Vegetable trickery

Every parent goes through this, you want your kids to eat broccoli, brussels sprouts, and kale, but they want Oreos, meat, and goldfish crackers. Sometimes, I want to give up and consider ketchup, and corn vegetables. I’ve seen my son pick through things to just get the onion chunks out. Onions are a healthy vegetable, right Stephanie?
Now, before I go any further, as an allergy sufferer, I want to preface this by saying, I do NOT condone sneaking ingredients into someone’s food without their knowledge. That is, unless you know all the things they are allergic to and you are careful not to send them into anaphylaxis.

There are a couple things you can do. You can set a good example and eat the same foods you are feeding your kids. I try to make sure we all eat the same thing, and there is no “ew gross!” allowed at our table. The hubs is not allowed to make a face, say anything negative, or not eat something I have made. I’m not going to say I don’t enjoy making him eat stuff, but it really does make a difference. I also try to get the little one active in what he’s eating. This is the first year I’m trying to garden, andI have a few things planted out there. For the most part, my son planted them. Yes, I have an onion planted upside down, and the carrots are all bunched up, and not in neat little rows, but when they are ready to harvest he will be very excited. He’s helped me water, and I will bet by the time the brussel sprouts are ready, he will eat them.
I also read in a book called Hungry Monkey, that the more you expose them to when they are younger, the more likely they will be to eat new things later on.

Another trick I do, both to my son and my husband, is camouflage.

I could live on meat and potatoes. In fact, a good steak and some mashed potatoes is probably my favorite meal ever. There is a dish the Irish make called Colcannon that is basically mashed potatoes with leeks and cabbage or kale. In fact, it is traditionally made on All Saints Day. Maybe that’s why I love it so much, that’s my birthday!
Here is what it looks like:

You take your potatoes and boil them like you would to make mashed potatoes

Then you take your leek and use the white to very light green part.

Slice it down the middle and rinse well. Very well.

Slice them up, and add them to your mashed potatoes.
Then on to the kale

I love kale. It’s so good for you and Stephanie can tell you all about why. I just tell you how…
Use the baby stuff, it’s much more tender, take the stems off, and chop it up and add it to your potatoes along with the leeks, butter, milk, and salt.

Seriously, it’s delicious, and it goes perfectly with a steak, and no one knows they are eating something good for them.

Just a note, I have been known, at times, to sneak cauliflower in when I make mashed potatoes, however, if you do this, do not boil the cauliflower. Anytime you boil a vegetable, you are essentially taking all the nutrients out of the veg, and releasing it into the water. That negates the purpose of putting cauliflower in the potatoes. Go ahead and steam it if you are going to do that. potatoes, can hold up to a little more abuse, as long as you don’t over boil them.

Next I made a meatball cupcake with sweet potato “frosting”.

The first thing I did was soak gluten free breadcrumbs in milk.

Chop up the following:
A head of cauliflower
Four carrots
And a half package of baby kale. About 2.5 oz
Chop them small, so you don’t have big chunks of vegetables in your meat.

Add in 1.5 lbs of lean ground beef and breadcrumbs along with garlic powder, onion powder, and Worcestershire sauce

Then mix well

Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray and fill the cups full, these will compress and not rise

Let these bake for about 15-20 mins at 350. And start on your sweet potatoes

Take two large sweet potatoes, peel them, chop them and boil them


When they are tender, drain and add:
5 tbls butter
1/8 c unpacked brown sugar
1/8 c blackstrap molasses
2 tsp ginger
Cinnamon (I go light, but however much you prefer here)
And salt to taste
Mash it all together

and put in a ziplock bag


Take your meatballs out and let them rest

Mmmmm veggie goodness

Now take your meatball on a plate and snip the corner off your bag o taters



Pipe the “frosting” on. My piping skills are just not there, so I spread it on with a spatula


This next one is not any trickery, or foolery, it’s just plain delicious.

Butternut Squash Fries

It’s a tough one too

Take the long end of a butternut squash and peel it

Cut it in half, then thirds


Take the thirds, and slice them…. You’re just trying to get even “fry size” cuts, if you like them bigger, smaller, or you cut it a different way, do it that way…
Just make them look like this:


Spray a cookie sheet with olive oil, put the fries on it and spray them as well


Bake these in a 400 degree oven for 15 mins, flip them over and go another 15 mins



For breakfast, have you tried making your own smoothie? It’s very easy and a great way to get a lot of good stuff in to start the day!
Take some fruit, say
And Grapes

Throw in some spinach (you thought I was going to say kale didn’t you? I thought about it, but I ran out)
Flax seeds
And some Greek yogurt.

Blend it all up, and enjoy!



I hope this helps some of you struggling to get more veggies in you or your family’s diet. My son is a meat lover. He will eat all things meat, but many times will spit out a vegetable if I try to sneak one in. With these cupcakes, he actually picked out the cauliflower and ate it first. Before the meat! I’ll call that a win!

Now, head on over to 3squarenutrition to check out some creative ways to get your family to eat better and for the information on these recipes!

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