Recipes: Where to hide those vegetables


How to hide those much needed veggies in two simple ways your entire family will devour! 

By: Courtney Violet Bentley

As head chef in my family kitchen, I understand the difficulty of getting yourself to eat five servings of vegetables in one day and getting your family to do the same is an entirely different situation. Setting out a bowl of greens at every meal may seem like an easy way to get at least two servings, but if no one in your family reaches to serve up some green beans the food battle may occur. Many people eat around the greens or have to add mounds of cheese or butter to steamed vegetables to make it palatable. Yes, you are getting those veggies but at what cost? There are many ways to get your family to chow down on at least a few servings of vegetables daily without them even knowing it. The key to this is sauces and smoothies!


Smoothies are a simple snack you can whip up for your family and a way to serve your kids healthy vitamins and sneak in a green, which will go completely unnoticed! The best part is they are quick and can be a great start to the day if you find mornings to be a bit hectic. Instead of reaching for a croissant, grab your blender and get ready to fire it up!

Greens are amazing to add to a smoothie and with a variety of recipes online there is no reason not to sneak in a serving to your breakfast or snack shake. Spinach and kale are the mildest tasting greens of the bunch so sneaking in a serving of either will go completely unnoticed. One problem many parents come across is the green color, this problem is easily solved if you give your smoothie creation a fun name like the Green Monster!

Green Monster :: Serves 2

  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 cup kale
  • 2 cups almond milk
  • 2 cups frozen mixed berries
  • 1 banana
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon


  1.  Blend greens and almond milk until smooth.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.


Refreshing Mojito :: Serves 2

  • 2 cups kale
  • 2 cups coconut water
  • 3 cups frozen pineapple
  • ¼ cup fresh mint leaves
  • Juice of 1 lime


  1. Blend greens and coconut water until smooth.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.



One of my favorite things growing up was macaroni and cheese, I enjoyed the cheesy sauce my mom would make. As much as most kids love spaghetti o’s and macaroni and cheese, these foods are loaded with everything but vegetables. Although this task may seem daunting, creating your own sauces will keep your families health in check and as head chef of your kitchen there health is in your hands.

My favorite recipe comes inspired from celebrity Chef Jamie Oliver and his famous Tomato Sauce & Vegetables Recipe.

Veggie Sauce

  • olive oil
  • 2 small onions, peeled and chopped
  • 1 small leek, chopped and washed
  • 2 sticks celery, trimmed and chopped
  • 2 red peppers, chopped
  • 2 zucchinis, grated
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 1 large pinch dried oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 x 400 grams tinned plum tomatoes
  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled and seeds removed, grated
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper


  1. Heat a large saucepan (big enough to hold all the ingredients) over a medium heat.
  2. Pour in a good amount of oil then add the onions, leek, celery, peppers, zucchini, carrots and herbs. Cook slowly for about 20 minutes with the lid on, until all the veggies are soft  and transparent in color.
  3. Add the tomatoes, squash, 500ml (17½fl oz) of water and a pinch of salt and pepper to the vegetables. Bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes until the squash is soft.
  4. Remove the bay leaves and allow the sauce to cool slightly before blending with a hand-held blender until nice and smooth.
  5. Have a taste and season with a little more salt and pepper if needed.

Remember the habits you create and instill in your family are only valid if you practice these tips as well. Surrounding your family with healthy habits and participating yourself will create lifelong values for your kids to pass on for generations.

Photo by wsilver CC by 2.0

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