Recipes Featuring Veggies We Love

I was putting together an A to Z list of vegetables and how to get kids interested in eating them for, and I realized that I had a few recipes that I wanted to share that I can’t find anywhere else on the internet. So I’ve added them here.

I actually love the book 366 Healthful Ways to Cook Leafy Greens by Linda Romanelli Leahy. These are my two favorite recipes from that book:

Gnocchi with Chickpeas, Collards, and Cheddar

My kids love this recipe, but Cute W doesn’t. Cute W also doesn’t love Chinese take-out. Just to give you a sense of how much we love this for dinner, sometimes, when Cute W’s out of town, the girls can’t decide between this collards recipe and Chinese take-out for dinner!!!

  • 1 pound gnocchi (these are pasta with potatoes–I usually use frozen gnocchis, the brand I buy at the Niskayuna co-op, to be exact)
  • 2 tablespoons oil (I use olive)
  • 1 can (15 oz.) chickpeas, drained
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 8 cups (packed) chopped fresh collard greens
  • ¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese


  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions.
  2. Heat oil in large skillet over high heat.  Add the chickpeas and garlic.  Cook 3 minutes until the garlic begins to lightly brown, stirring frequently.
  3. Reduce the heat and stir in broth and spices; add the collards.  Cover and cook 5 minutes until the collards are wilted.
  4. Combine the drained pasta and chickpea mixture in a large serving bowl.  Toss and sprinkle with cheese.

Serves 4

California Quesadillas

This is an excellent way to use up salad greens that are starting to look too wilty and depressed for an actual salad.

  • 4 (8-inch) flour tortillas
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 cup chopped mesclun
  • ½ teaspoon cumin


  1. Lay 2 tortillas on a flat surface.  Sprinkle each with ¼ cup cheese, ½ cup mesclun, & ¼ t. cumin.  Top each with remaining cheese and tortillas.
  2. Coat a griddle with vegetable oil spray and place over medium heat.  When it’s hot, place the quesadilla in the center, pressing down with a spatula.  Cook 1 minute, turn carefully, and cook 1 minute more.  Cook other quesadillas and cut each into quarters.

Serves 2


There are many versions of that vaguely-Asian-with-crunchies-salad going around, but this is the recipe we’ve used, which we found in a book called A Place at the Table that was published to benefit what was then the Paige Whitney Babies Center. In other words, you’re totally not going to find this cookbook again, and it’s too bad, because it’s a good one.

Summer Dinner Salad

  • ½ to 3/4 head of Napa Cabbage, shredded (we use any green cabbage instead)
  • 1 bunch scallions, trimmed and chopped
  • 1 1/2 lb. cooked boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 2 packages Ramen noodle soup mix (we use Oriental)
  • 3/4 cup slivered almonds
  • 3 T. sesame seeds
  • 2 T. sugar
  • ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
  • ½ cup peanut oil
  • 2 T. soy sauce
  • 1 flavor packet from the Ramen noodles
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil


  1. In a large bowl combine the cabbage, scallions, and chicken.
  2. Crush the Ramen noodles as much as you can while they’re still wrapped.
  3. Pour dry noodles onto a baking sheet with the sesame seeds and almonds (crush any non-crumbled noodles) and put them into the oven to toast.
  4. In a saucepan, combine the sugar, vinegar, peanut oil, soy sauce, and contents of the flavor packet.  Simmer the mixture for 1 minute, stir in the sesame oil, and let the mixture cool. (I always forget if I wait ‘til later, so I add the sesame oil with everything else, and it doesn’t matter as far as I can tell.)
  5. Add the sugar-vinegar-oil mixture to the veggie-chicken mixture and mix well.
  6. Don’t add the toasty stuff until you’re ready to eat. Cute W and I keep it separate if we’re taking leftovers to lunch, because the noodles get soggy-blegh.

Serves 6




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