Getting your family to eat more vegetables can be a challenge! Use these simple tips to sneak healthy vegetables into your family meals to boost nutrition:
Tip 1: Sneak in the Veggies! Add pureed veggies to soups, stew, sauces and casseroles to pump up the nutrition. Canned pumpkin, loaded with vitamin A, is convenient but so are jars of baby food vegetables.
• Add pureed sweet potatoes to mac and cheese
• Add body to soups with pureed squash, carrots or other veggies
• Add canned pumpkin to sauces, such as our Pumpkin Spaghetti. Really veg it up by using steamed spaghetti squash in place of noodles.
1 lb. extra lean ground beef or 2 cups MorningStar® Recipe Starter soy crumbles
1 small onion, diced
1 cup 100% Pure Pumpkin (canned)
1/2 jar of Meijer Organics Traditional Pasta Sauce
1 Box Meijer Extra Spaghetti
Parmesan Cheese, grated
1. Cook spaghetti according to package directions.
2. Meanwhile in a large skillet, brown ground beef with onion until no longer pink. (Alternately, brown onion is 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil, add MorningStar soy crumbles and heat through.)
3. Add pumpkin and pasta sauce to a skillet and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes more.
4. Spoon pumpkin sauce over spaghetti and top with grated Parmesan cheese.
Use vegetables in a variety of sauces:
• Blend roasted red peppers seasoned with herbs and a bit of lemon juice, then drizzled over fish
• Puree butternut or acorn squash, carrots, grated ginger, and bit of brown sugar to top chicken, turkey or pork.
• Add a cup or two of tomato or vegetable juice in soups and stews – acids will help tenderize meats while boosting nutrition value.
Poached Fish with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
1 12 ounce jar roasted red sweet peppers, drained or 1 large fresh red pepper, roasted
1/2 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup water
2 tsp. McCormick dried basil
2 Tbsp. tomato paste (save remainder of tomato paste to add to soups or stews)
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/8 tsp. Meijer salt
Dash McCormick cayenne pepper
1 pound tilapia fillets or cod fillets (cut in 4 serving pieces)
1 lemon, sliced thin
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 teaspoon McCormick lemon-pepper seasoning
1. In a blender container or food processor bowl combine peppers, tomatoes and garlic; cover and process until nearly smooth.
2. Add 1/2 cup of the water, basil, tomato paste, sugar, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and dash of cayenne pepper. Cover; blend or process with several on-off turns until mixture is nearly smooth.
3. Transfer to a small saucepan; cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until heated through.
1. Rinse fish; pat dry with paper towels. Measure thickness of fish.
2. In a large skillet bring the remaining 1/2 cup water and half of the lemon slices just to boiling. Carefully add fish. Return just to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 4 to 6 minutes per 1/2-inch thickness of fish or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.
3. Gently pat tops of fish dry with paper towels. Sprinkle fish lightly with the 1/4 teaspoon salt and lemon-pepper seasoning.
Spoon the sauce onto dinner plates. Place the fish on top of sauce. Garnish with remaining lemon slices.
Nutrition Information per serving: Calories 109, Protein 18g, Fat 1g, Cholesterol 23mg, Sodium 358mg, Carbohydrate 7g, Fiber 2g.
Recipe adapted from bhg.com
Tip 2: Add shredded vegetables to baked goods and sandwiches. Use shredded carrot and zucchini in muffins, cupcakes and quick breads and generously top sandwiches and wraps with a variety of vegetables. It’s important to eat a variety of colorful vegetables and fruit---different colors provide different nutrients!
• Top wrap sandwiches with shredded broccoli slaw or cole slaw mix. Try turkey burgers cooked with BBQ sauce and topped with broccoli slaw mixed with Marzetti’s light slaw dressing.
• Layer sliced mushrooms, avocado, tomato, cucumber, onion, bell pepper, flat leaf spinach or whatever you desire on top of sandwiches
Chicken Veggie Wraps
Makes 4 Servings
2 cups cooked chicken breast meat, diced or shredded rotisserie chicken, skin removed
½ cup grated baby carrots
½ cup chopped broccoli florets
½ cup Marzetti’s low fat ranch dressing
3 cups Dole Romaine salad
6 Meijer whole wheat tortillas (7"- 8"diameter)
Combine chicken, carrots, broccoli and dressing. Toss gently. Line each tortilla with ½ cup of packaged salad mix. Spoon ½ cup of chicken salad mixture on to tortilla. Roll closed and slice each tortilla into thirds. If desired, secure each wrap with a party toothpick.
Serve with a cup vegetable or tomato soup.
Nutrition Information: 525 calories, 10g fat, 52mg cholesterol, 645mg sodium, 80g carbohydrate, 6g fiber, 27g protein
Recipe adapted from produce for kids.org
Tip 3: Vegetables are not just for dinner!
• Sautee shredded or sliced veggies (i.e., mushroom, red bell pepper and onion) and scramble with eggs. Top lightly with reduced fat shredded cheese.
• Ants on a log make a good breakfast too – celery sticks with peanut butter topped with raisins or use light cream cheese and top with dried cranberries (Craisins).
• Snack on raw vegetables and include vegetable side dishes at lunch, such as a small salad or a cup of light coleslaw.
• Have leftover vegetables from dinner with your lunch the next day.
Tip 4: Incorporate green veggies into favorite foods
• Add a cup or two of fresh spinach or other greens to soups and stews
• Mix baby spinach with soft cheese (ricotta, cottage) and use to stuff pasta shells or when making lasagna
• Mix greens with stuffing for chicken or pork, such as our stuffed chicken and rice recipe:
Spinach Stuffed Chicken & Rice
Makes 4 servings
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 (10 oz.) packages Meijer frozen spinach, thawed and drained of excess moisture
1 (14 oz.) can Meijer diced tomatoes
1-1/2 cup Kraft shredded part skim mozzarella cheese with ¼ cup set aside
McCormick herbs of choice such as oregano, parsley, basil, thyme
2 cups of Meijer uncooked brown rice
1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Slice each chicken breast open to create a pocket. Stuff each chicken breast evenly with spinach, diced tomatoes and 1-1/4 cups mozzarella cheese.
2. Use a toothpick to close the end of each stuffed pocket. Place on a baking sheet.
3. Use the remaining cheese to sprinkle on the top of the chicken breasts. Sprinkle with herbs. Bake for approx. 25 to 30 minutes, until chicken is done.
Serve over brown rice.
Nutrition information per serving: Calories: 461, Total fat: 11g, Cholesterol: 96mg, Sodium: 485mg, Carbohydrate: 45g, Fiber: 7g, Protein: 49g.
Serve with Dole® bag salad
Sun, February 5, 2012
by Healthy Living Dietitians filed under