Veggie Love

Food blogger extraordinaire Catherine Newman shares her family's most irresistible vegetable dishes

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Doug Merriam

Veggies Kids Can't Resist

These veggie recipes have been rigorously tested by my family (kids Ben, age 13, and Birdy, 9, and husband Michael) and by dinner guests of all ages. We've returned to them again and again. Even the smallest of friends, who grimace when they see this or that dreaded vegetable, even they turn all smiles after the first forkful of these dishes.

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Doug Merriam

Dinosaur Slaw

This recipe has converted many a kale skeptic. Expecting a mass of cooked greens, they're shocked to be served a bright, fresh, cheese-tinged tangle of salad. Younger skeptics may also be won over by the dish's deliciously prehistoric name.

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Doug Merriam

Sweet (Potato) Sundae Bar

The DIY approach makes everything appealing: once kids have doctored up their own sweet potato with all their favorite stuff, they'll be committed to eating it. Obviously, this is a use-what- you-like-best or use-what-you-have situation; any kind of cheese or nuts or herbs would be great. And, of course, you can skip the bacon (if you're crazy and/or a vegetarian).

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Doug Merriam

Caramelized Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts seem to have stumbled back into people's hearts lately. They're suddenly the Ugly Betty darlings of the vegetable world. Fine by me! This oven-roasted recipe is as popular as anything I ever make; nobody can ever get enough of them, including my sprout- skeptical kids. Don't be tempted to omit the sugar: it's just a little, but it helps the veggies caramelize. Finishing them with a squeeze of lemon might be a grown-ups-only touch, but if your young gourmets go for sour tastes, by all means, encourage them to spritz away!

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Doug Merriam

Ranch Dip & Root Chips

The whole dip premise gives kids a sense of empowerment: they're picking and choosing rather than confronting a daunting pile of something vegetal on their plate. This dip is particularly delectable; offer it with root chips and a smorgasbord of raw nibbles. You can set out the usual suspects, such as carrot and celery sticks, but a great dip like this one presents an opportunity to try new veggies: radishes, fennel, jicama ... whatever's fresh and good-looking.

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Doug Merriam

Ben's Cauliflower Mac-and-Cheese

My son cooks us dinner every Thursday, and this is his recipe. The cauliflower basically melts into the cheese sauce to make an utterly fantastic, rich, and nutrient-dense main dish. It's not that you don't know the cauliflower's in there, or that you're hiding it exactly. But it's definitely more mac-and-cheese than vegetable, if you catch my drift.

Originally published in the October 2012 issue of FamilyFun magazine.

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