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Author Topic: Recipes to Alter or Hide Veggies?  (Read 9371 times)

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Re: Recipes to Alter or Hide Veggies?
« Reply #15 on: March 30, 2013, 05:38:28 PM »
That sounds like something they used to serve at Uno's; it was good!


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Re: Recipes to Alter or Hide Veggies?
« Reply #16 on: March 31, 2013, 01:20:40 AM »
I adore veggies. Here are some tips, in no particular order:

1. Spinach goes great in lasagna. It won't take over the entire dish unless you go totally crazy. You can cook your own, or thaw some frozen. Either way, make sure you chop it well and squeeze as much water out of it as you can. Mushrooms are also good in lasagna (just saute some minced ones in oil and mix in with the sauce or meat). Paper-thin bell peppers can be delicious, but the green ones will be detectable.

2. For green beans, asparagus, zucchini spears, and okra: Clean and trim the veggies. Dice a tomato or two (you want about one part tomato to three parts green stuff) and mince up a clove or two of garlic. Put the tomato and its juices into a bowl with the garlic and season with a bit of salt and pepper. Heat a tablespoon or so of olive oil in a large skillet over medium to medium high heat. Toss in the green veggies. Cook over this high-ish heat for about four to five minutes, tossing them around with a spoon. A few brownish spots are fine, but you don't want them to be getting soft. Turn the heat down to low, push all of the veggies together (stacking is fine), and top with the tomatoes and garlic. Don't stir. Cover the skillet and let it cook over low heat for about fifteen minutes. Take the lid off, and give it a stir. The tomatoes and veggies will probably have released some juices. Turn the heat up to medium again and let it bubble and thicken. When the veggies are done to your liking, serve them. Or just eat them out of the pan.

3. You've already had the roasting tip. Roasting is fabulous for root vegetables in particular. I like to make a hash out of potato, sweet potato, carrot, and beet. I just peel them, cut them into 1/4-inch cubes, then toss with a chopped onion (if I have one), some balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, olive oil, salt, and pepper. I might toss in some fresh thyme or rosemary as well. I put it onto a baking sheet and toss it in the oven. It will cook at most temperatures, though it does take longer at lower temperatures. Give it a stir every ten minutes or so after the first fifteen minutes. I'd suggest 375 degrees. It's nice on its own, with gravy of some sort, or pureed into a soup.

4. People have already suggested the Sneaky Chef books. Great idea. Try it out if you can find a cookbook at the library.

5. If texture is a big thing for you, experiment with different cooking times. Take, for instance, zucchini. Raw, it has a slight "squeak" to it. It also has a faint "green" flavor. It's almost grassy sometimes. The more you cook it, the more tender it becomes. To you, that might read as waterlogged or slimy. Keeping it firm might be a better choice if you are sensitive to texture.

6. Try roasting some veggies with a breadcrumb topping. I've had good luck with Brussels sprouts that way. I blanched them briefly, then put them into a casserole and topped them with breadcrumbs that I'd whirled with almonds, lemon zest, salt, and pepper. I drizzled olive oil and the lemon's juice all over the top. It was quite refreshing, but it did taste distinctly of Brussels sprouts.

7. Do you like curry? Curry is amenable to many additions. You can cook it until it's almost done (blanching is easy), then dump it into your curry and let it finish cooking as it bubbles in the sauce.

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Re: Recipes to Alter or Hide Veggies?
« Reply #17 on: March 31, 2013, 02:57:20 PM »
I've recently discovered broccoli stalks. I've used them before in stir fries but hadn't peeled them. Now I do--and I love to munch on those crunchy, light, delicious things.


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Re: Recipes to Alter or Hide Veggies?
« Reply #18 on: April 01, 2013, 05:35:41 AM »
I've used broccoli stalks for stock and soups.  Broccoli soup is a good way to use them; just cook in water with some garlic and seasonings, puree, and add some half and half (optional) and small florets.


