By Tasty Table Blogger Jenny Stauffer

If you have been reading my entries for any length of time, you know I have one child who will eat anything, or at least try it, and another one who is picky. My husband and I both enjoy eating vegetables, but once I started getting an abundance of vegetables in my Produce Box, I had to come up with a way to serve these vegetables to my kids (because growing up in the South, it is comforting for me to eat overcooked, boiled vegetables, but maybe for my daughter it wasn’t!).

Lo and behold the concept of roasting your vegetables!! I am not kidding; picky girl eats roasted cauliflower like French fries!!! My husband even wonders why we would ever steam cauliflower again. Then I tried Kale chips. Wow! Healthy chips that honest to goodness do NOT taste like you would think. They melt in your mouth! Since then, we have roasted broccoli and okra with similar yummy results. Prior to this, I had only roasted asparagus. So, if you want to try a different way of getting your child to eat vegetables, (especially picky ones) try it!

Additionally, we all love soup. I have made soup more often these past few years as an easy and nutritious way to get my kids to try different (i.e. NOT canned) vegetables. If you have never tried a soup with spinach or kale in it, these soups pass the test for my kids. Spinach is a good substitute for kale. Sometimes we like a change from canned vegetable soup. (Oh, and my latest trick to oompf up canned chicken noodle or vegetable soup is to add some additional chicken stock. It freshens up the taste instantly. You can also stir in leftover cooked or frozen vegetables). We especially like the Italian Sausage, Kale, and White Bean soup. It is so rich and yummy, and if kale really offends you, leave it or any other vegetable out.It is a really outstanding soup.

Roasted Vegetable Basic Recipe

Preheat your oven to 375, hotter if you have a slow oven. Line a pan with foil, spray with nonstick cooking spray. Add chopped vegetable*** either spray well with cooking spray or toss with a few tablespoons of olive oil. Toss with a good amount of salt and pepper (a good two or so pinches of Kosher salt). Roast for about 20 minutes for cauliflower. You will need to shake the pan or stir around here and there to ensure even browning, just like French fries. It will be done when the vegetable is brown in spots and tender when tasted. Kale will be done when brown and crispy, 8-10 minutes. I recommend keeping a close eye and testing until it is just right. Add another few pinches of Kosher salt upon removal.

***Kale: Chop coarsely, removing center rib, and make sure leaves are dry before adding oil.
***Cauliflower and broccoli: Add cheddar cheese during the last few minutes for some extra yumminess. Return to oven to melt.

Italian Sausage, White Bean, and Kale Soup

Recipe borrowed and adapted from

1 pound Italian turkey sausage (casing removed)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion (chopped)
2 cloves garlic (chopped)
2 stalks celery (chopped)
2 carrots (chopped)
1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 15 ounce can white beans
1 bunch kale (chopped)  *Could also use spinach or collard greens*
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste
1 parmigiano reggiano rind (recommended-a great trick I use often)
* chicken stock
1 handful parsley (chopped, optional)
* parmigiano reggiano (grated, optional)

1. Brown the sausage in a large pan and set aside.
2. Heat the oil in the same pan.
3. Add the onions and saute until tender, about 7-10 minutes.
4. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
5. Add the sausage, celery, carrots, tomatoes, white beans, kale, oregano, bay leaf, red pepper flakes, parmigiano reggiano rind.
6. Add enough chicken stock to cover.
7. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 30-60 minutes.
8. Remove the bay leaf and parmigiano reggiano rind.
9. Serve garnished with chopped parsley and grated parmigiano reggiano.

Cooking Light’s White Bean and Collard Green Soup

This is a simple, quick soup. My kids will eat this, as long as the greens are small and few and far between. Again, this is one more way my kids are willing to eat different vegetables. I also like the beans for fiber.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup finely chopped yellow onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup pinot grigio or other light white wine
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 cups finely shredded collard greens (about 6 ounces)
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
2 (14-ounce) cans fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth  (you may need more or less)
1 (15.5-ounce) can Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained (sometimes I double, adding more broth)

Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; sauté for 5 minutes or until onion is tender. Add wine, pepper, and salt. Reduce heat; simmer 5 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates. Add greens, thyme, and broth. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 8 minutes or until greens are tender. Add beans; simmer 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated.