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Add Veggies, Subtract Calories

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
3/15/2011 6:37 AM   :  55 comments   :  14,734 Views

See More: news, vegetables, food,
I cook a lot of dinners at home. I don't consider myself to be a great chef, because I've never been one to throw some ingredients together to create a meal. I feel most comfortable when I don't have to deviate from a recipe, which is why I'm always on the lookout for good cookbooks. I like cookbooks that have simple, healthy recipes. I don't want meals that are loaded with sodium and saturated fat, especially since I'm cooking for my 4 and 2-year old.

I've had a lot of success with cookbooks like The Sneaky Chef or Deceptively Delicious, not because they try to hide vegetables in the food, but because the recipes are generally healthy and something standard that my kids will try. I like to be very upfront with my kids about what they are eating. If my daughter asks "What's in this?" I never lie. Even if there are things in it I know she doesn't like, I'll tell her anyway. Most of the time she'll still try it, because she knows I'm not trying to fool her into eating something she won't want.

I know adding more vegetables to my family's diet is good for their overall health. New research shows that adding hidden vegetables to foods can also help cut calories. The small study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, included men and women who ate in a laboratory once a week for three weeks. "Unknown to the diners, back in the kitchen cooks were slipping in vegetables that had been steamed and then pureed -- cauliflower, squash or carrots, depending on the entree -- to some of the main dishes. The result was a helping of food that was either 15 percent or 25 percent vegetable by weight, although it looked, tasted and otherwise resembled the original."

Some diners were given entrees that did not include the extra vegetables. Both groups ate about the same amount, but the group eating more vegetables reduced their daily intake by as much as 360 calories- and also got the added veggie boost at the same time. Only a few of the participants said they could actually taste the extra vegetables.

Cutting 360 calories per day out of your diet can help you lose almost a pound per week. So if you're not a fan of vegetables but you're trying to lose weight, this could be a strategy to try.

What do you think? Have you ever tried making dishes from cookbooks like these? Have you had success?


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Comments

  • 5
    I have never really tried because I don't have kids, I just always toss some sort fo vegetables into my meals me my boyfriend and I because he eats garbage food. But, I believe this will help my brother since he is on his way to try and lose 40 pounds! - 3/15/2011   9:26:29 AM
  • 4
    I have not, but I'm not yet to a point where I have to sneak vegetables into my cooking. I always surprise my boyfriend with how many veggies I use making the same dish he does (spaghetti, for example). But he doesn't mind because since he started dating my his pants have started fitting loser and he has lost "a belt hole." :P - 3/15/2011   9:23:12 AM
  • 3
    Thank you for the good advice.Good blog - 3/15/2011   8:50:46 AM
  • KATIRLYNN1234
    2
    The only vegtable I have ever hidden was mashed califlower in the mashed potatoes. I could tell it was there but thought it was delicious and glad it cut calories. I would love to have recipes for hidden vegtables. - 3/15/2011   8:27:02 AM
  • 1
    I'm going to see if my library has these cookbooks! - 3/15/2011   6:42:02 AM

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