Sunday, April 14, 2013

Kid Friendly Food: Veggie Ground Beef

For this week's kid-friendly food post, I have not so much a recipe, as a tip that I use to get my kids to consume a bit more vegetables.
Out of my three boys, only one is a veggie lover.  If he had a choice, I think he would eat a plate full of his favorite veggies over anything else.  Unfortunately, his two brothers avoid veggies whenever possible.
So, I try to sneak in veggies where I can.  This tip is one of the ways I do it. 
When I cook up ground beef for a recipe (in this case it was for Spaghetti Sauce), I grate a whole zucchini straight into the beef.  I do this when the beef is about half-way done (as you can see in the photo above, my beef was still pink in areas when I added the zucchini).  That way the zucchini can cook for a shorter time without the beef getting overcooked, and they finish at the same time.
After it has been stirred together and cooked down with the ground beef, I drain the grease and add the rest of the ingredients for whatever it is I am cooking.  By the time the dish is ready to eat, no one can tell that the zucchini is even in there.
Here is what the sauce looked like after all was said and done:
Sauce w/veggie ground beef
 See?  No visible veggies to dissuade kids from eating it!
This works great for a lot of ground beef recipes, especially ones with a tomato base.  I have done it for Spaghetti Sauce, Sloppy Joes, Tacos, and even my recipe for Cheesy Tomato Beef and Noodles.
If you have a hard time getting veggies into some (or all) of your kids, give this tip a try.  It works in our family, and every bit of veggie consumed (whether hidden or not) counts to this mom! 

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