Getting kids to eat their veggies can be very challenging for many parents. Over the past few months, I’ve been using far more vegetables in my cooking. My daughter and I enjoy them anyway, so it isn’t a particularly difficult change for us, but I am one of the lucky ones.
Emphasizing vegetables, lean meats and whole grains, in our diet, has already made a difference for me personally. I enjoy cheese, so I am extra watchful about the types of fats I use in dishes. By substituting a buttery spread such as Country Crock, which has 70% less saturated fat, zero trans fat and 30% fewer calories than butter. I leave myself wiggle room to add a bit of my beloved cheese. I’ve dropped a few pounds since the change, and my recent annual check-up was all good news. Helping my daughter learn to eat this way young, will make healthier eating choices easier for her as she grows up.
I recently checked out the Clare Crespo Cookbook (free download available below), which is full of fun and novel ways to present veggies to your kids. So often, people drown out the flavor of vegetables, with over seasoning and over cooking. In the cookbook Clare puts the emphasis on enjoying the real taste of fresh vegetables, accenting them with Country Crock. I tried the Zucchini Boats recipe from the cookbook, as you can see in the pictures, I made mine into a schooner and added some silly fish. The only change I made to Clare’s orginal recipe was swapping out chopped American cheese, for the Feta that my my preschooler won’t eat. A fleet of these veggie boats would be perfect to serve at a kid’s pool party, don’t you think?
- 2 medium zucchinis
- 1 large carrot, peeled
- 2 Tbsp. Country Crock® Spread
- ½ small onion, diced
- 1 clove garlic, fi nely chopped
- 1 cup cooked couscous
- ¼ cup reduced fat feta cheese
- 1 Tbsp. fresh parsley, oregano or
- mint, fi nely chopped
- ⅛ tsp. salt
- ⅛ tsp. ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Bring a large pot of water to boil.
- Cut zucchinis in half lengthwise. Cut 2-1/2 inches off bottom of carrot and cut in half lengthwise, then cut each half on the diagonal.
- Boil zucchini and carrot “sails’’ for 5 minutes. Remove and let cool until you can handle them. With a small knife or pointed spoon, scoop center of zucchini out (leaving ½ -
- inch thickness to zucchini “boat”).
- Dice scooped out zucchini and remaining end of carrot.
- Heat Country Crock® Spread in skillet. Add onion and garlic, cook until onion is soft, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.
- Add carrots and zucchini and cook for about 7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove from heat and add to cooked couscous. Stir in feta cheese, herbs, salt and pepper.
- Place zucchini halves on baking sheet. Scoop couscous mixtures into zucchini halves, pressing firmly to form mounds.
- Bake 25 minutes.
- Remove from oven. Carefully place carrot ends on small skewers or toothpicks and stick sails in boats.
If boats are not your kid’s “thing”, no problem, the cookbook has many other cute and quirky ideas, such as gnomes made from mushrooms and brains made from potatoes. A recipe there is sure to either be a fit for your child, or inspire you to come up with your own whimsical veggie creation.
For more ways to eat healthy with Country Crock visit their Facebook page and follow Country Crock on Twitter
Are you looking for quick and simple tips and recipes to make serving veggies more fun? Download the free Clare Crespo Cookbook here for fun and whimsical recipes your family is sure to love!