I have some tricks up my sleeve for getting picky eaters (of which my husband and daughter are the pickiest!) to eat their veggies.
In my experience, tucking the (offensive) vegetable in with meat and a starch works wonderfully. Seriously, this little discovery has changed our lives. We have a much broader diet these days. In the past, cauliflower, broccoli, kale, and even squash were on the list of banished veggies. We subsisted much of the time on carrots, peas, and beans.
No more. Last night’s dinner consisted of organic pasta, mild Italian sausage, and yes (gasp!) cauliflower. It certainly helps when the vegetable blends into the dish, as in the above photo. And, texture is a key here, too. You want the cauliflower to be tender enough that it isn’t offensive on the discriminating palate. A little butter never hurts either. Another key is to make the pieces very small. Even mash it if possible. Trust me, this works. We’ve also enjoyed some mashed acorn squash mixed in with some chicken and rice this week. No one was the wiser. (Mama smiles.)
Cauliflower is probably the easiest vegetable to start with. It has a mild flavor and blends in easily. Just steam it until tender, add a little butter, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Then, mash or finely chop it, and add it to your dish. You can also do the same with broccoli. For winter squash, cut it in half (or quarters depending on it’s size), scoop out the seeds, and rub the flesh with a little extra virgin olive oil and sea salt. Roast it in the oven @ 400 degrees F for about an hour or until tender. Then scoop out the flesh, mash it, and add it to your dish. YUM!
I’ve also been know to add finely shredded kale to spaghetti sauce. It doesn’t need to be steamed first. Super easy and delicious. The sauce will look like you went heavy on the herbs. Soups and stews are another great way to slip in noxious (to them) veggies. I’m not ashamed to admit I’m a sneaky chef. Good nutrition is important. It’s a priority around here.
Here’s one of our favorite easy recipes if you need a jumping off point:
Just be sure to chop the vegetables very finely at first. As your diners realize that they actually like their veggies, you can chop them more coarsely.