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Veggies are awesome!

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Getting your kids to eat right can be challenging. King Soopers Registered dietitian Jeannie Schwendtner has come up with the perfect solution to get the greens in while kids eat their favorites. Check out these great healthy and fun recipes below.  

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Cauliflower Tuna Mac n’ Cheese

Makes 8 servings

1 medium head cauliflower, cut into florets
2 cups reduced sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1-2 cups water
4 cups broccoli florets
1 (12oz) box Ronzoni Smart Taste rotini or penne pasta
1 cup fat-free or 1% milk
2 oz Neufchatel cheese
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
1 ½ cups reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese, plus ¼ cup for topping
2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
2 (5oz) cans chunk light tuna in water, drained

Preheat oven to 350°F and spray a 9 inch baking dish with non-stick spray.

In a large pot, place cauliflower and broth. Add 1-2 cups of water, just enough to cover the cauliflower. Bring the cauliflower to a boil and cook until it is very fork tender. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Cook pasta according to package directions and set aside. Steam broccoli by putting in a microwave safe dish and adding 1 tablespoon of water. Microwave on high for 3 minutes or until crisp tender.

Place cooked cauliflower and a small portion of the remaining liquid into a food processor and process until smooth. Add extra cooking liquid as needed.

In a large saucepan, heat milk over medium heat. Wisk in the Neufchatel cheese, mustard and spices. Add pureed cauliflower and stir until well combined. Add cheddar and Parmesan cheeses and mix well. Add tuna and steamed broccoli and combine. Finally, add pasta and mix well. Pour mixture into the baking dish and top with remaining ¼ cup cheddar cheese. Bake until cheese is melted about 15 minutes.

Sunrise Surprise Muffins
Makes 26-28 muffins

2 ¼ c. white whole wheat flour
½ c. sugar
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 c. unsweetened applesauce
¼ c. non-fat plain Greek yogurt
¼ c. canola oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 c. grated carrots
1 c. zucchini, grated
1 medium apple (Gala works well), grated
1, 8oz can crushed pineapple
½ c. unsweetened shredded coconut (optional)
½ c. raisins
½ c. walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, combine the first five ingredients. In a medium bowl, combine eggs, applesauce, Greek yogurt, oil and vanilla extract. Make a hole in the middle of the dry ingredients and pour wet ingredients into the whole. Stir until ingredients are just moistened. Stir in remaining ingredients until mixed but avoid over stirring. Fill greased muffin tins two-thirds full. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes then transfer muffin to cooling rack.

Nutrition Facts for 2 muffins
Calories: 225
Total Fat: 7 g
Saturated Fat: 2 g
Sodium: 249 mg
Total Carbohydrates: 26 g
Dietary Fiber: 5 g
Sugar: 17 g
Protein: 5 g

Zucchini Pancakes
Makes 10-12 Pancakes
Recipe adapted from Smittenkitchen.com

2 eggs
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
3 Tbsp. honey
¼ cup low-fat buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups shredded zucchini
1 cup white whole wheat flour (or 1/2 cup each whole wheat flour and all-purpose flour)
1-2 Tbsp. flaxseed meal
¼ tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 ½ tsp. ground cinnamon

In a large bowl, combine eggs, applesauce, honey, buttermilk and vanilla until smooth. Stir in zucchini shreds. In a smaller bowl, whisk together flour, flaxseed meal, salt, baking soda and cinnamon. Stir dry ingredients into zucchini batter, mixing until just combined.
Spray a large, heavy skillet with non-stick spray and heat over medium heat. Once hot, scoop scant 1/4-cup dollops of batter in pan so the puddles do not touch. Cook until bubbles appear on the surface, about 2 to 3 minutes. Flip pancakes and cook another minute or two, until golden underneath. Repeat with remaining batter. Serve warm.

Carrot Spice Muffins
Makes 12 Muffins

1 ¾ white whole wheat flour (or a combination of all-purpose and whole wheat flour)
2 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. flaxseed meal
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 ½ tsp. cinnamon
¾ tsp. ground ginger
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
½ tsp. salt
1/3 cup agave nectar or honey
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
½ cup plain non-fat yogurt
¼ cup water
1 tsp. vanilla
1 ½ cup shredded carrot

Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray a muffin pan with non-stick spray or use muffin liners. Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl. In a small bowl, combine the liquid ingredients. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients. Pour wet ingredient mixture into the well, and mix just long enough to combine. Add the carrots and stir to combine. Spoon the batter into the muffin cups. The batter will be very thick. Bake for 15-20 min
Cheese Sauce
Makes 4 servings

1 ½ cups fat-free milk
2 Tbsp. all purpose flour
¾ cup reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper to taste

In a medium bowl, whisk flour and milk together until well blended. Pour into a saucepan, and heat over medium high heat. Stir continually while bringing to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until thickened, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in cheese until melted. Add Dijon mustard and salt and pepper to taste.