To get my kids to eat their veggies. My kids love raw vegetables. Veggies and dip is one of Abigail's favorite snack. If I'm preparing dinner, and there is chopping of vegetables involved, I always have to give my kids a bit of the vegetables. Because of this, when I am cooking with something they really love, like red bell pepper, I actually pick up more pepper than I need, because I know they will happily gobble up half of it before it makes it to my pan. I'm okay with that. I love that they love their vegetables raw- they're full of nutrients and vitamins that way. And in fact, I've even thought about picking up a raw food cookbook for them, except that I don't think they'd welcome strangeness with their food. Things like vinaigrette's are to much for their little palates. Although last night Zander surprised me and gobbled up his salad at dinner time. I had made a salad of mixed spring greens, and usually both kids don't care so much for those little lettuces. Well, Zander inhaled it, even stopping to ask me what some of the leaves were called. Guess I should have planted a spring mix instead of just romaine. :-)
But what they do love is a good vegetable dip. They both love ranch dressing as a dipper, but Abigail's favorite is doubly good for her, and that is spinach dip. A simple dip made from sour cream, mayo, veggie soup mix, and spinach, she inhales it with vegetables, or even the occasional chip. I love that they're eating spinach up, and you know I always use a little more spinach than is called for to ensure that they're getting more of the good stuff. This time I also left out the can of water chestnuts called for and chopped up some artichoke heart bottoms instead. I really liked what that added to it. In the past I've also added a handful of feta cheese to change the flavor a bit, and that was also excellent. The add-ins are really endless. You could add some sun dried tomato paste for a new flavor profile and color, you cold add some freshly chopped herbs, or add some heat in the form of chipotle, smoked paprika, or aleppo pepper. Anyway you do it, Spinach Dip is a frequent flyer at our house.With that, I think I have pretty much decided that my regular Wednesday post is going to be devoted to vegetables. Some weeks it may be an update on our veggie challenge. Some weeks it may be a round-up of interesting veggie recipes from around the blogosphere. And some days, maybe it will be exploring something new from vegetarian or vegan cuisine. However it ends up, I hope you'll join me for my Veggie Exploration. It should be fun, and we are less than one month away to the farmer's market being open. This will be a fun growing season.