October 27, 2017
6 Ways To Sneak Veggies Into Meals
Many people have a love-hate relationship with veggies; we all know we need them, but sometimes we just don’t want to eat yet another raw salad. I’ve personally gotten to the place where I love the feeling of eating raw foods, and I do believe that the more you eat foods in their whole and natural state, the more you crave these unaltered foods.
However, when someone is trying to pack some extra veggies into their meals, or if you’ve got kids or a veggie-resistant spouse, it can be nice to have a few ways to add some extra nutrition without sacrificing taste.
These ideas are a few of my wife’s favourites, and my young nieces will gobble them up as well. These meals are a great way for somebody who is transitioning to a plant-based diet to bulk up their plates as well!
- Mac and “Cheeze”: We eat completely plant-based in my house, so instead of a cheesy sauce for noodles I make a blend of cashews, veggies, and nutritional yeast. Using orange vegetables like squash, yams, and carrots gives that colour similar to a processed variety that we may have liked as kids. If you do still consume traditional cheese sauces, blending in some carrots or yams won’t alter the taste much but will help to pack in some nutrients.
- Smoothies: blending greens into any smoothie is a great way to pack them into your day without really noticing.
- Spaghetti Noodles: I love spaghetti, it’s a staple in our household meal plan! By adding in spiralized zucchini, you can pack in extra nutrients while stretching your pasta budget by using less. I use about 2/3 spaghetti noodles to 1/3 “zoodles”, and it’s barely noticeable. Read about my favourite affordable spiralizer in my post “3 Kitchen Gadgets I Couldn’t Live Without“.
- Pasta Sauce: A plant-based bolognese style sauce is a great way to add some veggies while still getting that meaty texture that many of us are used to. Pulsing mushrooms, carrots, and peppers in a food processor before adding to a tomato base gives a great texture to be poured over spaghetti. Adding onions and garlic for flavour boosts the nutrient and antioxidant profile as well!
- Muffins/baked goods: grated zucchini and carrots are a great addition to muffins and loaves, substituting pumpkin puree for eggs can work well in muffin or scone recipes, and adding greens, onions, and sundried tomatoes are great additions to a scone or bun.
- Desserts: much like muffins, carrots and zucchini can be grated and hidden well in cakes. In this case, chocolate (preferably raw cacao) is your friend! The dark colour hides additives and makes it possible to pack your desserts full of hidden goodies. A family favourite is chocolate zucchini cake with avocado icing!
Hiding veggies has become a sort of game for me now. Now, I do not condone lying to your kids or spouse, and in no way are these swaps meant to be deceptive. These ideas are just a tool to make unwanted veggies more palatable!
How does your family use vegetables on a daily basis? Let us know in the comments below!