Thrift Kitchen: Sneaking in the Veggies


{spaghetti with ground turkey and pureed zucchini}

Jason is pretty picky about his veggies–not too chunky, not too soft, not too uncooked. Bah. What a pain. When I make spaghetti, I love to fill it with veggies so it’s a nice hearty meal. But if I do, then he won’t like it. He will eat it, but he won’t really enjoy it. Well, crap.

I took a lesson from the The Sneaky Chef: How to Cheat on Your Man (In the Kitchen!) cookbook that I got a few months ago and started hiding the veggies in my sauces.

I used to just dice them up, give them a little saute and toss them in to whatever sauce I was working on. Well, he doesn’t really care for the chunkiness, so I’ve come up with a new plan.

I dice them up, give them a little saute, toss them into the sauce, and then blend it up!

I discovered we have an immersion blender a few months ago and have been using it ever sense.


{delivery from the farm co op in dekalb, sure do miss that! main point is that I love my veggies}

There are a few veggies that are particularly great for blending into sauces to give them extra veg without giving up their identity. Cauliflower (softened by steaming first), zucchini (skin removed), and broccoli (softened by steaming first).

This is a great trick for extending condiments too. Add a little cauliflower puree to the ketchup,  honey mustard, or bbq sauce. Add zucchini to white sauces or broccoli to dark colored sauces. Or use whatever you prefer for your sauce.

And sometimes it really is just a texture thing more than a taste thing. So blending up whatever you would normally add to a sauce so it doesn’t “look” so veggie filled.

While I’m of the opinion that veggies are the best food on earth in any form, I know kids and/or partners may not be of the same opinion. Blending it up is an easy way to sneak it in and make sure those you love are still getting their allotted servings each day.

And of course I have to point this last little factoid out: blending veggies is a great way to use up the last bits of anything looking overly ripe. Just toss it in whatever your are making for dinner and you are all set. No food wasted, more veggies in your belly. It’s a win win.

Happy veggie sneaking!


4 thoughts on “Thrift Kitchen: Sneaking in the Veggies

  1. When I was a kid, my dad always hid zucchini in his chili. During the zucchini glut in the summer he would grate and freeze it. Then in the winter when a nice bowl of hot chili is just what you need, he’d toss a frozen block right in when he added the tomatoes to the pot.

  2. Forget the men and kids–that’s probably a great idea for me!! I’m trying to force myself to expand my palate, but I’ve always been on the pickier side when it comes to the veggies.

  3. Aren’t immersion blenders wonderful?? Every weekend, I take our leftover veg (the stuff that is starting to look suspect, still good, but losing it’s freshness), simmer it in chicken broth, and then whizz with the blender until smooth – vegetable soup! (Especially good with a drizzle of cream in it)

  4. I just read a tip the other day that I will have to use in the future: subbing grated cauliflower for rice in recipes. Just grate it, lightly steam it, and mix it into a dish as you would rice.

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