20 (Secretly) Veggie-Packed Recipes for Picky Eaters
Sea Salt and Vinegar Zucchini Chips
Light, crisp, and just as good as their junk-food counterparts, these veggie chips are a revelation. Malt vinegar is made from fermented ale and is mildly sweet. If you prefer a sharper flavor, substitute cider vinegar or white vinegar. The best way to get uniform slices? Use a mandoline.
Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread
This moist and cake-like chocolate chip zucchini bread is the perfect way to make sure you are eating your vegetables but still enjoying a sweet treat. "After searching for a chocolate zucchini bread recipe that didn't require a lot of oil, I came up with this winner. My four-year-old son, Andrew, really likes it, and it's great to be able to enjoy something that's healthy and chocolate at the same time." -Elizabeth Alcorn, Fort Mitchell, KY
Spaghetti Squash Lasagna with Spinach
Bake the squash in advance to shorten prep time; squeeze the noodles dry, and store in a zip-top plastic bag in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Easy Baked Spaghetti Squash
Crispy Air Fried Sweet Potato Wedges
Side dish or snack? We say both! If you think sweet potatoes are just for Thanksgiving, give these spicy wedges a try. The smoky spice blend is easy to whip up ahead of time, but the potatoes are best eaten while hot. Though it’s tempting to crowd the air fryer basket and cook everything in one batch, resist the urge—air flow is crucial for maximum crispiness. Not a fan of cilantro? Try basil, parsley, or fresh thyme leaves.
Cauliflower Pizza Steaks
This pizza may not have any dough, but that doesn’t make it any less satisfying. The cheese, meat, and pepperoni come at the forefront, so you get the feeling that you’re eating pizza before you realize you’re eating cauliflower. The crisp, roasted, and slightly salty cauliflower is an easy alternative to a cauliflower-based crust that you can actually pick up with your hands. Plus, no extra equipment, like a food processor, is needed.
These thick cauliflower steaks are cooked through yet firm enough for a meaty bite, making them the perfect keto or meat-free meal. Topped with flavorful sauce, they’re pretty much effortless. To make this dish vegetarian-friendly, simply swap vegetable stock in place of the chicken stock.
Air-Fried Buffalo Cauliflower Bites
Whether you’re having vegetarian friends over to watch the game or you just enjoy recipe mash-ups starring your favorite flavors, these spicy air-fried cauliflower bites check all the boxes. It just takes a smidgen of blue cheese to add a lot of flavor to the quick stir-together sauce. If you’re not a fan of pungent blue cheese, try milder gorgonzola, or even feta. To make this no-fuss recipe even easier, pick up a package of pre-cut cauliflower florets.
Shrimp Fried Cauliflower Rice
This five-ingredient main is a great way to get more seafood into your weeknight rotation. Seek out shrimp that's free of sodium tripolyphosphate (STP), a common preservative that significantly boosts the sodium in your shrimp. Can't find riced cauliflower? Make your own by pulsing cauliflower florets in a food processor until crumbled. Easy!
2-Ingredient (More or Less) Sweet Potato Pancakes
Yes, you can make sweet potato pancakes with just two ingredients (give or take)! If you’re a little skeptical, you’ll become a believer after biting into them. They’re simple enough for weekdays, yet feel indulgent enough for weekend brunch. We’ve included a delicious topping that only three more ingredients. Roast a couple of sweet potatoes ahead of time, and try it this weekend!
Butternut Squash Noodles
This dish tastes as good as it looks. You can purchase pre-spiralized squash noodles at many grocery stores, so don't worry if you don't have a spiralizer. Trust us, you won't miss the carbs with these easy butternut noodles.
Roasted Butternut Squash-and-Spinach Lasagna
It's the perfect fall dinner.
Smoothies are a great way to front-load your day with produce and nutrition. Just one serving of this power breakfast offers about two-thirds of the day's calcium and nearly a quarter of potassium in a low-calorie package. Chia seeds amp up fiber and protein, plus they're one of the richest plant sources of heart-healthy alpha-linoleic acid (an omega-3 fatty acid).
Crispy, Sweet Air-Fried Beet Chips
Specialty root chips can cost $5 to $6 per bag at the grocery store; save big bucks by whipping up a couple batches in your air fryer. The secret to crispy beet chips is to slice the beets super thin; if your knife skills aren’t Top Chef level, use a mandolin to get wafer-thin slices. Don’t overcrowd the basket; air flow is crucial to getting the chips nice and crispy.
Air-Fried "Everything Bagel" Kale Chips
Welcome to your new go-to snack food—kale chips 2.0! These flavor-packed nutritious chips come out of the air fryer even crispier than they do from your regular oven. Store-bought everything bagel seasoning can be gorged with sodium. Our homemade version delivers the same flavor using staples you probably have hanging out in your spice cabinet. Shop for the perkiest fresh kale you can put your hands on—it yields the crispiest chips.
Beet Red Velvet Cupcakes
Beets act as a natural food coloring and give these cupcakes a tender crumb. Microwaving the beets and adding lemon juice for acidity helps retain their color, making the cupcakes even more red.
Kale Mashed Potatoes
We stir in a bit of greens to up the nutritional value in Kale Mashed Potatoes. This side dish gets a head start with frozen mashed potatoes.
Gnocchi with Spinach and Pepper Sauce
Mushroom Bolognese over Spaghetti Squash
Go low-carb with hearty spaghetti squash in place of pasta. Cook an extra squash, and store the flesh in ziplock bags for a quick side during the week.
Dessert Spaghetti Squash with Apples, Walnuts, and Cinnamon Goat Cheese
While a sweet spaghetti squash might sound a little unconventional, it's quite a treat. Accompanied by a warm, buttery cinnamon apple mixture, this squash is packed with festive fall flavors. The simple goat cheese and Greek yogurt mixture is the perfect, creamy component to finish it all off, and you're going to be licking the spoon with this light and healthy topper.