Food blogger extraordinaire Catherine Newman shares her family's most irresistible vegetable dishes
Everything in this slideshow
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.
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).
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!
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.
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.