Most of us get into a rut, once in a while, when it comes to cooking. You have a few old fallback recipes that you rely on in a pinch and they may not have the healthiest ingredients. But there is an easy way to add nutrients to all your meals, even the old standards.
Check out my 3 brilliant tricks for sneaking healthy veggies into your old standbys.
1. For those on a low carb diet, I am sure you’ve known about this for a while. I had a craving for pizza but just didn’t feel like having the gluten-y crust that went with it. I happened to have a couple of cooked chicken breasts in the fridge and thought – Hey! I shredded the chicken and put it on the bottom with a bit of sauce. Then I added my onions, sun dried tomatoes, peppers and whatever I had in the fridge that would be good on pizza. I added more sauce, topped it with cheese and hot peppers and Wow! It was delicious! You could use any meat or no meat, use diced sauteed mushrooms as the base, and top with anything you wish add.
2. Some of my favorite foods have a yummy sauce on them just perfect for noodles or rice. But sometimes it is nice to just go without those extra carbs and calories. I first tried this with Butter Chicken. Oh Yum. The most wonderful sauce, yummy chicken but no veggies. So I have been sauteing veggies like peppers, onion, asparagus, leeks, cauliflower, broccoli, carrots and others to add to my meal. Then I thought, “Why do I need rice for this? What else can I use?” Spinach. I really don’t like cooked spinach but I love raw. So I threw a handful of spinach on the bottom of the plate, spooned my veggie-filled sauce over top and Yum. Yes, there was still loads of butter and cream in that dish. But I figured the added veggies balanced that out nicely.
3. A couple winters ago some wonderful friends invited us over for supper and served an absolutely delicious roasted vegetable soup that was blended till smooth and creamy, topped with a sun dried tomato bruschetta mixture. I fell in love with it and made it often after that. But one day I was hit with a stroke of brilliance. Why don’t I just add some of it to the gravy I was making? It was a hit so I started adding it to other things, figuring I could add a ton of veggies and no one would know….meaning kids who might have a little freak out over eating their veggies. So I added it to meatloaf, to stews, to soups and everything else I thought it might work in.
Now the original recipe had potatoes in it but now I leave those out and throw in olive oil, tomatoes, onions, garlic, squash, leeks, eggplant, peppers, carrots, cauliflower, different herbs like oregano, thyme, rosemary, parsley, tarragon. It really depends on the flavor I am looking for. When it is done roasting and nicely cooled I throw it in the blender and create a wonderful, smooth sauce. Then I pour the sauce into ice cube trays and once they are frozen, pop them into ziplock bags. Easy and awesome.
So now it’s your turn. Experiment. You now have permission to play with your food and see how many ways you can sneak good-for-you foods into your everyday meals.