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Hidden Vegetable Recipes




It is easy to serve meals with hidden vegetables but I also like to serve vegetables plain and visible for the kids to see.

However, I don't see anything wrong with adding pureed, grated or hidden vegetables in what I cook for added nutrition. The combination of the two makes for healthy kids meals.

Planned Kids Cooking Curriculum



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You can prepare vegetable purees for the freezer easily. Steam your vegetables and puree in the blender. Pour into small containers and freeze. Some great vegetables that work well are:
  • cauliflower
  • broccoli
  • spinach
  • carrots
  • onions
  • pumpkin
  • zucchini
puree vegetables
All these beautiful colors!

I love to add vegetables in soups and ground hamburger among other places. Once the hamburger is cooked it blends well and adds a lot of flavor to the meat. I don't always follow a recipe when adding vegetables I just use whatever vegetables I have on hand.

hidden vegetables in hamburger
I added pureed broccoli, carrots, zucchini and onions to the hamburger in this picture. Adding more vegetables to your favorite recipes is a great addition to healthy meal planning.

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Reader's Hidden Vegetable Recipes and Ideas

Veggie Sauce Pizza

by Debbie

When I'm making homemade pizza I add 1/2 cup of pumpkin puree into the pizza sauce. Then I chop very finely or puree 1 red pepper and stir it into the sauce, also. Spread over pizza crust and top with shredded cheese and toppings. Bake.

I also have at least one vegetable on top of the pizza such as peppers, mushrooms, olives or broccoli.

If they aren't eating the topping at least they are getting the vegetables in the sauce.


Hidden Vegetable Recipes in your Macaroni and Cheese

Sneaky "Cheesy" Noodles

by Kim H. (WV)
Will need - Penne or any other shaped noodle, cooked to al dente or as desired 1/4-1/2 Cup milk (splash or to make as creamy as you like)
1/4 Cup (or less) grated Parmesan cheese
1 Cup cauliflower puree (or squash)
1 or 2 tabs of butter salt & pepper to taste

My son LOVES noodles....and cheese. By calling these noodles "cheesy", he is more likely to eat them.

I like to use penne noodles or another fun shaped pasta so he can pick up with his fingers or stab easily with a fork. Plus, it's a noodle we don't use too often, so it's 'special' for him.

Melt together the puree, butter, milk, & Parmesan cheese. The Parmesan cheese is just to help hide the flavor and give it some actual cheese consistency. But you can leave this out if you like. Add the cooked pasta and stir together. Season to taste if needed.

The cauliflower puree give the noodles the taste of mashed potatoes. My husband says it tastes like noodles mixed with mashed potatoes. The squash works well. Just make sure to use light yellow squash...not acorn. You may need more Parmesan cheese or seasoning to mask the flavor. I've used both and have used more and less cheese and milk. My son hasn't said anything and I "allow" him to use his fingers as long as he eats it. He likes the larger penne pieces. And I sit back and watch knowing he's eating cauliflower which has NEVER made it past his lips in its normal form. :-)

Boxed Mac & Cheese with a twist

 by Kim H (WV)
Will need -- any boxed macaroni and cheese butter milk
1/2c - 1c yellow squash puree
Optional additions.... any fresh, frozen, canned veggie (peas, carrots, corn, etc.) leftover grilled chicken, pork, hot dogs, etc.

Make any boxed macaroni and cheese per instruction EXCEPT keep the noodles in the strainer and melt together the butter, powdered cheese and milk PLUS 1/2 - 1 cup of pureed yellow squash.

My purees are generally frozen, so I allow everything to melt together before adding the noodles. If you think the squash flavor may stand out (my son has never noticed it!) add about 1/4 c of grated Parmesan or any other flavorful cheese. Add the cooked noodles and stir then serve. It will be nice and creamy and the flavor is very subtle! If it turns out to be too creamy (the puree was too watery) then add less milk and/or butter than what is suggested.

OPTIONAL... If your child doesn't mind peas, corn, asparagus, or any other kind of veggie, add 1/4c - 1 can frozen, fresh, or canned veggie. If frozen or fresh, add when melting butter and puree, then add noodles once the veggies are to your liking. If canned, add with the noodles. They will heat through as you stir.

I generally add peas to my mac & cheese and sometimes my son will eat them, sometimes he will not. But knowing that I already added the squash, I don't fuss if he picks them out and sets them to the side of his plate. If you have leftover chicken, pork, hot dog or any other meat, cut into bite-sized pieces and add along with the cooked pasta and stir to heat through.

Lentil Pancakes

1 egg
1 Cup milk
2 Tablespoons applesauce
1 cup wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons baking powder
2 Tablespoons sugar
1/3 cup cooked lentils
1 small carton, 4 oz. or 1/2 Cup of plain yogurt

In blender, add all ingredients. Blend together and cook on a hot griddle.

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