Creative Ways to Eat More Veggies

You've probably never seen vegetables like this before. Dietician Meridan Zerner shares some creative ideas for incorporating veggies into your usual meals.

Deliciously Rich Avocado Brownies

Feel free to swap in different toppings such as nuts or seeds, dried fruit, or even coconut shreds. These brownies are good for up to a week in the refrigerator or a few months in the freezer.

2 medium, ripe avocados skin and pit removed (halve the avocado and scoop out with a spoon)
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup raw granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 teaspoon salt or pinch of sea salt
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips or cacao nibs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and set aside a lightly greased 8 x 8 baking dish.

In a food processor, add the avocado, maple syrup, and sugar. Blend well. Then add the eggs and vanilla extract. Mix well so that all of the ingredients are blended together. Make sure to scrape the sides for any remnants.

Gently add in the flour, baking soda, salt, and cocoa and mix well.

Turn off the processor and remove the blade. Stir in the chocolate chips using a spoon or spatula.

Spread the batter into the pan evenly. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until done. Test the middle of the batter with a knife or toothipick to make sure nothing sticks.

Remove from heat and let cool before cutting into squares. Enjoy!

Vegetable Meatloaf with Balsamic Glaze

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small zucchini, finely diced
1red bell pepper, finely diced
1 yellow bell pepper, finely diced
5 cloves garlic, smashed to a paste with coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 1/2 pounds ground turkey (90 percent lean)
1 cup panko (coarse Japanese breadcrumbs)
1/2 cup freshly grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
3/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Heat the oil in a large saute pan over high heat. Add the zucchini, bell peppers, garlic paste and 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes. Season with salt and pepper and cook until the vegetables are almost soft, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool. 

Whisk the egg and fresh herbs in a large bowl. Add the turkey, panko, grated cheese, 1/2 cup ketchup, 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar and the cooled vegetables; mix until just combined. 

Gently press the mixture into a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan. Whisk the remaining 1/4 cup ketchup, 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar and 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes in a small bowl; brush the mixture over the entire loaf. Bake for 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.