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Re: Recipes to Alter or Hide Veggies?
« Reply #19 on: April 01, 2013, 07:33:52 AM »
Sounds to me like you just don't really care for dark green veg.  Why not try other vegetables?  Try roasting some bell peppers with olive oil, garlic, and salt (then serve with pasta or just eat on their own or with cheese as a antipasti)?  Try making leek and cheese quiche?  Or green pea, garlic and creme fraiche dip?  Or try aubergines - aubergine parmigiana - or baba ganoush or making aubergine curry?  Try mashed sweet potatoes and/or carrots as a side dish?  Stuffed onions with feta and parsley?  Macaroni with mashed peas and parmesan?  (see my blog post here on the two latter dishes served together for a nice Sunday lunch - )

Life's too short to eat stuff you don't like - don't worry about the vegetables that you don't care for, experiment with those that you do like.


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Re: Recipes to Alter or Hide Veggies?
« Reply #20 on: April 01, 2013, 12:41:33 PM »
When my nieces were little, I figured out that you can hide vegetables by draining a can of mixed vegetables and stirring them into whatever spagetti sauce you use, when you are having spagetti. You have to put the spagetti sauce out of the jar and into a pan, and let it simmer for a few minutes while stirring the vegetables into it, but it's well worth it.

And I personally, not just to eat more vegetables on purpose but because it tastes good to me, I like to simmer the spagetti sauce with various vegetables in it-bell pepper pieces of various colors, tomatoes of different kinds, pieces of onions-even chopped up cucumber.  You can simmer a little while if you like them crunchy or a longer time if you like them soft.  And I am sure there are more vegetables you could try if you get creative.

And as a previous poster said, don't beat yourself up over not liking the strongly flavored dark greens.  Just eat what you can and find a way to enjoy it!


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Re: Recipes to Alter or Hide Veggies?
« Reply #21 on: April 07, 2013, 10:03:28 PM »
The faux cauliflower mashed "potatoes" that a pp mentioned are fabulous, I suggest them to anyone.  OP, have you tried to make kale chips?  Just cut the leaves into bite-sized pieces.  Lightly swipe a baking tray with olive oil and lay the leaves flat.  Spritz the leaves with olive oil on top, add salt and pepper liberally.  Bake at 400 for about ten minutes.  These satisfy my craving for potato chips and don't taste very kale-y.


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Re: Recipes to Alter or Hide Veggies?
« Reply #22 on: April 07, 2013, 10:17:54 PM »
When DD moved on to table foods and wouldn't touch her baby food jars anymore, I started putting the pureed veggies in soups, stock, sauces, etc. I've battered fried chicken in pureed sweet potato, and no one can tell. DH is picky as heck, but only if he can actually see the veg. He encourages me to "hide" things from him :) But he's not a supertaster, so YMMV
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Re: Recipes to Alter or Hide Veggies?
« Reply #23 on: April 07, 2013, 10:57:21 PM »
Also recommended are green smoothies. These are delicious and combine fruit and vegetables (like kale and spinach, raw) into a great drink that provides lots of healthy goodness. Being that the ingredients are raw you get all the original nutrients out of them. Google "green smoothie recipes" and you'll come up with a *lot* of suggestions.

I second green smoothies.  I find that kale is still really strong even in smoothie format, but spinach's flavor gives in to enough fruity flavors.  :)

Here's my current favorite:
--2 large handfuls baby spinach
--1/2 cup orange juice
--1 banana
--handful of blueberries
--5 strawberries

I blend it until there's no texture left.


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Re: Recipes to Alter or Hide Veggies?
« Reply #24 on: April 08, 2013, 07:08:34 AM »
Adding pureed veggies to things works well with my at the time slightly picky toddler.

Pureed carrots (I puree them raw to keep most of the vitamins there for us) in pancake batter. Actually made the pancakes out of while grain spelt so they were super healthy. She still liked them.
Pureed spinach in pancake batter.
Grated or pureed veggies in omelettes.
I added pureed zucchini in her dal today, although that was all veggies to begin with, I just thought I could add some more while I was at it.

She also eats just about any veggie if I make a spicy curry sauce for it. Maybe you have a sauce you really like and could incorporate in veggie meals?

