When it comes to the food I serve my family, I lie through my teeth.
My husband won’t eat onions, which he loves but fears will make his breath stink.
I, on the other hand, can’t cook (or live) without onions. Ever since our first week of marriage, I’ve told Greg those tiny, translucent specs in his food are celery bits.
Our son never ate a vegetable until he was 12 — or so he thought. I’d lace his cookies with pureed carrot, and his brownies with pureed sweet potato.
Do I feel guilty lying about food? Nah. A mom’s gotta do, what a mom’s gotta do to get her family to eat nutritiously whether they know it or not.
Here are some food capers I’ve pulled over the years. Try one out tonight.
1. Veggie Meatballs: Add chopped spinach or shredded carrots to chopped beef or turkey. Throw in some raisins or pine nuts for extra punch.
2. Root Fries: Instead of frying white potatoes, julienne other root vegetables, like turnips or celery root; sprinkle with a little salt, and bake.
3. Mashed Potatoes Surprise: Mash together half potato, half white vegetable like parsnip or cauliflower. If your family is easily fooled, forget about the potato, and just mash the other vegetables.
4. Zucchini Crunch: Coat zucchini strips with a seasoned batter, and fry (or bake).
Get the recipe: Zucchini Oven-Baked Fries
5. Fruit (and Vegetable) Juice: Juice together just about any fruit with any vegetable to get a sweet, vitamin-packed beverage. My family’s favorites are apple/carrot and pineapple/celery juice.
6. Tomato Sauce-Plus: Add pureed broccoli, carrots or cauliflower to your child’s favorite tomato sauce, and pour over bow-tie pasta.
7. Vegetable-Topped Pizza: Instead of topping pizza with vegetables (too obvious), spread sautéed onions, mushrooms, or peppers onto a pizza crust, cover with tomato sauce, and top with mozzarella.
8. Taco Night: Somehow veggies seem less vegetable-like when they’re shredded and stuffed into a crunchy taco shell.
9. Carrot Cake: It’s cake; it’s carrot; what could be bad serving this dessert as a special treat?
OK, fess up. How have you tricked your family into eating vegetables?