Archive of ‘(HTV) Hide the Veggies’ category

“Boneless” Cauliflower Hot Wings

Framed fork

Boness Wings 1

When I attend cocktail parties, my favorite part is (no, not the cocktails or the good company), the hors d’œuvres!….The small mouthfuls that burst with flavor when you bite into them. I’m talking about those finger foods that are packed with so much flavor so as to satisfy with just a taste. Sadly, these little pieces of heaven are likely to be dripping with grease and packed with an unfavorable amount of saturated fat. Why? Because fat has flavor, and fat tastes good….cheese is fat…bacon is fat. Keep enjoying these and our buns will be…well….generously proportioned. Don’t get me wrong, fat can also be very healthy in the unsaturated form, such as olive oil, avocados, and nuts. Unfortunately, animal fat is just not very healthy. Predominately of the saturated variety, animal fat may be heart stoppingly delicious, and simply heart stopping. So let’s find ways to still enjoy our fats and our fun without near death experiences.

With that, I present to you “Boneless” Cauliflower Hot Wings. These suckers are so good you will never remember you are eating a vegetable! With a crispy crust and a creamy, yet crunchy interior they are to die for. I do dip these in a blue cheese dressing, and yes this is high in saturated fat – but c’mon we just knocked off like a million calories by using cauliflower – so live a little, will ya.

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We start by trimming the cauliflower into small pieces and dipping them in a seasoned batter before baking them. I had on hand a few samples of an all purpose gluten-free flour that I was interested in testing out, so I used this- but regular whole wheat flour works great as well.

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Once the cauliflower pieces are coated in the batter, bake for 15 minutes. Remove them from the oven and coat with the hot sauce mixture (cayenne pepper sauce, I like Frank’s Red Hot, and a dollop of coconut oil). Return these little jewels to the toasty oven to cook for an additional 12-14 minutes or until golden brown and crisp. If they aren’t crisping up enough, place them under the broiler for 3-4 minutes.

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I like extra sauce, so I prefer to drizzle additional hot sauce over the “hot wings” when they are fresh out of the oven. Serve with your favorite blue cheese dressing and celery sticks, and enjoy!!

Framed fork

“Boneless” Cauliflower Hot Wings


  • 1 Head Cauliflower
  • Batter
  • 1 Cup All Purpose Gluten-Free or Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 1 Tablespoon Garlic Powder
  • ¼ Teaspoon Black Pepper
  • Sauce
  • ½ Cup Cayenne Pepper Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Coconut or Olive oil


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Trim and cut cauliflower into bite-sized pieces.
  3. Mix together batter ingredients
  4. Add cauliflower pieces to batter and coat evenly
  5. Spread onto baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes
  6. Remove from oven and coat with sauce mixture. Bake for an additional 12-14 minutes
  7. If “wings” aren’t crispy enough, place under the broiler for an additional 3-4 minutes
  8. Coat with extra sauce if you so choose. Serve with celery and blue cheese dressing. Enjoy!

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Sweet Corn Bread

corn bread without writing

corn bread

After multiple posts on collard greens, I was craving something sweet to drown out the veggie coma I had slipped into. With collards on my mind, I could not think of a more perfect accompaniment to good ole southern collards than some warm and crumbly corn bread. Corn bread traditionally has loads of butter and is very often cooked in a cast iron skillet lined with bacon fat. Although I am not against the skillet, I do avoid excess bacon fat! The corn meal is often mixed with flour to create a more appealing texture. However, I have found that it is simpler and quite delicious to use 100% cornmeal (non-GMO of course!-I’ll get to this later). Using cornmeal alone allows for a gluten-free recipe as well. All of the fat in this recipe comes from natural sources-not processed oils or even butter.

Why zucchini, you ask…why take a perfectly good sweet recipe and ruin it with a vegetable!? Well…Why not! First of all, gives this bread a moist and
delicious texture. Using zucchini adds high quality fiber, Vitamin A and C, magnesium, folic acid and minerals. You will never even know it’s there! I got this one by my husband without an ounce of suspicion!

