Grow. Eat. Live.

Grow.  Eat.  Live.
Grow. Eat. Live.


Monday, April 15, 2013


"Cooking Tips for the Family Chef"

     Are you the CHEF of the family- the person who does all the cooking?  Having a hard time getting yourself or the whole family in eating more vegetables?  Got "picky eaters"?  Fear or stress no more - I have some good tips that can help increase your intake of vegetables and satisfy some of the meat eaters.
     "According to a study done at Pennsylvania State University by adding hidden pureed vegetables to entrees can reduce the number of calories the meals pack without sacrificing texture or taste, helping to cut the overall calorie intake." Reuters

Chef's Hidden Tips To Hide the Vegetables
  1. Finely chop or dice the vegetables.
  2. Puree the vegetables.
  3. Cook and smash them.
  4. Grate them.
  5. Use fresh or frozen.  (if you need to use canned vegetables, such as, canned beans go organic-  no preservative, low sodium, or no salt)  Highly recommend fresh as possible.
  6. Pick the right foods to create a balance taste.  Choose a vegetable that doesn't over power the meal you are hiding it in. 
  7. Easy ways to sneak loads of vegetables in a meal are pastas, sauces, soups, pancakes, waffles, oatmeal, desserts, stews, and dips!  Sauces have a strong taste so picky eaters may not even noticed the vegetables in the food unless if its overloaded.
This is how I like to "hide" the essential vegetables so we can get the nutrients to help build a healthy body system...


What's the hidden vegetables I'm adding to my meat sauce?

  • Japanese Eggplant:  Fiber, Manganese, Potassium, Folate, Vitamin K, C, and Magnesium
           Besides the various vitamins and minerals, the purple eggplant contains important phytonutrients that has antioxidant activities.  The phytonutrients are phenolic compounds (caffeic and chlorogenic acid) and flavonoids (Nasunin).

     Nasunin is a potent antioxidant and free radical scavenger that protects cell membranes from damage.

Therefore, eggplant is a brain and heart friendly food that must be added to your healthy diet.
  • Portabella Mushrooms:  Riboflavin, Panthothenic acid, Niacin, Thiamine, Folate, Selenium, Lyseine, Protein, Zinc, Copper, Manganese, Iron, Vitamin D, B1, B3, B5, B6, Phosphorus, and Potassium.  Mushrooms has a high niacin content. 
Therefore, mushrooms can boost your immune system and reduce your risk of some cancers.
  • Sweet Bell Peppers:  Vitamin A, C, K, E, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, Fiber, Carotenoids (Lycopene, Beta-Carotene, Cryptoxanthin, Lutein, and Zeaxanthin), Magnesium, Potassium, Flavonoids (Luteolin, Quercetin, and Hesperidin), and Hydroxycinnamic Acids (Ferulic Acid and Cinnamic Acid)
Therefore, peppers can help prevent cell damage, cancer, diseases related to aging, support immune system, reduce inflammation, such as, arthritis and asthma.
  • Celeriac Root - known as Celery Root:  Riboflavin, Calcium, Vitamin B6, A, C, K, Fiber, Magnesium, Phosphorus, and Potassium.
Therefore, celeriac root supports the immune system, red blood cells, muscles, nervous system, maintains cholesterol, digestive tract, reduces constipation (hemorrhoids), and helps prevent colon cancer.  Another important heart friendly root.

**Added 8 cloves of fresh garlic (smashed up), onion, fresh organic sage leaves (from my herbal plant I still have from this past summer) and fresh organic rosemary (from my herbal plant collection still kicking for two straight past summers)

dice or chop up those veggies

Decrease intake of meat portions...

No antibiotics No steroids ground turkey breast no flavors added

**Saute all the vegetables and herbs in extra olive oil.  Seasonings added - Ground Cumin (a dash due to cumin is potent), ground Turmeric, a dash of Sea Salt (just a dash to bring flavor out of the herbs and vegetables), dried Oregano, dried Basil, ground Black Pepper, Fennel Seeds, and Paprika.  Add the ground turkey breast.

Then add your favorite tomato sauce (or create your own).  Add 1 tablespoon of raw sugar (neutralize the acidity of the tomatoes).

Veggie Ground Turkey Sauce

**Meat can be an optional choice.  As you can see, I decreased less than half a portion of a ground turkey breast pack.  But increase the amount of vegetables.

I served it over gluten free Corn Pasta. Yup.  It was something new my local supermarket King Kullen started selling and was on sale for $2.50.  As you know, I like to try new things.  What I realize about cooking this kind of pasta - you must not over cook and watch the time.  It got mushy.  I may try it again and adjust the cooking time to about 7-8min.
    something new 
Even though there is a great amount of serving of vegetables in the sauce, I still made another side vegetable dish.  I steamed organic Purple Kale I bought from Whole Foods.

Another kind of Kale

     So, do you feel confident you can pull it off in hiding those HIDDEN VEGETABLES?

                                                                                              Good Luck!

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