Lately, however, I have been putting a lot of thought into how I can boost the nutrition in what we are eating. When I do get a chance to make something to eat when Parker goes to sleep, I want it to pack in as much vitamins, fibre, etc as I can without compromising flavor. I mean, if I want to eat mac n' cheese, I don't want some super healthy bastardization of mac n' cheese with tofu and cauliflower instead of noodles or some such nonsense. But I do want something a little healthier- and I hate side salads- so I try to think of some way to boost the nutrition a bit so as to not feel guilty about eating just a bowl of noodles and cheese for lunch. Plus I get a certain satisfaction from saying, "How do you like the mac n' cheese? HA! There's pumpkin in it and you didn't even know it!"
So, this post is about sharing some of the more creative ways I have been upping the nutrients in our meals. Hopefully I will inspire you to trick your kid, husband, or yourself into eating just a little healthier.
Leafy Greens: For the last few weeks I have bought a tub of baby spinach or arugula to keep in the fridge. Then I find ways to use it throughout the week, mostly by throwing a couple of handfuls into the pan at the end of cooking and letting it wilt. This works great for pasta, rice, etc. and was delicious with a fried egg on toast (pictured at the top). I have even put a small handful of greens into my morning smoothie.
Pureed Pumpkin: I used canned pumpkin left over from making pumpkin pie in all kinds of things. Add a quarter cup to mac n' cheese or Kraft dinner and you won't even know it's there. I also put it into a spread for crostini (pseudo-recipe below).
Beans: White beans are delicious in pasta, or pureed with herbs into a hummus-type spread.
Frozen Vegetables: I would say throw frozen veggies into any number of dishes, except that I hate frozen veggies. I find them watery and gross. So what I do is thaw them, drain off any excess water, and puree them with tomato pasta sauce.
Frozen Peas: I'm sure you've caught on to my love of frozen peas by now- see this post and also this one- but I also put peas in anything that I think needs a boost of veggies.
One Year Ago: Inaugural Post with Caldo Verde recipe
I haven't listed measurements here for two reasons: I didn't measure as I made this and because it is really a throw together recipe that I came up with because I had all these odds and ends of leftovers in the fridge.
- cannelini beans (also called white kidney beans)
- roasted squash
- pureed pumpkin
- roasted garlic cloves
- salt and pepper
- red pepper flakes
- splash of lemon juice
- olive oil
- fresh parsley, rosemary, or sage
Puree everything but herbs in a food processor until smooth, scraping down sides as necessary. Add herbs, pulse a few times to chop herbs small and combine into spread. Serve on crostini, crackers, or even use as a sandwich spread.