The most important point I will stress with this recipe is to use good ingredients. It is important to purchase high-quality corn meal to avoid without GMO’s. Genetically modified organisms, or GMO’s, are animals or plants whose genes have been manipulated through human engineering. Whether it be to create more fruit production in shorter period of time using plants that utilize less space per cubic inch, or creating a kernel that repels pest naturally, the goal of genetic modification is usually the same- to increase profits. This is not necessarily a bad thing. The problem is, the process of genetic modification is fairly new, and became popular only in the mid-1990’s. Therefore, researchers still don’t know the effects this will have on our bodies in the long run.  For this reason, myself and many others believe that they should be avoided. Foods commonly known to have GMO’s are: Corn, soy, papaya, rice, potatoes, rBGH found in milk, and canola oil. Bob’s Red Mill is an outstanding company that dedicated itself to providing grain products that are GMO free. I used their fine grind cornmeal for this recipe. 20140413-144152.jpg

If you are familiar with cornmeal, you know that it is very hard and does not easily absorb liquids. For this reason, corn bread needs a good amount of moisture and fat to make up for its dryness. I use full-fat canned coconut milk, eggs, and maple syrup to give the finished product a moist texture. The zucchini helps a lot as well. Coconut milk offers many great benefits and is naturally high in fat. It has such a beautiful fragrence but is truly undectable in the finished cornbread. This will substitute dairy and oil in our recipe. I love using real maple syrup in recipes as it is minimally processed and adds such a deeply rich flavor. The great thing about using a natural sweetener like maple syrup is the added benefit of minerals such as zinc, iron, calcium, potassium and manganese, as well as polyphenols (antioxidants). Try finding that in white sugar!

This recipe is super easy! Just toss everything into the food processor, give it a whir and bake! It can be divided into 12 or 16 squares. Of course, I like bigger pieces so 12 is my choice, and with only 189 calories per square- the bigger the better!

Sweet Corn Bread

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 12 Squares


  • 1 Large Zucchini, Peeled
  • ½ Cup Full-Fat Coconut Milk
  • 1 Egg
  • ¾ Cup Pure Maple Syrup
  • 2 1/4 Cup Organic Cornmeal
  • ¼ Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Coconut oil


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Grease an 8 x 8 inch square pan with coconut oil
  3. Add zucchini to food processor, and puree.
  4. Add remaining ingredients and process until smooth
  5. Pour batter into greased pan, and bake for 25 minutes
  6. Allow to cool before serving. Enjoy!


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Gluten-Free Black Bean Brownies

Blurred Tea with Stacked browines

Tea Blurred Brownies Stacked

You read right… Black Bean Brownies that are absolutely divine. I first must give credit to as this is where the recipe originated. I first tasted these babies through a fellow dietitian who brought in a sample to work. They were absolutely dreamy. I found the recipe and, of course, had to tweak it slightly to my taste. To appeal to my vegan friends, I removed the eggs and actually substituted them with a little ground flaxseed and water trick. I added some walnuts and pumpkin seeds because I love a little crunch in my brownies. I used a little less cane sugar and added in some coconut sugar for a deep brown sugar-like flavor. After a few tries, I found perfection. Surprisingly, the original recipe called for a teaspoon of balsamic vinegar. I tried the recipe both with and without the vinegar and found the texture to be slightly more to my liking WITH it. The vinegar is undetectable by taste, so use it.  Stacked Brownied

Now this is not my first go at black beans in brownies…in fact, I have made them on multiple occasions. However, none of the recipes tasted as amazing as these. They have earned themselves a little spotlight in the blogosphere (and Gina from has as well of course!).

So not only are they rich and delicious little gems filled with fiber and protein, they are also astonishingly easy! You basically throw all ingredients except for the nuts and chocolate chips into a food processor and presto chango, you have transformed canned black beans into pure decadence!


Instead of the two eggs that the original recipe called for, I used 8 tablespoons of water blended together with 2 tablespoons of flax seeds to create an egg substitute rich in omegas. You are welcome to use the two eggs that are called for if you so choose.


