Once every couple of weeks I spend a little time doing something that makes my life a lot easier. Here's how I set myself up for success to meet our nutritional goals in five easy steps:
1. Clean out the fridge/freezer and put all the leftover veggies in a pot. Usually it's a wide range of colors and flavors - and only a small amount of each variety. This week's included cauliflour, beets, collard greens, broccoli and carrots. You could also use a frozen bag of some kind of veggie medley if you don't have much on hand.
2. Add enough broth (I use organic, low-sodium chicken broth, but veggie would work great, too!) to cover veggies and simmer until soft.
3. Let cool.
4. Use immersion blender to puree to a smooth consistency.
5. Pour into freezer safe container and pop in the freezer. I use small ones, because that way I can defrost one or two to pump up whatever meal we are having.
That's it. Then my freezer is stocked with some "rainbow in a cup" soup as we call it. It doesn't always look/sound appetizing, but often times it's great plain. Otherwise we add it to the meals we are eating that might not be as vegetable-rich as we'd like. It's an easy way to make sure my toddler is getting a dose of veggies on his pickier days and when the baby comes along and is ready for table food it will be able to do double duty.
Many times my toddler will gobble it down on its own; I just heat it up and add a sprinkle of feta or parmesan and he will eat a full bowl. But here are some other ways we use it:
- Add to pastas. Whether it's made with a tomato, cream, or oil-based sauce, this soup will add a broader spectrum of nutrients.
- Pair with rice. Mixed with a little brown rice (and possibly beans or other protein) it becomes a whole new meal.
- Casseroles and Mac and Cheese. Our toddler loves casseroles and one-dish meals - adding a little soup packs a little more punch than some of our favorite comfort classics alone.
- Meatloaf and Burgers. Add this soup to ground beef/turkey meals before cooking to infuse a little extra nutritional oomph.
How do you manage to work in some extra veggies? Do your kids eat veggies willingly or do have to be creative to get them to eat them?
by elasmimiApril 25, 2012 at 11:57 AM
by LancesMomApril 25, 2012 at 12:29 PM
I don't need to really "work" in a vegie any more! Sometimes mymeal consists of a protein and two vegie sides. We love them all (except brussel sprouts and beets) I tend to make a vegie stir fry w/o meat I love vegies so much!
My son has the same tastes. He is a big time vegie eater!
by LancesMomApril 25, 2012 at 12:30 PM
Oh and the only vegie my husband eats is corn on the cob and baked beans! lol! His fries are a vegie too as long as they are fried!
by MamaMandeeApril 25, 2012 at 12:30 PM
My kids have always been pretty good about eating their veggies. I think getting the kids involved from picking (heck even growing them if you can) to cooking & serving really helps! If they don't like something I don't push it but come back to it a few weeks later and try it out again.
by itsblissmasApril 25, 2012 at 1:09 PM
I don't think we've ever had extra veggies so there's never been an opportunity for me to "work them in". =)
by Reina13April 25, 2012 at 1:09 PM
Nor at my house.
My youngest will eat anything, but the older one, no matter how many ways I have tried to disguise it, he seems to have a veggie tracking radar..lol
Hum, not sure this one would fly at my house...
by Leelee1008April 25, 2012 at 1:13 PM
hmmm im not really sure, my kids, with the exception of my DD eat some veggies, but not alot.
by Charizma77April 25, 2012 at 1:50 PMI have to hide cooked veggies but they will eat raw veggies.
by Rushn311April 25, 2012 at 2:05 PM
I make them for a side dish and they just eat them. My son pitches a fit about spinach usually but will eat some of it.
April 25, 2012 at 2:21 PM
That's such a great idea. And it reminds me that I meant to throw some vegetables in the crockpot to create some soup.
My kids are teenagers (and one 9-year old) . . . so they generally eat vegetables willingly.