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By Pamela Redwine
Nutrition & Food Safety Area Agent
Studies have found that calories can be lowered in meals by adding vegetable purees. In the study, everyone enjoyed the food and they ate 200 â€“ 350 fewer calories per meal.
Here are ways you can sneak in more veggies for your meals at home. It is a good idea to get everyone eating more veggies which bring more fiber and nutrients. The good news is that they lower the calories, too.
Follow these tips:
1.Â Â Â Â Â Match up the colors:
â€¢Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Orange â€“carrots, winter squash: add pureed orange veggies to cheesy dishes like cheese dips, macaroni and cheese and casseroles.
â€¢Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Red â€“ tomatoes, beets; add red pureed veggies to chili, pasta, meatloaf, stews and casseroles.
â€¢Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Yellow/white â€“ cauliflower, add pureed cauliflower to mashed potatoes, cream soups.
â€¢Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Green â€“ broccoli, zucchini â€“ add this to pasta sauce or rice dishes.
2.Â Â Â Â Â Cook until soft. In order for a puree to be nice and smooth and just slip into a dish, be sure you cook the vegetables a little softer than you would for serving as a side dish. Puree in a food processor or blender.
3.Â Â Â Â Â Use about 25-33 percent veggies to start. The study went up to half the amount in some recipes but using a little less ensures success.
â€¢Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Chili â€“ add one extra can of tomatoes; add one cup diced or pureed pumpkin/winter squash.
â€¢Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Pasta â€“ use more sauce; add pureed broccoli and chopped spinach â€“ the spinach looks like herbs.
â€¢Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Mashed potatoes â€“ use 2/3 potatoes and 1/3 cauliflower.
â€¢Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Macaroni and cheese â€“ add 1 cup pureed carrots.
â€¢Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Casseroles â€“ add 2 cups pureed veggies to most casserole recipes.
â€¢Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Pizza â€“ Put one more cup of chopped veggies on top.
â€¢Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Rice â€“ add one or two cups of veggies to the liquid and puree in the blender. Some good ideas are spinach and herbs.
â€¢Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Meatloaf â€“ 2/3 lean meat, 1/3 pureed stew vegetables.
Article source: "Communicating Food For Health Newsletter, April 2011"
Half n Half Meat Loaf
1 lb. lean ground turkey
1 lb. frozen stew veggies
1 can whole tomatoes, no salt
Â½ tsp. onion powder
Â½ tsp. garlic powder
Â¼ tsp. black pepper
Â¼ tsp. poultry seasoning
Â½ cup seasoned bread crumbs
Ketchup, about 2 T.
1.Â Â Â Â Â Cook the veggies in the microwave for 10 minutes or until really tender.
2.Â Â Â Â Â Puree the cooked veggies with the tomatoes in a food processor.
3.Â Â Â Â Â Stir the turkey, puree, seasonings and bread crumbs together. Place into oiled loaf pan, top with ketchup and bake at 375 degrees for one hour or until done.
4.Â Â Â Â Â Allow to sit out for 10 minutes; cut and serve from the pan.
Serves 10, each slice (4 ounces); 100 calories, 1g fat, 0g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 21mg cholesterol, 191mg sodium, 10g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 12 g protein, (Compare to 520 calories and 36 g fat for regular meatloaf).
Recipe Source: Communicating Food For Health, April 2011
Pamela Redwine is a nutrition and food safety agent affiliated with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. Article provided by the Oktibbeha County Extension Service. For more information call 662-323-5916.