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Category Archives: Veggies

Veggie Tree

Last year, my then-two-year-old desperately wanted a christmas tree made out of broccoli. I have no idea why or where she comes up with this stuff….did I mention she was two? I remembered having seen something close on Pinterest a while before so I gave it my best attempt and this is what came of it.

Veggie Tree

First I want to mention that I just might be the least crafty type person ever to have walked this earth. This project intimidated the heck out of me, but actually ended up being pretty easy. The real fun was serving it to our extended family at our Christmas party as an appetizer and seeing their faces :)

Supplies:
1 Foam Craft Cone
1 Serving Tray you are comfortable hot gluing something to
Hot Glue Gun and Glue Sticks to refill as needed
1 box of toothpicks
Vegetables of your choosing – keep in mind both what you want to eat, AND what would decorate a tree. Broccoli is the obvious choice for the green branches, I used cauliflower for snowy pieces and just a color variance. Red cherry tomatoes and orange baby carrots work as ornaments. If your family likes bell peppers, you could cut ribbons off the different colored peppers and use it like a garland. Again, I made mine for a 2yr old, so our veggies were pretty standard fare.

Directions:

1. In case you’re not sure what I mean by a foam cone, here’s a picture of a generic one:
01260P                                                               It’s just a small cone made of foam ;)
Anyways, using your hot glue gun, very generously glue the base of the cone down onto your serving tray. I used a dollar store throw-away tin one for mine so I didn’t have to worry about any damage.
2. While that’s cooling, chop up your veggies into pretty little pieces that you can attach to the cone.
3. Use the toothpicks to stab a piece of veggie – a broccoli floret, for example, in the base of the veggie and then stab it into the foam cone. Don’t go all crazy with your greens and expect to come back later and put in your colorful pieces – you’re going to have to plan ahead a bit and leave space for the other veggies. Perhaps if you’re really clever, you can decorate the naked tree with your “ornament” veggies and then go back and fill in the green veggies.
4. That’s it. Be creative with it. Use any veggies you like to eat. And when it’s time to serve up, remember to offer some sort of veggie dip to go with.
5. Enjoy!

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Candied Sweet Potatoes

I don’t really know what to say about candied sweet potatoes. They are easy, delicious, and so super sweet that your kids (and husband) will celebrate their veggies as a treat!

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Candied Sweet Potatoes:
Ingredients:
2 Sweet Potatoes
1 1/4 TBSP Butter
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
1/4 cup Water

Directions:
1. Wash your sweet potatoes and poke several times with a fork. Bake at 425 for 50-60 minutes, until cooked through. (I recommend putting a sheet of foil under the potatoes to catch any syrupy drippings.)2. In a skillet, melt your butter and then mix in the brown sugar and water. Bring the mixture to a low boil.
3. While the skillet is heating up, peel your potatoes and slice them in half. Sprinkle them with salt and place them into the skillet (after it’s reached the boil). Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for approximately 15 minutes or until well glazed.

 

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Brussels Sprouts

I have this little game I play with my daughter every week when we go shopping – I let her pick out something new from the fruit/produce section. Anything she wants is fair game, and I try to steer her to new things to try instead of just getting strawberries every week. It’s brought some delicious dishes to the family, and it has also forced me out of my comfort zone and regular choices of dinner veggies or snack time fruits too.

A huge favorite in this house is broccoli and it’s a pretty small step to go from one small, roundish, green veggie to another – so this week Brussels Sprouts were chosen with glee and I was so pleased to see them get gobbled right up.

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Ingredients:
Roughly a dozen Brussels Sprouts
1 1/2 TBSP Butter
1 1/2 TBSP EVOO
3 cloves Garlic
5-6 TBSP Parmesan Cheese
salt/pepper to taste

Directions:
1. Wash and then trim the stem of each sprout. Slice each sprout in half lengthwise.
2. Melt the butter and EVOO in a skillet over medium high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and add 3 smashed cloves of garlic.

(Do you know the smashed garlic trick? Separate a clove of garlic from the head and place it on your cutting board. Lay the broad side of a chef’s knife over the clove and, while still holding the handle with one hand, carefully smash down the knife with the palm of your other hand – pancaking the garlic in between the board and the knife. Now, the trick is, while you’re banging your palm down to crush the garlic, you also want to move the knife a small distance so that the garlic is sort of being smeared and is more smooshed than it is crushed….did this all make any sense?)

3. Remove the three cloves of garlic once they have browned and the flavor has infused into the oil and butter mixture.
4. Add your Brussels Sprouts, cut side down, into the oil/butter mix. Cover with a lid and cook on medium low heat for 10-15 minutes until they are tender all the way through.
5. Remove the sprouts from the pan and top with Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
6. Enjoy!

 
 

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Asparagus Spring Rolls

I look forward to Asparagus every summer. I love it as a veggie, sure, but I love it mostly in this particular dish. It is an amazing appetizer, party finger food, or even for a a “guys night” type drinking party. It’s ultra easy to make, just four ingredients and two real steps – and it even travels really well if you prep it up and then finish the baking at the party.

