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Video: Veggie dishes that will please kids, save money

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    >>> us terry cruz as i join the land of the giants .

    >> so here we go. yeah. the weelicious cook book is all about fast, easy, fresh, fun recipes for the entire family.

    >> all right.

    >> and the key word being fun.

    >> you don't advocate necessarily hiding the food, just disguising it a little.

    >> we want kids empowered. we want them to know they are eating their vegetables and that they are great for them. red beet white bean hummus. a whole beet, garlic, skin on, and what we're going to do is make a fun packet. make a mom's life easier.

    >> and a dad's.

    >> of course.

    >> ask the kids to cook so you don't have to.

    >> exactly.

    >> so we'll bake this for 45 minutes. when it's all done, it's going to -- you're going to open it up and see, watch this. here is the trick. you have your roasted beet, no one wants to get their hand dirty, and we're going to peel the skin off. just comes right off with this, pulling the skin off. already got one in here, and what we're going to do is got the beet. i'm going to ask you, you put in the white beans. got to get you involved.

    >> a little hummus thing happening.

    >> this is a roasted garlic so it's going to mellow out the flavor of this.

    >> we've got some salt and lemon juice , olive oil .

    >> i love hummus, by the way. it reminds me of that.

    >> this is colorful.

    >> this is colorful. that's the point. we want the kids to see like the beautiful bright colors. they are really exciting.

    >> and you pulse is and we end up with something like that.

    >> fresh veggies.

    >> that's good.

    >> little girl 's birthday party .

    >> can i dry try that one?

    >> not that you're a little girl at a birthday party .

    >> serve it with chip, veggies.

    >> that's good.

    >> okay. now these are veggie nuggets. so everyone was e-mailing me saying my kids, all they want are nuggets.

    >> right.

    >> this recipe is going to save you $20 on the boxes ones you buy in the frozen food section.

    >> and they are good for them.

    >> all nuggets and crunchy on the outside so what i've got here is i steamed pateos 15 minutes with some carrots, added broccoli in for another five minutes, and now it's all steamed in here, in the food processor i added some corn. pulse this up.

    >> oh, i got, it i got it.

    >> actually getting a little short here.

    >> you've got all that together and you --

    >> you're going to mix this with this, and you're going to add some garlic, some onion powder, some salt. you're going to press it on to a sheet tray, about half an inch thick, and, again, put the muscles to work.

    >> there we go.

    >> cut some shapes.

    >> and then in the interest of time.

    >> this is frozen.

    >> i think i pulled a muss. oh, my god. i'm injured! i'm kidding.

    >> so you put them on --

    >> freeze it so you can cut it.

    >> a little egg wash, more breadcrumbs.

    >> baked two minutes on each side and another thing.

    >> looks good.

    >> freeze them.

    >> yes.

    >> i am big on the freezer.

    >> thank you so much. terry, thank you.

    >> thank you.

    >> thank you so much.

    >> terry, thanks for helping us out.

    >> hoda and kathie lee next.

TODAY recipes
updated 9/18/2012 9:49:47 AM ET 2012-09-18T13:49:47

Recipe: Red beet and white bean hummus

Ingredients
  • 1 medium red beet
  • 1 large garlic clove, unpeeled
  • one 15-ounce can white beans, rinsed and drained
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon (about 1/2 tablespoon)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • optional accompaniments
Preparation

When I first made this recipe for Kenya and Chloe, they were as fascinated by the taste as they were by the color. They kept cheering "pink food!" as they ate bowl after bowl. The ingredients are almost identical to a true hummus, minus the tahini, and the addition of the beets makes it an even more nutrient-rich dish that also provides a healthy amount of protein. The tangy flavor and smooth and creamy texture of this dish are so mouthwatering that I think you'll find it to be a hit with kids of any age in your house. Everything from vegetables to chicken gets the dipping treatment.

I served it as the centerpiece snack at Chloe's second and third birthday parties, and all the kids and moms were transfixed by the color. Pink food-every little girl's dream!

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.

2. Wash the beet well and place with the garlic clove on a sheet of foil.

Pull up the sides of the foil and fold to make a packet, leaving room so that heat can circulate inside.

3. Bake for 45 minutes, or until the beet is tender when poked with a knife.

Set aside until cool to the touch.

4. Put a plastic bag over your hand and gently remove the skin from the beet and garlic clove. (The bag will keep your hand clean.)

