Eat More Veggies! (Ultimate Recipe Swap)

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Ultimate Recipe Swap

This week is all about getting a good habit going.

One food habit I want to improve is feeding my family more veggies. Foodies, doctors, nutrionists and arm chair dieticians can debate all day long about fats and grains and dairy. But, one thing they generally agree on is that we could all use a few more plants in our diets.

This past week I scored major big time at my local Ralphs. They had lots of vegetables marked down to bargain prices. Cress for a quarter, corn – 4 ears for a buck. I even found veggie trays for $3.99, about half their normal price!

And since those items were nearing their sell-by dates, it was in our best interests to eat them quickly. I don’t think I’ve ever bought a party tray unless it was on markdown. And I usually buy several.

We rarely have big parties, but there are many ways with a party tray. Let me count them:

8 Great Ways with a Party Tray

originally published in November 2008

1. Thin the dip with buttermilk to make a tasty salad dressing.

2. Saute the broccoli in garlic, crushed red pepper, and oil for a delicious vegetable stir fry.

3. Make Lynn’s Panera Bread Broccoli Cheddar Soup.

4. Use the carrots in Carrot Cake and Carrot Muffins.

5. Toss the dip with boiled potato chunks and chopped celery and red onion to make a filling potato salad.

6. Boil a pound of pasta and blanch the broccoli and carrots. Toss together with Italian salad dressing and chopped peppers and tomatoes for a fresh-tasting pasta salad.

7. Boil the carrots and broccoli until tender. Toss with melted butter, ginger, grated orange peel, and a splash of orange juice. Serve hot.

8. Set on the counter and encourage your kids to snack on veggies.

How do YOU make veggies easier to swallow at your house?

For more inspiration, check out Get a Good Habit Going.

About Jessica Fisher

I believe you can get great meals on the table -- and still keep that pretty smile on your face.

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  1. I never thought of using a marked down veggie tray for meals…great idea!

  2. I learned the best trick today from the “what’s megan making” blog. Add fresh spinach leaves to fruit smoothies! I tested it out tonight and you CANNOT taste the spinach at all! So fantastic! What an amazing way to sneak in a VERY healthy veggie!

  3. Too funny, I bought a marked down veggie tray one day just for the kids to snack on (they love raw veggies, I need them cooked). Ended up using the leftovers as color in a pasta salad, hubby thought I was weird, glad to know I’m not! lol

  4. We love vegetables in our house – even when he was little my son would ask for seconds of them – and Brussel Sprouts are his favourite. Don’t know how I got so lucky! I’ve linked up my vegetarian lasagne, which is different from traditional vegetarian lasagnes. It’s easy to make and even die hard meat eaters love it. Thanks for hosting!

  5. wow, I have never seen marked down veggie trays. I would have picked them up too. We love to eat veggies that way with dip as a snack.

    Thanks for the link-up.

  6. I love veggie trays. =) Your deal was amazing! Good eye!

  7. Veggie trays are great! Thank you for hosting us today and you have a great week!

  8. Over the past few years of being part of a CSA I’ve learned SO MUCH about what you can do with vegetables! I don’t have to worry about hiding them – just cook them in an interesting way in the first place.

  9. i’m sharing a different kind of recipe today. my recipe is about how one elementary school prepared 7 kinds of veggies for elementary kids, the food presentation and tasting and details about what the students ate. the results were nearly unbelievable, even for me with the mantra “believe kids have the capacity to like veggies and they will.” thanks for hosting!

  10. I wish we could find a marked down veggie tray around here! Vegetables are super expensive in Manitoba Canada right now because there is not much local stuff left! Carrots and potatoes are the only local veg still available. Even the price on those is high!

    • carlasorensen says

      @Carla I love the ideas to use the food in the veggie trays. I have bought them in the past at full price and decided NOT to do that again because of the over-pricing. BUT, if they are on mark down, I will definitely re-consider. I know our Giant does mark them down. They also mark down the fruit trays, which are also very pricey. I bought one of those once or twice at the mark down price, however the fruit needs to be eaten pretty quickly. Any advice on using the fruit? There are just 2 of us, as we are “empty nesters” but trying to cut corners like everyone else.

  11. Veggies are not an issue in my home, the girls have always like them, except for peas and potatoes (except french fries of course!). But their fave way to each them is with dip!

  12. I posted a recipe for Butternut Squash Lasagna (#44 above) that is absolutely DELICIOUS!

  13. My family LOVES spaghetti squash in place of pasta! YUM! I posted my yummy Crockpot Chicken Curry!

  14. Veggies and salads are not exactly a problem in my house. There are always requests for what we call “salad bar” – I have a dozen small bowls filled with salad ingredients – laid out on the counter. If there are leftovers (ha!), they get thrown in a bowl and eaten for lunch the next day. Cheerfully. Yeah, I got lucky.

  15. Our family loves a popular old-time Italian Green Beans recipe. It’s wonderful with green beans, cauliflower, broccoli etc. Even a few carrots in the mix won’t hurt a thing.

    My Mom also serves delicately steamed green beans (frozen is fine) with vinegar & oil, sprinkled with garlic powder, salt & pepper. Chill. Fantastic salad. My mother is always asked to bring this to my mil’s for holidays. Even the children love it.

  16. Good and good for you:-)

  17. Great idea! Look forward to seeing all the ideas, need to up the vegetables with the kids.

  18. I loved zucchini bread growing up, and I really want to make it sometime soon!

  19. This really isn’t a recipe. But, one day, I just started calling a veggie tray a “Monkey Tray”. Usually, the tray has carrots, broccoli, jicama, colorful bell peppers, cauliflower and any other veggie, I might have on hand.

    Regularly, my kids ask for one of these. To the point their grandma had to ask me what it was, as she had never heard it called a “Monkey Plate.”

    My kids love finger food meals, so often we will have this for dinner with cheese and meat.

    Usually, though, I just keep one of these made (or at least have all the veggies ready to go in the fridge to place on plate) and the kids eat it during the day (we home school).

    I serve this with home made hummus, ranch dressing, etc.


  20. Because my youngest daughter had health issues as a child and kind of skipped the stage where getting used to the texture of vegetables was par for the course, I tend to puree everything and hide it in food, like my spaghetti sauce and this great recipe for butternut squash soup. There are actually two recipes, one savory and the other sweet. All the best! Alex

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