2010 is here and I'm ISO vegetables that even my kids will eat.
We've vowed that with the New Year we all need to cut down on the sweets and carbs and find new vegetable dishes that we can all enjoy. Meat dishes will work also, but we're trying to stay away from the cheese dishes and the cream sauces. Am I trying to kid myself?
your kids will follow your example, if you like it most likely they will too. If you enjoy veggies, and make them a big part of your diet, your kids will follow suit. if it is "medicine" and you are doing it out of duty but everyone would really rather have potato chips,you won't have much luck. Having said that, the roasted kale that has been the subject of several threads- dry it completely then cook it in the oven with a little olive oil and salt might be a big hit. Also have lots of raw veggies on hand such as carrots, broccoli, cucumbers, jicama with a low fat yogurt based dip might be enticing. Keep all the high fat, salty carb laden snacks out of the house and you and the rest of the family will most likely begin to really enjoy them. It has been helpful to me in the past to think this sort of diet change as an addition, not deprivation. Good luck!
You can wean them off the creamy stuff by mixing just a tsp of ranch dressing or other creamy dressing into a serving of a cooked green vegetable Decrease the amount gradually, switch to vinaigrette, then to just a splash of soy, sesame oil, balsamic, or lemon. From there, naked. Cook carrots, parsnips, beets, or turnips in ginger ale, orange juice, or apple juice. Braised greens are delicious but I wouldn't plunge right into that one - kids won't like the seaweed look. If you get them interested in other vegetables, move on to spinach, chard, and the like.
Particularly in the cold weather, most people love roasted veggies: very easy to make, and they just vanish. Everyone loves them, everyone usually finds at least one or two veggies in the group that are their special favourites, and most people find new favourites.
It's a myth that kids are somehow extra-difficult with vegetables. Kids usually do what the parents model.
Best veggies to roast (requiring minimal to no prep, beyond washing). Choose from among (or do them all):
small potatoes (or diced larger ones),
fat carrot sticks (or thick 'baby' carrots),
baby beets (top and tail them, scrub, forget about peeling, leave whole or at most cut into halves),
brussels sprouts (get the smallest ones, or at most, cut larger ones into half or quarter)
cauliflower (trim, and cut into chunks)
Whole heads of garlic, unpeeled (just slice off the top)
Preheat the oven to 430 deg F (some instructions even call for 450 deg, it's fine either way).
Line roasting pans with foil. Lightly spray the foil with olive oil.
Place the prepared veg on the pans. Toss with olive oil (don't overdo the oil, otherwise the veggies will become greasy, use just a light spray or equivalent). Toss with salt and pepper (black or red). If you have fresh rosemary, snip a tablespoon or so rosemary leaves over the veggies.
Roast for about an hour. Every 20 mins or so, take the pans out and shake the veggies around.
When the veggies are dark golden, with crispy brown edges (especially the brussels sprouts and onions), you're set.
Sprinkle a little lemon juice over the hot veggies and toss again to coat.
Serve hot. Squeeze out the garlic to eat (or spread it on toasted baguette slices).
These are fantastic.
Another popular recipe is puree of cauliflour. That dish is often mentioned on CH and cooking shows as a good one for kids, especially ones who are particularly stubborn about veggies. It comes out similar to mashed potatoes. I prefer to roast the cauliflour first, then purée or smash with a little liquid (stock or water) and season to taste.
re: Shane Greenwood
Parsnips whipped with a generous amount of butter also has a mashed potato consistency. When they are sweet they are wonderful, but they can be very sharp, and those would be a tough sell. Spring-dug parsnips are the best ones, as overwintering in the ground sweetens them up.
When I was a kid I hated vegetables, but I can remember a few that I would tolerate:
Steamed/Sauteed Carrots with EVOO, honey, S&P
Fajitas with only Red/Yellow Peppers (I hated onions!)
Spicy Chicken Stir-Fry with carrots, broccoli, bamboo shoots, water chestnuts, and pea pods
Steamed broccoli with butter, S&P
Stuffed peppers (ground beef, rice, tomato sauce, etc)
Leftover Fried Rice with peas, carrots, egg
We also ate a lot of raw vegetables (had a green salad about 3 nights/week) I liked celery, carrots, broccoli, lettuce dipped in blue cheese or ranch but when my mom made salad she made a lighter dressing with EVOO, balsamic, blue cheese crumbles
Soup! If you have a good hand blender (or regular blender for that matter) you can make a great pureed veggie soup. I have a nine-year-old niece who wouldn't eat veggies if they were being offered by the Jonas Brothers but will happily scarf down my "faux split pea soup" made with green beans and cauliflower. And don't be afraid to give kids fat--putting butter on vegetables helps them absorb the nutrients better. It seems a lot of kids like chicken divan, particularly if you leave the broccoli stalks intact (the "little tree" syndrome).