Thursday, August 27, 2009

Ideas for vegetable packed main dishes

A friend asked for some help coming up with veggie packed main dishes that her kids would eat.

Here are some of my favorites:

Veggie packed chili:
Chop an assortment of veggies into smallish cubes (carrots, celery, onions, bell peppers, zucchini, corn, hominy)

Saute the veggies until tender (add zucchini a little later than the others since it cooks quickly) and add to canned chili or homemade chili. I have a recipe for homemade if you want that.

Broccoli, Cheese and Rice dish (serves 6-8 as side or 3-4 main)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 (10 oz.) pkg frozen, chopped broccoli (or equivalent fresh broccoli, chopped)
1 (7 oz) box long grain and wild rice mix
1 Tbsp butter
salt to taste
2 Tbsp. flour
1 C. evaporated milk
1 C. cheddar cheese
*You can also add cooked chicken to make it heartier...*

Lightly coat a 9X13 baking dish with cooking spray. If using frozen broccoli, microwave for 5 min. and drain. If using fresh, just chop it up. Add to baking dish. Prepare rice according to package. Add to baking dish. Suate onion and add to dish. Melt butter in the onion pan and stir in salt and flour. Add milk gradually, stirring to mix well. Cook until thickened, about 3-5 min. Take off heat and stir in cheese until melted. Add cheese sauce to dish and stir. Bake at 350 for 30 min.

Chicken and Broccoli Braid
This is good, though I don't always add the dill. You can change the chicken to broccoli ratio so there is more broccoli and less chicken. You can also use pizza dough if you don't want to use the crescents. I have another variation that uses cream cheese and you roll them into individual bundles if anyone's interested.

Summery Baked Tomatoes

While I've never tried this, I just saw it today and it looks delicious.

Taco Salad (a suggestion, but if you need a recipe, ask) or Something like Cafe Rio Salad

Cold Tortellini Salad-serves 8
16 oz cheese tortellini, cooked to al dente, drain and rinse

Optional additions:
1 (6 oz) jar marinated artichoke hearts
1 can pitted black olives
Your choice of type and amount of chopped: broccoli, cauliflower, cherry tomatoes, red or green onion, bell peppers, carrots, cucumbers, fresh mozzarella, feta, or parm. cheese

1/4 c. olive oil
3/4 C. balsamic vinegar
garlic salt to taste

Add veggies and cheese to cooked pasta. Combine dressing ingredients and mix into salad. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Toss again before you serve to see if you need to add a bit more dressing.

Cold veggie pizza

Easy Bean and Rice burritos with Veggie add ins

Vegetable Quesadillas - serves 2-3
1 Zucchini, cubed
1/2 Onion, sliced
1 green bell pepper, sliced
1 garlic clove pressed or diced
fresh lime juice from 1 lime
Taco seasoning packet (not necessarily the whole thing...I just make my own concoction, so I don't know how much you'd need of taste) or your own mixture of chili powder, cumin, chipotle chili powder and salt
Cheese (mozz. is low fat but not high flavor. I don't mind using it. You can use a mexican blend, asedero cheese, cheddar or Colby or Monterrey jack. Whatever you love.)
Large flour tortillas (I use burrito sized, but soft taco sized would work for kids)
A drizzle of oil to saute veggies

Saute the onion and bell pepper. Just before they are tender, add in the zucchini and garlic. Sprinkle seasonings and lime over the top, adding a little more oil if necessary. Season with salt to taste. Take off the burner.

Sprinkle cheese over half of each tortilla, top with veggies, and sprinkle a little more cheese on top. Fold over and cook on a cast iron pan (med. heat) until cheese melts and tortilla's toasty.

Shredded zucchini and egg:
Shred zucchini and saute. Pour scrambled eggs over top and cook. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle cheese on top and cover to help melt. Serve with veggie sides and rolls or bread.

No comments: