Healthy Families- 7/5

Vegetables and fruits are abundant during Summer time! It’s so easy (and sneaky, in a good way) to add vegetables or fruits to your child/ren’s favorite dishes. I added sweet peppers, onions and garlic to turkey meatballs the other day, chopped them finely so it just looked like a fiesta of fun colors rather than a blob of bland steamed vegetables on the side of the plate. You can add mushrooms, spinach and olives to a cheese quesadilla or grilled vegetables like zucchini and carrots to a bean burrito. My daughter loves avocado smoothies too! You can blend ice, avocado, almond milk or milk, and honey and/or a frozen banana for a creamy milkshake-like smoothie. Or we pick fresh blueberries from our blueberry bush for a berry smoothie. My daughter also loves this strawberry salad that I’ve made; chopped strawberries with a splash of Newman’s Own light balsamic dressing for some tangy sweetness. I added avocado chunks, squeeze of lime, a dallop of sour cream and shredded cheese to a vegetable puree soup I made the other day and the whole family loved it! My daughter asked for seconds and preferred it to her quesadilla! Pureed soup; water, zucchini (yellow and green), broccoli, carrots, onions, garlic and sweet peppers boiled until soft, season to taste. Then puree entire soup in a blender until smooth. Serve hot with avocado, lime, cheese and sour cream, as you desire. I also make a great low calorie squash casserole that the whole family devours. Squash casserole; grate zucchini (yellow and green) with a cheese grater in a bowl and season to taste, layer in a casserole dish with chopped mushrooms and spinach, pour a can of cream of mushroom soup over the veggies, add a layer of pre-cooked ground turkey or tofurky or tofu if desired, then top with shredded cheese. You may add bread crumbs as the bottom layer, I prefer not to even though it can turn out a bit soupy without the bread crumbs, serve with a slated spoon in this case.