Whether for your kids, yourself, or another picky eater in your life, sometimes we have no choice but to skip the veggies – but do we? Disguising veggies as something more delicious can be a great way to add nutrition to your diet.
Here are a few of my favorite ways to sneak in veggies without sacrificing any flavor!
1) Zucchini in lasagna
A healthy twist on my favorite dish! In my opinion, just about anything smothered in marinara and cheese is bound to taste good. I didn’t even like zucchini until I tried this for the first time, and now I eat it a bunch of different ways.
You can make the lasagna with your usual recipe, except substitute the noodles with zucchini slices! I like to pre-bake my zucchini slices in a single layer on a baking sheet for about 8 minutes on 375. It softens them up and gives them more of a pasta texture.
You can also add spinach to your tomato sauce while you’re heating it up in the pan. It’ll soften up and you’ll forget it’s even there.
2) Leafy greens in smoothies
The first time I tried adding greens (kale, spinach, etc) to my smoothies I was in awe at the fact that I couldn’t taste them at all. If it wasn’t for an occasional difference in color (depending on how much you add), you’d never even know they were there!
My favorite recipe is simple:
- 1 cup berry blend – I love this one from Costco!
- 1 frozen overripe banana
- Large handful of greens
- 1 cup almond milk – Sub in coconut water if you want to save a few calories
3) Broccoli in macaroni
Growing up my mom always got us to eat broccoli by adding cheese. Not only did we eat it – we really liked it! Mixing broccoli into macaroni takes that concept and turns it into an entire meal.
We’ve got busy schedules so I make this as easy as possible on myself. At our house, we prefer boxed Annie’s Macaroni with cheese sauce. (Side note: If you haven’t tried boxed macaroni with cheese sauce instead of the powdered cheese then you are seriously missing out!) I steam frozen broccoli in the microwave, blend it with the macaroni and add a little pepper. SO good – fresh AND leftover (bonus!).
4) Finely chopped veggies under pizza cheese
For me, vegetables are usually mind over matter. It’s not really that I don’t like the flavor — it’s that I don’t like the texture or the simple fact that I know they are there. So what better way to trick myself into enjoying veggies than to actually hide them?!
Here’s how it works:
- Chop up and mix a variety of the vegetables of your choice.
- Sauté the mixture — This is a must! If the veggies are crunchy, whoever’s eating them will definitely know they are there.
- Add the sautéed veggies to your pizza sauce.
- Add the pizza sauce mixture, cheese, and whatever toppings you’d usually use.
Voila! You now have a pizza with a lot more nutrition and probably a bit of extra flavor that you’ll genuinely enjoy.
5) Spinach in eggs
If you can’t handle seeing your vegetables then this won’t be a good option for you. Luckily, over the last couple years I’ve grown to be a spinach lover. I can’t eat it alone, but I love mixing it with other things – including eggs!
Eggs, especially scrambled, are already a squishy food. My favorite thing is to scramble them with almond milk, shredded cheddar, and salt & pepper. Recently, though, I’ve started adding in spinach and my whole family (even Nolan!) has been loving it. Once the spinach is cooked, the texture blends right in and the green adds some color to a usually bland-looking dish.