FOURTEEN WAYS TO DISGUISE VEGETABLES IN YOUR DAILY COOKING
by Dr. Lawrence Wilson
© August 2018, L.D. Wilson Consultants, Inc.
All information in this article is for educational purposes only. It is not for the diagnosis, treatment, prescription or cure of any disease or health condition.
The most important difficulty in following a development program is to eat enough cooked vegetables. Eating about 70% of your diet by volume as cooked vegetables is a challenge for many people. It can be especially difficult for parents who must deal with fussy children who refuse to eat many vegetables.
The following are simple suggestions to disguise or have fun adding many more vegetables to the diet. Play with these ideas, adding your own creative spirit.
To save time preparing many of the dishes below, in the morning cook up a large quantity of vegetables in a steamer, perhaps, and then chop them and place in a plastic storage container in the refrigerator. Alternatively, chop them up first and stir fry them before storing them in the refrigerator. They will still be fresh enough all day for use at breakfast, perhaps, and for lunch and supper as well.
The main idea, as you will see, is to think “cooked vegetables” whenever you are making a dish.
COOKED VEGETABLE CHILE
Instead of making a chile mainly with beans, substitute many more cooked vegetables such as various types of chopped onions, broccolini, cauliflower, carrots, or other of our preferred vegetables. One can still have turkey, lamb or beef in the chile, but it will now be much richer in vegetables.
To make this dish, cook the vegetables ideally in a pressure cooker. When they are done, add ground turkey, ground lamb or ground beef, which should not require more than 30 seconds of cooking to be ready. Add sea salt and a little herbs or spices if desired. Do not overcook the meats. Always add them last.
VEGETABLE ENCHILADAS OR TACOS
Instead of filling taco shells or enchiladas with salad, beans or pork, fill them with mostly chopped up cooked vegetables. One can also add a little chicken, beans, or grated cheese to disguise the cooked vegetables.
Always use blue corn taco shells if you can find them. Never use flour tortillas.
COOKED VEGETABLE TACO SALAD
Many children love pasta salad or taco salad. However, instead of using raw vegetables, use cooked ones such as chopped up broccoli, chopped carrots, onion, rutabaga and other preferred vegetables. Cook the vegetables first. You can serve them hot, or let them cool down. Add a few broken apart blue corn chips. If needed, top off the cooked salad with some fresh grated cheese, and perhaps some pesto sauce or olive oil, or other natural salad dressing. You will have a delicious cooked taco salad loaded with cooked vegetables.
VEGETABLE STEWS OR CASSEROLE DISHES
This is a wonderful place to disguise vegetables. Start with some stew meat, chopped into small chunks, and add chopped up vegetables. Cook in a crock pot or pressure cooker. Lamb is an excellent stew meat.
Don’t overcook the meat, as it denatures the protein too much. The stew or casserole should cook in 5-10 minutes in a pressure cooker or an hour or less in a crock pot. That should allow enough time to cook most vegetables as well.
COOKED VEGETABLE-CONTAINING MEAT LOAF
When you make a meat loaf, begin with a lot of pre-cooked, chopped up vegetables in a large mixing bowl. Add to this some natural ground beef, ground turkey, or ground lamb. Then add some herbs, a little salt and maybe other flavoring to disguise the taste of the vegetables. Then bake the loaf to create an excellent family meal.
The only drawback to meat loaves is that eggs, needed to keep the loaf together, should preferably not be overcooked, and in fact should be eaten mushy or soft. However, a meat loaf that is filled with vegetables is still an excellent dish.
THICK VEGETABLE SOUPS
Adding loads of vegetables to all kinds of soups is a simple and excellent idea. For fussy eaters, disguise the vegetables by cooking them in the soup for at least 10-20 minutes. Then, if you wish, puree the soup so that you cannot recognize the vegetables.
Soups must be thick, not watery. Watery soups have much liquid with meals, which interferes with digestion. So use as little water as possible, making a thick soup.
Avoid using tomato in soups. Tomato is a nightshade vegetable that is quite irritating for the intestines, and very yin. Instead use a base of onions, carrots or other sweet vegetables.
STUFFED CABBAGE, GRAPE LEAVES OR OTHER LEAVES
This is more of a fun dish and one can involve children in making it. It does not so much disguise the vegetables as it is about having fun with cooked vegetables.
Instructions: Wash some large red cabbage leaves and place in the pressure cooker or crock pot. Chop up and add a number of the preferred vegetables. Cook for roughly 3 minutes in a pressure cooker or longer in a crock pot or steamer.
When done, spread the cabbage leaves a clean counter, place some of the vegetable/meat stuffing inside the leaf, and roll it up. Secure it with a toothpick.
You can do the same with grape leaves to make dolmas or stuffed grape leaves.