 I also cut down the cane sugar and added some coconut sugar in lieu. Found in most health food stores, coconut crystals are basically just the sap from a coconut plant dried to form sugar-like crystals. Although there are many health claims swirling about this product, I am not so certain that they are all true. However, this form of sugar does have some minerals remaining from its originator and its taste is deep and- rich similar to brown-sugar. I love coconut crystals mostly for the flavor.


If you do not want to go through the trouble of finding coconut crystals, just use the original 3/4 cup cane sugar. Process all ingredients except for the chocolate chips, nuts, and seeds. Then stir them into the batter, spread into an 8 x 8 inch pan, and bake!

Brownie Batter in Pan

What you are left with is nothing short of heavenly. Enjoy!

Single Brownie with tea

Gluten-Free Black Bean Brownies


  • 1 14-ounce Can Black Beans, Drained and Rinsed
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 Tablespoons Whole Flax Seeds
  • 1/2 Cup Cocoa Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Coconut Oil
  • 1/2 Cup Cane Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Coconut Crystals
  • 1 Teaspoon Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 Cup Vegan Chocolate Chips or Carob Chips
  • 1/2 Cup Walnuts
  • 1/2 Cup Pepitas (Pumpkin Seeds)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Blend 1/2 cup water with flax seeds until smooth to make egg substitute.
  3. Add egg substitute along with remaining ingredients, except for chocolate chips, walnuts, and pepitas, to a food processor.
  4. Process until very smooth.
  5. Transfer into mixing bowl and stir in chocolate chips, walnuts, and pepitas.
  6. Spread into greased 8 x 8 inch pan and bake for 28-31 minutes.
  7. Let brownies cool completely before cutting and serving.

For the original recipe at click here.


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HTV Pizza! (Hide the Veggies)

Close up of mushroom


Hide the veggies pizza! Pizza is the ultimate vehicle to hide vegetables, and I am thrilled to add this recipe to the HTV list. The rich tomatoey flavor combined with the melty goodness of cheese is enough to disguise Grandma wearing army boots!  This is a weekly favorite in my house.

Because I will be regularly bringing HTV back as a recurring spot on this website, it is important that I give you a few basic guidelines to follow when embarking on an HTV challenge. This may sound silly, but these rules MUST be followed in order to benefit you and your family, and allow you to maintain your position as a trustworthy cook.

HTV Guidelines

1. Only hide the vegetables from children as an absolute last resort.  HTV is aimed at grown-ups more than children. It is for those that are simply too far gone, and teaching them to love veggies requires a little more ingenuity. Children must be exposed to many fruits and vegetables as early as possible. It should not be extraordinary to see children under 5 munching on salad greens-it should just be. The more exposure children get at a young age, the less finicky they will be. Many don’t know that it may take a child ten tries to finally like a food. So parents, never give up! If they make the lemon pucker face with their spinach puree at 9 months old, try again in few weeks, and again in a few more. Now there are always those children (and husbands) that just absolutely refuse to eat their veggies after years of trying everything under the sun-that is where HTV comes in.

2. Never lie. HTV is a fun way to incorporate that extra punch of nutrients into otherwise drab meals, but it is not intended to ruin your integrity as cook- or a human being for that matter. Remember we are only going to HTV out of love, so if you don’t mention that head of cabbage tucked away in the apple pie (oh yeah…it’s possible), it is perfectly fine. However, if you are ever questioned, you MUST tell the truth! Just be nonchalant and explain that you are “adding more years to their life and more life to their years” because you love them! Who could be mad at that?! Deceiving your loved one is simply unloving, and if caught, will turn them into a Sherlock Holmes of your kitchen. Don’t do it!

3. Capitalize on the vegetables that they do eat. There are always a few veggies that your picky eater does admit to enjoying. These are weapons that should be kept in our back pocket- never to be over used, but released in full force when the time is right. When these veggies are appropriate for a recipe, go crazy. The idea is to utilize every opportunity to get those immune-boosting, disease-fighting veggie nutrients into the meal without having to constantly sneak around. Substitute hated ingredients for those that are loved, double the amount of tolerated veggies in recipes, and just be creative!

