Don’t throw away that wilted produce. Instead make purées and put it in small individual freezer bags. Place in your freezer to add to meals later. This will improve the nutritious value of your meals.
You can use other greens in this recipe if you choose. Kale or collard greens work well (steamed until tender). Do not use stringy vegetables, such as arugula, asparagus and green beans.
2 cups broccoli florets
1 cup sweet green peas
2 cups raw baby spinach
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Steam the broccoli for about 10 minutes, or until very tender. Add the peas for the last two minutes of cooking. Drain.
Put the spinach in a food processor or blender, and pulse a few times. Add the cooked broccoli and peas, along with two tablespoons of water and the lemon juice. Use the high setting until you have a smooth purée. Add more water as necessary. Makes two cups.
To use: Add to full-flavored (and richly colored) dishes that will hide the “sneaky” ingredient. When making enchiladas, for example, add one-quarter cup of green purée to two cups of tomato sauce. When making lasagna, add three-quarters of a cup to a 24-ounce jar of tomato sauce. This purée also works well in soups, stews and chili.
You can add white beans to the following. Use them straight out of the can, rinsed and drained.
2 cups cauliflower florets
2 small-to-medium zucchini or yellow summer squash, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Steam the cauliflower for about 10 minutes, or until very tender. Drain.
Put the raw peeled, chopped zucchini or summer squash with the lemon juice in a food processor or blender. Pulse a few times. Add the cooked cauliflower and one tablespoon of water. Use the high setting until you have a smooth purée. Add more water as necessary. Makes two cups.
To use: I like to add one-half cup to macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes or tuna casserole. It’s also great in soups, stews and chili.
Recipes by: Missy Chase Lapine, author of The Sneaky Chef to the Rescue (Running Press). She is former publisher of Eating Well magazine and a member of Parenting Magazine’s team of experts (“Mom Squad”). She is on the Children’s Advisory Council of New York-Presbyterian’s Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital in New York City.
- “Creepy Green Cubes” (veggiesfromthefarm.wordpress.com)
- Strawberry Lemonade (spoonful.com)
- Weekend Project: Simplest Tomato Sauce (williams-sonoma.com)