- that's a good idea. DH likes cauliflower but I've never been a big fan of it, so we can eat some one night and I can ues the leftovers as something else. Fabulous!

Rice with spinach and chick peas- it's a complete meal! Protein, grains, and veg. I love it!


Thank you all for your suggestions- I'm printing some of these out so I can put them somewhere obvious so when I look in my fridge (after I go shopping today) I have ideas and options.

I'm excited to try these ideas, I used to love vegetables and now i'm beginning to remember why

Grace - wife to Jeff and mama to Nigella (11/08) and Orrin (01/10)- expecting a new addition (05/12)! Life is a whirlwind, but I'm learning to enjoy the ride!

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Old 08-18-2009, 06:43 PM
 
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Try planning your meals around the vegetables: Instead of thinking, "We'll have protein X and starch Y. What veg goes with that?" think, "We have zucchini, tomatoes, and a yellow pepper. I'll make an Italian sort of thing over pasta, with cheese."

It's easy to use lots of veggies in pasta dishes. Add extra veggies to tomato sauce: spinach, kale, zucchini, bell peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, etc. Or put the spinach in the colander and drain the pasta on it to steam it lightly, then mix it into the pasta and put sauce on top. Or saute whatever veggies you have handy with olive oil, basil, oregano, parsley, black pepper, and plenty of garlic, and serve that over pasta or as a side dish. Or boil some veggies with the pasta, meanwhile cook some onion and herbs in olive oil, and mix the two together with nutritional yeast flakes and sunflower seeds--full instructions here.

There's a vegetable main dish (sometimes made with lamb in it) served in Middle Eastern restaurants that I figured out is really easy to make!
To make 4 main-dish servings, you will need:
about 30 oz. canned green beans (or 2 cups fresh, or thawed frozen)
about 30 oz. canned diced tomatoes (or 2 cups fresh, or thawed frozen)
1/4 cup olive oil
5 large cloves garlic, or more smaller cloves
2 Tbsp. garam masala (This is an Indian spice blend. If you don't have it, try about 2 tsp. each of black pepper, cinnamon, cumin, and coriander, and adjust seasoning to taste.)
Peel the garlic and cut the cloves in half, or into a few chunks if they're large cloves.
Sautee garlic in olive oil for a few minutes. Meanwhile, open the cans. Drain the green beans, but keep the juice in the tomatoes.
Stir garam masala into oil. Add vegetables. Simmer, stirring occasionally, at least 15 minutes or until juice thickens.
Serve over rice or couscous.

Here are many ways to use kale. Since it's only sold in a big bunch, I like to use some of it fresh and immediately shred the rest and freeze it in little bags. Then it's handy for sneaking extra veg into meals!

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Old 08-18-2009, 07:28 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EnviroBecca View Post
Try planning your meals around the vegetables: Instead of thinking, "We'll have protein X and starch Y. What veg goes with that?" think, "We have zucchini, tomatoes, and a yellow pepper. I'll make an Italian sort of thing over pasta, with cheese."
That is an excellent idea!
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Old 08-18-2009, 10:07 PM
 
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The way I got my family to eat more veggies was to buy bags of prewashed broccoli, sugar snap peas, and baby carrots. I put them out as a snack during the day and I put them on the table while preparing dinner. We all just graze on them while supper cooks. I also pack them along with us instead of crackers or other snacks and we all just munch on them instead. 3 of my kids and dh and I all eat way more veggies this way.

We seem pretty busy and never stick with eating more vegetables when we attempt new recipes or other eating changes. We do well for a week or two then life gets busy and we are back to simple (but still healthy) meals. This keeps us eating veggies consistently.


 

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Old 08-18-2009, 11:28 PM
 
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quinoa is a grain from south america, I think its from the andes? Its little and looks a lot like... millet? (little tiny rounds, either red or pale creamy yellowy white called blond). It has a nice flavor, and cooks up crazy looking. My favorite bit about it is that it is a complete protein (doesn't lack any of the amino acids we need.) For instance to get a complete protein with beans, you have to pair them with a whole grain. quinoa is complete by itself.

Brussel sprouts are also good roasted with olive oil (of course.). Tiny spring onions that have barely formed bulbs are great roasted too.

Caroline, partner to J, post partum doula, kitchen manager, aspiring midwife, soon to be nursing student, mama to my furbaby, someday a mama to not so furry munchkins, G-d willing
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