A pasta that sneaks in a serving of veggies
With apologies to Mrs. Seinfeld, I'm not a big fan of sneaking in healthy stuff, like purreed carrots camouflaged in brownies or green beans as a secret coating for chicken nuggets. Veggies and fruits are good for you. Put them out there as the star of the show, not some crazy relative you have to hide in the attic.
But I do also think it doesn't hurt to take a basic dish like pasta and increase the nutritional value. Sure you can can have your veggies on the side or in the sauce but you can go "one louder" as they say in Spinal Tap, by making the pasta itself a serving of vegetables.
The Ronzoni pasta people recently sent me a box of their Garden Delight pasta to try. Without saying a word to my finicky kids and unsuspecting husband, I boiled a box of tri-color rotini and tossed it with some chicken strips, butter and parmesan (with some broccoli florettes and red pepper strips on the side, thankyouverymuch). Nobody said a word or noticed anything different. I told them all afterward and no one even shot me a look of betrayal. In fact, they voted for having it again.
While the company is happy to trumpet that it's a full serving of veggies in every bowl, the fine print is the pasta is made with vegetable solids from dried vegetables. I still think it's good to make the veggies the star of the show, but I don't mind making them a supporting player to pasta as well. Now available in the Tampa Bay area, the Ronzoni Garden Delight pasta comes in Spaghetti, Fettuccine, Rotini, Radiatore and Penne Rigate in 12-ounce packages for $1.89.
Do you think it’s a good idea to sneak in veggies? What are some of your tips for getting kids to eat them?
--Sharon Kennedy Wynne
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