I also add grated carrots to tomato sauces, spinach to lasagna, lots of veggies to chili as a way of making sure we eat lots of varied veggies.


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Re: Recipes to Alter or Hide Veggies?
« Reply #25 on: April 08, 2013, 06:39:19 PM »
Tempura veges are very popular here, although I am not able to eat them.  Might not be ideal if you're watching your fat intake!

I also tend to blend veges in with ground beef etc for meatballs or sauces.  I throw everything into a food processor and blend till you can't pick obvious veges.  It's great for fussy kids because they can't see anything, but get some flavour to get accustomed to.

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Re: Recipes to Alter or Hide Veggies?
« Reply #26 on: April 11, 2013, 12:36:33 AM »
Wanted to thank everyone for the suggestions so far. The only question I have is how adding the veggie purees to existing recipes effects the liquid, cook temp, and/or cook time? Is there a good rule of thumb for adjusting when you make additions/substitutions?

Thanks for all the cool ideas!  ;D
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Re: Recipes to Alter or Hide Veggies?
« Reply #27 on: April 21, 2013, 07:58:57 PM »
Broccoli doesn't have to be spongy. You can steam it al dente giving it a nice crisp texture. Don't confuse the idea that darker vegetables are healthier with cooking them darker. Generally, the longer you cook them, the less healthy. Limp broccoli has had all of the vitamins and minerals cooked out.

If you can find a copy, James McNair's Vegetarian Pizza has a great, veggie heavy, sauce plus some great pizzas.
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Re: Recipes to Alter or Hide Veggies?
« Reply #28 on: April 21, 2013, 09:06:27 PM »
Not a green veg, but super thin slices of eggplant in lasagna are good.
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Re: Recipes to Alter or Hide Veggies?
« Reply #29 on: April 22, 2013, 01:12:57 PM »
My good eHellions, please help a texture-sensitive Super Taster who has to cook for a Picky Eater. :-[

I am trying to incorporate more vegetables into our diets, but...well, they taste too much like vegetables.  ::)

With an emergency tutorial from a vegetarian friend, I have discovered the joy of french green beans pan-carmelized in sea salt and olive oil, and I can make squash soup - but not much else besides that.

I really want to eat things like spinach and kale. I find the bitterness of kale makes it inedible to me - it's the first vegetable I've actually spit out since I was a little kid. Cooked spinach is too slimy and raw spinach has a rubbery texture that I don't enjoy at all. The same is true for broccoli, its just too spongy. I like crispy crunchy greens, but it seems the darker (and therefore more healthy) the greens get the more limp and/or bitter they become.

Does anyone have any methods of preparing vegetables that change their taste and texture without compromising their nutritional value too greatly? Any suggestions for brussels sprouts or artichokes? Does anyone have any recipes that "sneak in" vegetables? I have been thinking of pureeing some spinach and using it in my traditional meat lasagna, but I am afraid the flavor may take over the dish. I was also thinking of trying to substitute a vegetable puree when a recipe calls for liquid, or simply adding them in where I can - what adjustments would I have to make? Here is an example: instead of messing with my cheesy quiche filling, I thought of trying to put the spinach in this crust. Do you think it would work? :-\

Any suggestions or brainstorms would be greatly appreciated! ;D
Reading the OP, I get the impression that you overcook your vegetables. The bitterness has more to do with preparation then with being a supertaster. Bieng a supertaster would at most make you taste the bitterness more.

For example, Brocoli is not spongy when cooked correctly. Brocoli is supposed to be bright green and firm. When it gets darker or mushier you have overcooked it. Cooking time for brocoli in boiling water is about 5 minutes. Brocoli is one of those vegetables that I am always wary of when others prepare it, since so many people overcook it.

For spinach, when eating it raw, do you get young spinach? older spinach doesn't taste as good raw as young does.
When cooking spinach (personaly I always stirfry), 3 minutes should be enough.

Kale again, do not overcook, there is nothing wrong with your kale still having some bite, though be carefull with kale, if you undercook it it is almost imposible to eat the stems in my opinion. (my favourite kale recipe is again stirfrying and not cooking.)
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