Hidden Veggies

By | September 5, 2010

I really like fresh vegetables, and I’ve been growing some in the garden. Unfortunately I live in a house with teens and so “I hate butternut squash”, “Courgettes are just wrong”, “Cooked peppers are gross”, and “Why do we have to have onions in stuff” are regular whinges. The battle between real food and junk is fairly constant.
Rather than deal with it every meal time, I have tried a few strategies. This is one. I started by softening off onions, garlic, red pepper and home grown butternut squash, courgettes (zucchini) and tomatoes in a big pan with a few herbs, then added a cup of water. It smelled and looked good, but would not make the cut. The key to successful veggies is the blending stick. I zapped everything into a soupy sauce. It looked like baby food, and couldn’t pass as anything other than blended veggies.
That wouldn’t work for a stress free dinner so I added 3/4 cup of tomato puree and mixed that in, adding plenty of black pepper and some extra oregano. That added a lot of redness, an amount that would help it pass as tomato sauce. As the courgettes were yellow, it took quite a bit of puree to get the colour right.
I served it with rigatoni and some fresh mozzarella balls – Pasta with mozzarella and tomato sauce was family friendly and it tasted good. Veggie eaters liked the fresh flavours, veggie avoiders were unaware of the variety of vegetables they had just enjoyed, and I was a happy gardener. Everybody wins.

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