This HTV Pizza supplies 100% of your daily Vitamin C, 59% Vitamin A, and 52% daily Calcium requirements…and the best part is, your victims will never know it!  The pizza begins with a whole grain crust that is topped with a sneaky tomato sauce and kale puree. My husband would never let kale pass his lips, and for that reason I have no other choice but to hide it! That kale will never be seen again, as I then cover it with part-skim mozzarella cheese. He will tolerate peppers and onions. So I chop them up very small and sauté. By cooking them before adding to the pizza, their flavors will become milder and do not stand out as strongly as they would if I were to add them raw. Next, my husband LOVES sausage (no surprise-anything that will clog an artery is on his favorites list), so of course I had to incorporate it. The secret when using these fatty meats is to buy smaller portions of high-quality cuts. So I purchased one, quite large, uncooked hot turkey sausage link (you may want 2 links if they are on the smaller side). If you cannot purchase just one or two links, save the remainder – they freeze quite well. Another little secret is to remove the sausage from its casing and crumble into very small pieces as you add it to the peppers and onions in the sauté pan. You want very small pieces of sausage so that a small amount can be stretched to cover the entire pizza. By cooking it with the other vegetables, the peppers and onions will now take on and carry that sausage flavor throughout the pie. After adding this mixture to the pizza, the final toping is a manly portion of sliced raw mushrooms. Here is where I am capitalizing on the vegetable that is adored by my husband. As you see from the pics, I went crazy with them. Although it truly is a Veggie Lover’s Special, this pizza does not at all taste like it, trust me! It tastes like a rich ooey, gooey, sausagey delight, and returns weekly to my dinner table by popular demand!

Dough Rolling

Dough with spinach and sauce Dough with cheese and veg Close up of mushroom Close up of cookes pizza


Here is the full recipe:

Ingredients: Serves 4

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

12 oz (½ of 1- 25 oz Jar) Low-Sodium Pasta Sauce

5 oz Frozen Chopped Kale, thawed and drained

1 Ball of Store Bought, Whole Grain Pizza Dough -or- 1 Precooked Whole Wheat Thin Pizza Crust

2 Cups Low-Sodium Part-Skim Mozzarella Cheese

1 Small Green Bell Pepper

1 Small Red or Orange Bell Pepper

1 Medium Onion

1-2 Links Hot Italian Turkey or Chicken Sausage

2 Cups Sliced Button Mushrooms

1 Tablespoon Dried Oregano

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. In this recipe, I used fresh store-bought dough from Whole Foods and rolled it out myself. I like this dough because it is a mixture of whole wheat and regular white flour. This is hard to find anywhere else. So you can make your own or for a shortcut, I recommend using a whole wheat, thin pizza crust that requires no cooking. A good example is Boboli 100% Whole Wheat crust. If you decide to use fresh dough, begin by flouring a clean surface. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough to desired shape, it should be quite thin. I like a free-form shape. Just make sure it fits into the pan that you will use – I use a rectangular half sheet pan. To prepare your pan, apply a thin layer of olive oil so there will be no sticking, and transfer the dough to the pan. Now for the sneaky part… In most cases the next step is usually the sauce. Make sure you choose a low-sodium sauce, premade is perfectly fine. In a blender, combine 12 oz of sauce and 5 oz of chopped kale, and puree until smooth.  Spread evenly on dough, leaving ½ inch of crust. I like to add a few spoons of plain sauce (without kale) to the edges, just so this green mixture doesn’t poke out from the cheese too much. Go ahead and add the mozzarella cheese. Meanwhile, sauté peppers and onion until soft. Remove the sausage from its casing and crumble into very small pieces as you add it to the pepper and onion mixture. Sauté until sausage is cooked through then spread evenly over pizza. Top with sliced mushrooms and oregano. Place in preheated oven and cook for 24-30 minutes. If using a pre-cooked crust, cook for 12-18 minutes.

Slice and Enjoy!


Nutrition Information per Serving:   518 Calories, 16 g fat (7g saturated, 1g polyunsaturated, 5 g monounsaturated), 0g Trans Fat, 813 mg sodium, 58g carbohydrate, 7g fiber, 35g protein, 59% vitamin A, 108% vitamin C, 52% Calcium

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