A Little Game Called Hide the Squash

(Slimy flying saucer)

OK, so here’s a little secret: I hate summer squash. Ditto zucchini. Eggplant as well. Cucumber, if you really want to know. Actually, a lot of vegetables. I’d prefer to live off carbs forever, thankyouverymuch.

But also, I want to model good eating to my picky eater tribe, not die a stupid and preventable death, support local farmers, etc., and so I try to eat vegetables anyway, ugh.

If you or someone in your life is similarly afflicted, here are some methods I’ve adopted:

  • Grate into pasta sauce
  • Grate into zucchini bread (cheating, because this turns it into a carb.) Note: Only use zucchini. The seeds remain when you use summer squash, and if you use cucumber, even though the internet swears it’ll be the same, your husband will consider mutiny.
  • Chop into ground beef and saute. A friend taught me this. Basically anything works, but I use it most often for eggplant.
  • Mandoline it up! If I had to make a hall of fame for completely unnecessary kitchen gadgets I adore, a mandoline would be top of the list. (Also, I’m assuming you say “mand-o-LINE” not “mandolin,” right?) It effortlessly juliennes the vegetables you already feel resentful that you’re having to prepare, and then you can toss the thin disks into stuff like frittatas or pad thai where they will obligingly melt away. And hey, you can use it to make potato chips, too. All work and no play, you know?
  • Purée it into a smoothie. I do this for the kids, who refuse to accept it in any of the aforementioned disguises, but they actually really like half a zucchini in their berry smoothie…so long as I only reveal its presence afterwards.

How do you work vegetables into meals so they’re not noticeable?

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