Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Eat Your Veggies - Great Green Vegetable Pasta

I wouldn't describe my children as picky eaters. They enjoy peas, beans, and broccoli. But if they spot zucchini, onions, peppers, or carrots on their plate - I will probably hear some whining. The one and three year old are actually better at eating their vegetables then the six and almost five year old.

Often, I dice up the veggies tiny so that they can't as easily spot the peppers or onions. But they need to learn to like vegetables sometime and I think most of it was in their heads and not a true dislike. As an experiment, for one week, I focused on vegetable heavy dishes. I kept the vegetable pieces large enough to identify, and didn't hide the contents of the dish. I did try to season it to their liking and supplied ketchup which makes anything go down better!

I'm not saying my children now love zucchini and peppers - but by Thursday, I actually received a compliment on the meal, from the pickiest child!

This was the favorite meal - see if it wins over your reluctant veggie eater! I love that it is prepared in just one pot!
Great Green Vegetable Pasta

This recipe is from Simply in Season - with a few of my own adaptions. 

1/2-1 cup milk
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2-1 cup cottage cheese or sourcream, or 4 oz cream cheese, or 1/2 cup plain yogurt (obviously, I use what I have on hand)
1 clove garlic, minced
2 T fresh basil (or 2 tsp dried)
2 T fresh parsley (or 2 tsp dried)
1 tsp salt

Stir together and set aside. For smooth texture, you can puree cottage cheese in blender.

12 oz linguini or spaghetti

Boil a large pot of water and begin cooking pasta.

6 cups of green vegetables - use a variety such as broccoli, zucchini, green beans, asparagus, and peas.

When pasta is half way done, stir in your hardest vegetable such as broccoli. Boil a few minutes, then add green beans. Add zucchini, asparagus, or peas in the last couple minutes. As soon as all veggies are tender and pasta is cooked, remove from heat and drain well. Return to pot.

1 T butter

Toss butter with vegetables and pasta. Stir in prepared milk mixture. Toss gently and serve.

To turn this into a full meal (if your family, like mine thinks meat a necessity) stir in some cooked chicken. Leftover grilled chicken is extra delicious!


  1. I am blessed with a family that eats just about anything I cook. We like zukes, they are so adaptable.

  2. As a life-long super-picky eater myself, I think your approach is a good one. Sure, I can trick myself by hiding the foods I don't like inside the ones I do, but then I would never come to terms with them on their own. I usually move in stages from purees to tiny dice to larger chunks, and it helps so much knowing I'm in control of the end result. My two year old has some typical pickiness, but he also constantly surprises me with what he is willing to eat, so I'm very hopeful that he won't struggle with food to the extent that I have.

  3. Making it tonight and praying the kids don't fuss! I have some finicky eaters, although, by the grace of God, they have come a long way!!!

  4. I make something similar and use Italian sausage for the meat. I love how easy it is to make. Next time I'll try it with the chicken. Anything to get more veggies on our plates is always nice!


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