Semi-Sneaky Vegetables (aka Frozen Veggie Cubes)
Interested in a quick and delicious way to pump up the nutritional value of your family’s meals? These frozen veggie cubes will do the trick!
I’m lucky in that my two and a half year old son is a pretty good eater who will happily take down a plate of broccoli, but even so, I’m always trying to figure out ways to fill out his diet with all of the fiber and vitamins that fresh vegetables provide. That said, while I always drop a handful of spinach in his smoothies, I don’t want to sneak those vegetables in – I want him to be used to seeing and tasting a wide range of colors and flavors.
So instead of hiding vegetable purees in his food, I make these frozen cubes of shredded and cooked vegetables which I can then defrost and add to his meals as needed. It’s a simple thing to do (see the recipe here), and the weeknight payoff is huge. And at this point, my little boy expects to see bright orange flecks of carrots and bright green spinach in his meatballs – veggies don’t have to be scary! (There is something to be said for having the pieces too small to be pulled out by picky little fingers...the shredding is for more than speed of cooking!)
I plop a cube in everything from jarred pasta sauce to my meatball mix – I really like the extra moisture they add – and use them as a quesadilla filling or even toss in a skillet with leftover brown rice and cooked edamame for an incredibly fast veggie fried rice. I’m not going to say that a frozen cube of shredded veggies is as quick as a dinner as my son’s favorite chicken nuggets, but those cubes do get me a lot closer to an easy meal that I feel good about.
*May is Vegetables Month on BobbyFlay.com; tune in all month for vegetable-related recipes, tips and more.