Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sneaky Vegetables

Wouldn’t it be great if everyone loved vegetables?  You could cook up a healthy dinner for your family without having to think twice.  Well, since I know that’s never going to happen I’ve come up with some creative ways to make sure everyone is eating their vegetables.

“spesto” is what I like to call regular old pesto with a hint of spinach (okay its more like half spinach but don’t tell my husband).   Here is the basic recipe but you can feel to add whatever you like.

½ cup fresh basil leaves
½ cup fresh spinach
4 cloves of garlic
¼ cup pine nuts
3 Tb spoons of olive oil

Put everything into a food processor and chop until well blended.  Toss it over pasta (whole wheat if you are feeling daring) and serve with some grated Parmesan cheese.

Sweet Sloppy Joe
Sloppy Joes are great “kid food” and the perfect way to disguise an extra serving of vegetables.  The key in this recipe is to chop the vegetables finely (I use a food processor). 

1 sweet potato roasted until soft
1 small onion finely chopped
1 red bell pepper finely chopped
1 stalk of celery finely chopped
1 lb. ground turkey (you can use beef but I prefer turkey)
2 tsp. chili powder
2 cups no-salt-added tomato puree
1 ½ tbsp. packed brown sugar
1 tbsp. cider vinegar
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

Cook the ground meat, onions, pepper and celery in a large skillet with olive oil until meat is brown (no redness)
Scoop out the inside of the sweet potato and add to the meat along with the rest of the ingredients and simmer until the sauce thickens.  Serve over rolls (preferably whole wheat)

Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t like lying.  I almost always fess up my “secret ingredients” it’s just easier to convince people after they’ve tried a bite or two.  
Happy Cooking!

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