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Ingredients:
(Quantities given are for four wraps, but you can make as many or as few as you like)
16 stalks Fresh Asparagus (4 per wrap, though more or less depending on how thick your stalks are)
12 slices of Prosciutto – 3 slices per wrap
10 slices of Provolone Cheese – 2.5 slices per wrap
4 burrito sized Flour Tortillas
Some Extra Virgin Olive Oil for coating

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 375
2. Steam the fresh asparagus until fork tender – roughly 7-8 minutes depending on thickness.
3. On a cutting board or clean surface, lay out the first tortilla and “paint” it with EVOO. Flip it over and build your wrap. First spread out your three slices of prosciutto, then your two and a half slices of provolone. Place your cooked asparagus stalks in the middle and start rolling up the wrap like a pinwheel.
4. Place the wraps, seam side down, on a greased cookie sheet and bake uncovered for about 10 minutes.
5. You can slice them in half and serve them as a side dish, or slice them into finger food sized pieces and stand them on their ends and pass them around at a poker party. Either way you will have a happy audience!
6. Enjoy!

 

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Cheddar Veggie Chowder

I don’t know how you like your soups. I’m personally ALL about the cheesey-soak-your-bread-in-it kind, and this soup is exactly the right kind for sopping up in bread or crumbling a bunch of crackers into. I was experimenting a little, so yes, this soup is very similar to my Creamy Cheddar Broccoli Soup, but I decided this one was different enough to stand all on its own. It’s also super easy (which is kind of a requirement with me and soups).

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Cheddar Veggie Chowder
Ingredients
2 TBSP Butter
1 cup Grated Carrot (about 2 carrots)
1/2 cup thinly sliced celery (about 2 stalks)
5 cloves Garlic, minced
4 cups Chicken Stock   – – – you could substitute vegetable stock if you prefer
2 large Russet Potatoes, peeled and diced
1/2 cup Water1 TBSP Flour
2/3 cups Milk
2 cups Broccoli, chopped (about 1 large head)
2 1/2 cups Cheddar, freshly grated

1. Melt the butter in a large stock pot and add the grated carrot and celery. Heat until tender  and then add in the garlic. Saute it all up for another minute or two.
2. Pour in the chicken stock and add your potatoes. Let simmer until potatoes are cooked through.
3. In a separate bowl, or small measuring cup, add the flour to the 1/2 cup water and mix together. Add the slurry to the soup pot and mix and let simmer for a while longer until soup starts to thicken up.
4. Add in the broccoli and the milk and continue cooking until the broccoli is tender.
5. Stir in the cheese until fully melted and serve warm.
6. Enjoy!!

 

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Sweet Potato Mash

This is another easy peasy side dish that is sweet enough to be a big hit with the family and also healthy enough that I feel good feeding it to them. If your oven is already on to cook another dish, then these sweet potatoes practically make themselves! Just chop, bake, smoosh, and eat!! I’ll break it down for you below….

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Ingredients:
Sweet Potatoes (I used 2 large ones for this recipe)
4 total TBSP of melted butter, broken down into two batches of 2TBSPs each
2 TBSP Brown Sugar

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375
2. Wash and peel the Sweet Potatoes, cube them up into roughly two inch chunks – you’re going for uniformity here, try to get all the chunks roughly the same size so they bake evenly.
3. Pam spray a baking sheet and toss your potato chunks on there. Pour your first portion of 2TBSP melted butter over the potatoes and push them around to try and get them all coated a bit.
4. Bake for around 35 minutes – keep an eye on them for burning and make sure to stir them once in a while. Browning is good, burning is not :-)
5. When they’re done, take them roasted chunks of sweet potato out of the oven and decide how you’re going to mash them! You can use a food processor (if you have one) to puree them into a nice smooth fluff, you can use a blender to do the same thing, you can just pour them into a large bowl and smoosh them with a large fork, or you can use a potato masher if you like. It all ends up pretty much the same.
6. After you’ve mashed up the potatoes, add the remaining 2 TBSP melted butter and the 2 TBSP of Brown Sugar and mix it all together.
7. Enjoy!!

 

Roasted Carrots

Veggies. Who likes ‘em? Who wants to deal with cooking them? I actually prefer them raw and dipped (ok, drowned) in a nice veggie dip.

So what am I doing posting a recipe for Roasted Carrots? Well, I have these little things around my house called kids….and I’m pretty sure I heard somewhere that it’s my responsibility to feed them nutritious foods and to teach them that they need something other than potato chips to survive :-)

Soooo…..in that case….Roasted Carrots!!  It’s easy, It’s budget-friendly, and the kids AND the hubby AND myself will eat them up without any bickering about finishing their veggies! Score!

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Ingredients:
One package of carrots  (roughly 5-6 carrots)
2 TBSP butter
Salt and Pepper to taste

That’s it!!

Directions:
1.  Preheat your oven to around 375
2. Wash and peel the carrots and slice into manageable sized pieces. Slice the fatter parts in half so you have close to evenly sized pieces.
3. Melt the butter in a large bowl and sprinkle in some salt and pepper. Toss your sliced carrots in the bowl and evenly coat them with the seasoned butter.
4. Pam spray a cookie sheet and spread out the carrots across the pan. Toss in the oven and bake for roughly 20 minutes to get some browning on the edges and start to carmelize the carrots a bit. It really brings out the sweetness in them, so don’t be afraid to see a little color. You want to catch it right between browning, and burning!
5. After about 20 min, carefully pull the cookie sheet out of the oven and (using oven mits) very carefully cover the pan with a sheet of aluminum foil. Try your best to make it a pretty air-tight covering – without burning yourself of course!
6. Bake the carrots, covered, for another 10-15 minutes. This will steam the carrots and make them tender. If you like your carrots to be really soft, bake for the full 15 minutes, if you like a little bite left them, pull them out at 10 min or even a little earlier.
7. That’s it! Open up the foil and serve with dinner! Enjoy!

 
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Posted by on March 2, 2013 in Dinner, Easy, Healthy, Kids, Sides, Veggies

 
 
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