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Trying to get your loved ones to eat veg more often? It’s easier than you might think. Just focus on simple, filling, familiar meals (read: go easy on the tofu and tempeh, depending on how open-minded your folks are). Here are a few tried-and-true favorites that have gone over well with my meat-eating husband, who is usually very unenthusiastic about all things bean:
Stuff them with hearty ingredients like potatoes and cauliflower (pictured) or black beans and plantains, and nobody will miss the meat. Don’t forget to slather with guacamole—avocado is rich in hunger-quelling fiber. Also popular: portobello tacos and sweet potato quesadillas. If you live with picky eaters, lay out different fillings and fixins, and everyone can make their own creations.
This comfort-food classic is a great way to sneak in lots of veggies, and pretty much everyone loves it. Try harvest-y butternut squash lasagna or kid-friendly tortilla lasagna. Short on time? Any stick-to-your-ribs pasta dish is sure to please—just don’t hold back on the sauce. Make sure it’s super-luscious and super-flavorful. Our go-to: 5-ingredient linguine in lemon cream sauce.
Got a serious meat-and-potatoes-lover on your hands? Go for loaded baked potatoes. Kids can help scoop out and stuff them. Our best include mini loaded red potatoes and zucchini-artichoke baked potatoes. Also try stuffing sweet potatoes for a healthful dose of beta-carotene. If you’re short on time, use your microwave to cook the potatoes, and offer different toppings at the table.
Not to be confused with veggie burgers, which can scare some people off, fritters are pretty much always a hit. It’s all in the name! A few top VT recipes: millet-spinach-feta fritters; vegetable fritters with tomato-corn relish; curried sweet potato fritters; and spinach and spaghetti squash fritters. Serve with a blended butternut squash soup, and everyone is happy.
You don’t have to top pizza with handfuls of shredded mozzarella to make it delicious. Try zucchini–goat cheese pizza or butternut squash pizza. For weeknight ease, buy refrigerated ready-to-go pizza dough from any supermarket, and make a few pies with your family’s favorite toppings. Avoiding gluten? We happen to have a crazy-crispy gluten-free pizza crust recipe.
What’s your favorite family-friendly veg dish? Share in the comments!