Veggie Meals for those Rare Ones

By: Ashlyn Haddock

Vegetable Lasagna

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. zucchini
  • 1 lb. squash
  • ¼ tsp. Italian seasoning
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • 2 c. tomato pasta sauce
  • 16 oz. low-fat cottage cheese
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/3 c. Parmesan cheese
  • 2/3 c. seasoned bread crumbs
  • 2 c. mozzarella, part-skim
  • 3 c. spinach
  • 1 c. fresh basil
  • nonstick cooking spray


Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 425° Fahrenheit (218° Celsius).
  2. Coat the two smaller baking pans with nonstick cooking spray.
  3. Cut all squash and zucchini lengthwise in half. Then, cut each half lengthwise into slices about ¼ inch thick.
  4. Spread squash and zucchini on pans in single layer and season with Italian seasoning.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes, turning over once halfway through baking.
  6. Remove from oven and set aside. Reduce oven temperature to 375° Fahrenheit (190° Celsius).
  7. In a large skillet, heat pasta sauce over medium-high heat. Mix trimmed spinach into the pasta sauce.
  8. In a food processor, combine cottage cheese, basil, egg yolks, and 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese. Blend until all ingredients are combined and smooth.
  9. Assembly: Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of bread crumbs over the bottom of a 13 x 9 x 2 inch baking pan. Cover the bottom of the dish with half of the zucchini and squash slices. Next, spread cottage cheese mixture over the squash and zucchini slices. Sprinkle with 3 tablespoons of bread crumbs. Top with remaining zucchini slices. Sprinkle with the remaining 3 tablespoons of bread crumbs. Pour pasta sauce evenly over the top. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese evenly over the top. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese.
  10. Bake for approximately 35 minutes. Cheese should be browned and bubbling. Let stand for 10 to 25 minutes before serving.
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Cream Cheesy Cucumbeer Sandwich

Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup light cream cheese, slightly softened
  • half a large cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 8 slices of whole-wheat bread

Directions:

  1. Spread each slice of bread with cream cheese (about 3 tablespoons per sandwich).
  2. Place about 4 cucumber slices on 4 of the slices of bread and top with remaining bread slices.
  3. Cut into quarters and serve immediately or wrap sandwiches and save for later.

Italian Vegetable Casserole

Ingredients:

  • 1 zucchini, sliced
  • 1 yellow squash, sliced
  • ½ red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • ¼ cup fat-free Italian dressing
  • 2 cups brown rice, cooked
  • ¼ cup soy parmesan cheese
  • nonstick cooking spray


Directions:

  1. Spray casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Mix vegetables and dressing together in the casserole dish.
  3. Cook vegetables in microwave for 10 minutes, stirring every 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Sprinkle parmesan cheese onto the vegetables.
  5. Serve vegetables over rice.

Confetti Quinoa

Ingredients:

  • 1½ cups low-sodium vegetable stock or water
  • 1 cup quinoa, thoroughly rinsed and drained
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup frozen chopped, mixed vegetables such as peas, carrots, green beans, corn


Directions:

  1. Add vegetable stock or water to medium saucepan.
  2. With an adult's help, bring stock or water to a boil over medium-high heat.
  3. Stir in quinoa, salt, and pepper.
  4. Switch heat to low and cover pot with lid.
  5. Cook until liquid is evaporated and quinoa is tender, about 15 minutes.
  6. Remove lid and stir in veggies with a fork.
  7. Place lid back on quinoa so that the heat from the quinoa cooks the vegetables.
  8. Serve immediately or place into an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 5 days.

Spinach Salad

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups fresh baby spinach, torn in bite-size pieces
  • ½ cup mandarin oranges
  • 1 cup strawberries, sliced
  • 4 ounces soy blue cheese crumbles
  • ¼ cup cashews

Dressing:

  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1½ tablespoons canola oil
  • ¼ teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/3 teaspoon poppy seeds


Directions:

  1. Mix dressing ingredients and whisk together. Refrigerate to cool if desired.
  2. Mix the fruit and spinach together.
  3. Pour dressing over salad and mix well to coat evenly.
  4. Divide salad among 4 plates (about 2 cups each plate).
  5. Sprinkle cashews and soy blue cheese over the top of each salad plate.

Crunchy Veggie Wrap

Ingredients:

  • ½ c. fat-free cream cheese
  • 4 8-inch flour tortillas
  • 2/3 c. romaine lettuce, shredded
  • 2/3 c. red cabbage, shredded
  • 1 red tomato, diced
  • ¼ c. red onions, sliced
  • 1/3 c. carrots, grated
  • ¼ c. blue cheese
  • 1 c. alfalfa sprouts


Directions:

  1. Spread 2 tbsp. cream cheese over one side of each tortilla.
  2. Divide remaining ingredients evenly among tortillas.
  3. Roll up each tortilla.
  4. Cut each rolled wrap in half diagonally.

