I pulled out my cookie cutters for this fun project! I often work with families whose kids are picky eaters. When they are reluctant to try vegetables, a few tricks work wonders.
Color, shape, and texture make a huge difference! We eat with our eyes first, so bright colors with contrast work well. I superimposed two brightly colored vegetables by using a single cookie cutter. Simply slice two different firm vegetables or fruits of choice into 1/4″ thick medallions and use a small cookie cutter to punch out the same shape from both types of produce medallions. Next, swap their middles. The fun cutout shapes make the vegetables cuter and more fun to play with. Roasting the veggie medallions caramelizes their natural sugars and brings out a sweeter flavor. The texture becomes softer, but not mushy as it would from boiling.
Top it and dip it! Want to convince your picky eater to try a new vegetable? Try putting cheese on it! These medallions are topped with a broiled Italian cheese blend! Still not quite right? Make these taste like pizza by letting your kiddos dip them in pizza or pasta sauce! You could even get sneaky and puree some steamed veggies into the sauce.
Roasted Veggie Cutouts
A fun way to serve vegetables to picky eaters.
1 sweet potato
1 thick zucchini squash
salt & pepper
1/3 cup shredded cheese
1/3 cup pizza or spaghetti sauce (optional)
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. While the oven is preheating, slice the sweet potato and zucchini into 1/4″ thick medallions.
- Use a small (approx. 1.5″ diameter) cookie cutter to punch a shape out of every vegetable medallion.
- Spray an aluminum foil lined cookie sheet with cooking spray. Arrange the medallions on the cookie sheet, leaving about 1/2″ of space between medallions. Swap the centers of the vegetable cutouts to create contrast.
- Bake for 10 minutes at 425 degrees F. Flip each medallion combo over using a spatula and bake for 5-10 minutes more, or until golden and tender.
- Top each medallion with a sprinkle of shredded cheese. Broil briefly, just until melted and bubbly. Allow to cool slightly and serve with pizza sauce, if desired.
Check out these other fun fruit and vegetable shapes in this month’s Recipe ReDux!
When I was a kid, I could eat 20 Pizza Rolls in a single sitting and still be hungry. I’m sure I could still do that, but I would probably feel sick to my stomach afterward. Here’s a healthier way to indulge in bite-sized pizza -like snacks! These zucchini medallions are delicious and filling. A single zucchini and link of chicken sausage make 20 mini “pizza bites.”
1 fully cooked chicken sausage link (I used Casual Gourmet red pepper and spinach sausage)
1/4 cup finely shredded cheese (I used Colby jack)
1/3 cup marinara sauce (I used La Victoria brand)
1. Slice the zucchini into 1/4″ thick slices, or about 20 pieces. If you’re in a hurry or really hungry, save time by cutting the zucchini lengthwise into 4-5 strips instead.
2. Broil the zucchini on a baking sheet for 2-3 minutes, then flip the slices and broil for 2-3 minutes more on the other side.
3. While the zucchini slices are broiling, slice the sausage link carefully into 20 slices. If you’re making zucchini strips, you can just cut the sausage into 4-5 strips lengthwise instead.
4. Top each medallion or zucchini strip with a thin layer of marinara sauce, a sprinkling of cheese, and a slice of chicken sausage.
5. Broil for 2 minutes more, or until the sausage is heated through and cheese is bubbly. Serve immediately and enjoy!
Look at all that food! All for under 300 calories and ready in less than 15 minutes.
I hope you’ll enjoy this healthy alternative to Pizza Rolls and Bagel Bites as much as I did! I had them for dinner a few nights in a row since zucchini was only a dollar a pound at the grocery store.
I had to make this recipe a second time to share with you. I didn’t take any pictures or write anything down the first time around because I had no idea it would be this good! This pasta sauce is perfect over zucchini noodles or short pasta.
1/2 onion, sliced
2 cups sliced cremini mushrooms
1 tbs olive oil
1/2 tbs minced garlic
1 tbs butter
2 tbs flour
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup white wine
2 tbs cream cheese
1 cup shredded chicken (rotisserie)
Several slices diced salami (optional)
2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
Freshly shredded parmesan
(2 zucchini, spiralized or 2 cups cooked pasta)
1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet and add sliced onions. Sauté for a couple of minutes before adding mushrooms and garlic.
2. When the vegetables begin to soften, push them to the side of the frying pan. Melt butter in the pan and add the flour. Mix together to form the roux.
3. Add chicken broth and white wine. Stir all the vegetables into the sauce and simmer to thicken.
4. Add cream cheese, chicken, salami, seasonings, and parmesan cheese. Stir to combine and melt.
5. Serve the sauce over spiralized zucchini or freshly cooked pasta.
I think you’ll love this dish! The flavors work together elegantly to create a creamy pasta sauce that you’ll be glad you stayed home for! It beats most restaurant pasta sauces I’ve tried. Let me know what you think of it.
Check out my favorite new kitchen tool, the Spiralizer!
This gadget set me back $34.99 on amazon.com, but it’s well worth it for the sweet potato curly fries and zucchini noodles I can make with it!
2 zucchini or summer squash, julienne’d or spiralized
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbs olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1. Sprinkle the zucchini spirals or shreds with salt and toss to coat evenly. Allow to rest in a colander for 15-20 mins to get excess moisture out. Soak up the moisture with paper towels and squeeze gently.
2. Heat olive oil in a pan and sauté the garlic briefly. Add the zucchini shreds and sauté for about 2 minutes.
3. Serve with your favorite sauce or sprinkle with toasted almond meal!
I brought these to a potluck at work today and am happy to say they reheat well!