Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Veggies!!! Eat em' up!

I like vegetables but I wouldn't say that I love them. I have to tally how many I have eaten each day to make sure I get enough, otherwise I would probably only get one serving. I found this list from WebMD. It introduces 15 tips and tricks that will certainly convert veggie haters to veggie lovers.

  1. Hide veggies you kind of like in dishes you love. For example, add peppers or mushrooms to an omelet or layer fresh spinach leaves in lasagna.
  2. Add to soup. When making homemade soup, fill with your favorite veggies. Or, bolster the veggie content of reduced-sodium soups by adding more carrots, green beans or edamame.
  3. Fill a salad. Use spinach leaves and baby greens instead of lettuce, and fill with every vegetable you like.
  4. Serve raw. Some people prefer the fresh crunch, texture and flavor of uncooked vegetables.
  5. Dip them. Dip vegetables in a low-cal dip like hummus, salsa or a light dressing.
  6. Go Italian. Pizza and pasta are great places to hide veggies like mushrooms, spinach, broccoli, zucchini, bell peppers, fresh basil leaves, or artichokes.
  7. Drink them. Make your own veggie juice at home, or try quality brands like V8. For a sweeter alternative, try V8 Splash.
  8. Make it fun. Grilled vegetable kabobs, corn on the cob, stuffed mushrooms or peppers are all fun finger foods that kids and adults will rave about.
  9. Grill. The flavor of grilled vegetables cannot be beat. Lightly brush with olive oil and asparagus, zucchini, mushrooms, peppers and eggplant perfectly complement any meal.
  10. Learn to cook them properly. The stronger flavored or more bitter tasting vegetables, like cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli and eggplant, need special attention when cooking. Try saute or stir-fry, or add special flavors like balsamic vinegar, olive oil and lemon juice.
  11. Surprise yourself. Put roasted red peppers on a sandwich, include fresh basil in a wrap or stuff a pita with shredded cabbage. Unexpected flavor in familiar places will change your thinking.
  12. Choose fresh. If all you’ve ever had are canned vegetables, you don’t like them for a reason! Steamed, grilled and roasted fresh vegetables have a completely different flavor and texture.
  13. Fast-food veggies count. Get salads, carrot and celery sticks or a baked potato. Just be mindful of the calories in dressings, sauces and dips.
  14. No prizes. Don’t reward yourself or the kids for positive vegetable behavior. You’ll learn to like the treat, and forget to learn to like the veggies.
  15. Be cheesy! Bake veggies topped with low-fat or skim milk cheese for a gooey treat.

You can find more sneaky vegetable tips in Jessica Seinfeld’s popular book, Deceptively Delicious. I have made a few things from her book and they turned out pretty good although I try not to hide my families veggies cause they need to get in the habit of eating them.

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