Tomato and Cheese Omelet

Ingredients:

  • nonstick cooking spray
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp. skim milk
  • 1 tbsp. onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. red tomato, diced
  • 1 tbsp. cheddar cheese


Directions:

  1. Spray a skillet with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Heat the skillet on low heat.
  3. Whisk eggs and milk until they start to foam, approximately 3 minutes.
  4. Pour the beaten eggs into the pan and cover the pan.
  5. Cook over medium-low heat for about 4 minutes, until bottom is golden brown and top is set.
  6. Sprinkle cheese, onions, and tomato over the top.
  7. Fold omelet in half with a spatula.
  8. Cook for about 1 more minute.
  9. Remove from skillet and serve.

Lean Green Pita Dippers

Ingredients:
  • 4 whole-wheat pitas
  • 1 cup fat-free plain Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup fresh or frozen spinach
  • ¼ of cucumber, sliced
  • pinch of salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper


Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400° F.
  2. Have an adult help you with this step: Place yogurt, spinach, cucumber, salt, and pepper into food processor or blender. Process until smooth, about 1 minute.
  3. Place dip into a bowl and refrigerate until chips are done.
  4. Cut pitas into 8 wedges.
  5. Arrange pita wedges on a baking sheet in a single layer.
  6. Spray with cooking spray and sprinkle lightly with garlic powder.
  7. Bake for 5 minutes or until light golden brown and crispy.
  8. Use the pita wedges to scoop up the yogurt dip!

Easy Vegetable Tortellini Soup

Ingredients:
  • tablespoon – olive oil
  • 1/2 cup, chopped – onion
  • 2 clove – garlic
  • 3/4 cup chopped – carrot
  • 3/4 cup chopped – celery
  • 5 cup – vegetable broth
  • 1 can – diced tomatoes, canned
  • 1/2 teaspoon – oregano, dried
  • 1/2 teaspoon – basil, dried
  • 1/2 teaspoon – parsley, dried
  • 1/8 teaspoon – thyme, dried
  • 9 ounce – tortellini pasta
  • 3 cup, chopped – kale
  • 1/8 teaspoon – salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon – black pepper, ground
  • 1/4 cup – Parmesan cheese, grated


Directions:

  1. In a large stockpot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the onions and cook until softened, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic, carrots and celery and cook for an additional 3 minutes.
  4. Add the broth, diced tomatoes, oregano, basil, parsley and thyme to the pot.
  5. Bring the mixture to a boil then add the tortellini to the pot and cook according to the package instructions.
  6. One minute before the tortellini is done, stir in the kale and cook for one additional minute.
  7. Remove from heat. Serve immediately with freshly grated Parmesan and salt and pepper, as desired.

Hearty Vegetable Pot Pie

Ingredients:

  • 8 medium potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, quartered and finely chopped
  • 3 cups diced vegetables of your choice (choose 3 or 4 from among cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, leeks, peas, corn kernels, zucchini, yellow summer squash, mushrooms, kale, etc.)
  • 2 tablespoons unbleached white flour
  • 1 cup vegetable stock (homemade or store bought)
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast (optional but highly recommended)
  • 1½ tablespoons all-purpose seasoning blend (such as Frontier or Mrs. Dash)
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¼ cup minced fresh parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Two 9-inch prepared good-quality pie crusts, preferably whole grain
  • 1 cup fine whole grain bread crumbs
  • Paprika for topping


Directions:
  1. Cook or microwave the potatoes in their skins until done. When cool enough to handle, peel them. Dice four of them and mash the other four coarsely. Set aside until needed.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350º F.
  3. Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and sauté over medium heat until golden. Add the vegetables of your choice, layering quicker-cooking vegetables like peas, corn, and zucchini over longer cooking ones like cauliflower, broccoli, and leeks. Add a bit of water; cover and cook until the vegetables are tender but not overdone, about 5 minutes.
  4. Sprinkle the flour into the skillet, then pour in the stock. Add the optional nutritional yeast. Cook for a minute or two, stirring constantly. until the liquid thickens.
  5. Stir in both the diced and mashed potatoes. Heat through gently. Stir in the seasoning blend, thyme, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the mixture into the pie crust and pat in.
  6. Sprinkle the bread crumbs evenly over each pie, then top with a sprinkling of paprika.
  7. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the crust is golden. Let the pies stand at room temperature for 10 minutes or so, then cut into wedges and serve.

Websites I used

  • kidshealth.org
  • choosemyplate.gov
  • superhealthykids.com
  • vegkitchen.com
  • parents.com
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