5. Place all the ingredients into a food processor and puree until smooth and cooled.

6. Serve. The hummus will keep in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Optional accompaniments: Cut-up vegetables such as bell peppers, carrots, celery, cauliflower, cucumber, and sugar snap peas, or pita chips or tortilla chips

Serving Size

Makes 3 cups

Recipe: Veggie nuggets

Ingredients
  • 2 large russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn kernels, defrosted
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs, whisked
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • olive or canola oil
  • cooking spray
  • Ketchup or mustard, for serving (optional)
Preparation

I've received countless e-mails from moms asking if I have a recipe similar to the boxed veggie nuggets available at the grocery store. Finally, I broke down and bought some to see what all the fuss was about. Although labeled "all natural," the boxed nuggets contain tons of fillers that are totally unnatural in my eyes, so I decided to come up with my own version.

Not only are these nuggets out-of-this-world delicious, they're super easy to make, and this recipe makes five times the number you get in a $5 box from the store. That's a $20 savings right there! Just pop what you don't use into labeled freezer bags and you're all set.

1. Place the potatoes and carrots in a steamer pot over boiling water and steam for 15 minutes.

2. Add the broccoli and steam for 5 minutes.

3. Place the potatoes in a bowl and mash them. Place the corn, broccoli, and carrots in a food processor and pulse to finely chop.

4. Add the chopped vegetables, salt, garlic powder, and onion powder to the mashed potatoes and stir to incorporate.

5. Spread the mixture ½ inch thick on a baking sheet and freeze for 1 hour (no more than 1½ hours).

6. When you're ready to make the nuggets, place the flour, eggs, and bread crumbs in three separate bowls, forming an assembly line.

7. Preheat the broiler and line a baking sheet with foil. Coat the foil with cooking spray.

8. Remove the pan from the freezer. Use a 1- to 2-inch-wide cookie cutter to cut out shapes from the potato mixture, or use a knife to cut into small squares. Gently coat the nuggets with the flour, then the egg, then the bread crumbs, and place on the baking sheet.

9. Lightly coat the nuggets with cooking spray. Broil for 2 minutes on each side, or until golden, keeping an eye on them so that they don't burn. (You can also bake the nuggets at 450°F for 10 minutes.)

10. Serve with ketchup or mustard if desired.

To Freeze: After step 8, place the breaded nuggets on a baking sheet and freeze for 30 minutes. Remove from the freezer, place in a zip-top bag, label, and freeze for up to 3 months.

Serving Size

Makes 40 to 50 nuggets

Recipe: Raspberry cream cheese heart tarts

Ingredients
  • For tarts
  • 1/2 cup fresh or defrosted frozen raspberries
  • 1/4 cup whipped cream cheese
  • 1 tablespoon honey or agave nectar
  • 1 double Pie Crust (recipe follows) or one
  • 14-ounce premade pie crust
  • For icing
  • 10 fresh or defrosted frozen raspberries
  • 1 tablespoon milk or water
  • 11/2 cups powdered sugar
Preparation

1. Place the raspberries, cream cheese, and honey in a bowl. Using the back of a fork, mash the raspberries with the cream cheese, leaving some pieces of raspberry intact.

2. Roll out the pie crust to ¼ inch thick and, using a heart-shaped cookie cutter about the size of your fist, cut out about 20 heart shapes.

3. Place 1 heart on a lightly floured work surface and place 2 teaspoons of the cream cheese mixture in the center, leaving a ¼-inch border.

4. Lightly dip your index finger into a cup of water and "brush" the border with water. This will allow the 2 sides of the heart to adhere to each other.

5. Top with another cutout heart. With the tines of a fork, gently press down along the edges to adhere the 2 sides, making sure not to press so hard that the cream cheese mixture goes beyond the boundary of the pastry heart. With a toothpick, poke some holes in the top of the heart to remove any air pockets.

6. Repeat to make the rest of the heart tarts.

7. Preheat the oven to 400°F.

8. Place the tarts on a parchment- or Silpat lined baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, or until golden. Set the tarts aside to cool.

9. While the hearts are baking, make the icing. Place the raspberries in a strainer and press down with the back of a spoon to release the raspberry juice into a bowl. You should have about 2 tablespoons of juice.

10. Whisk in the milk and slowly whisk in the powdered sugar.

11. When the tarts are cool, use a spoon to spread the raspberry icing over the hearts and serve.

to Freeze: After step 6, place the hearts on a baking sheet and freeze for 1 hour. Place the hearts in a zip-top bag, label, and freeze for up to 3 months. To bake, start at step 7, adding an extra 3 minutes to the baking time.

Serving Size

Makes 10 tarts

Gallery: 10 recipes to help you reach your diet goal

Click through our gallery of recipes featuring low-calorie strawberry cream cake, nachos and delicious beef and veggie dishes to help you stay on track.

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