How to Eat Your Veggies -- and Make ’em Yummy!

When you’re lookin’ for chow, we doubt you start with that pile of leftover peas in the fridge. But don’t be so quick to turn your nose up when it comes to snacking on vegetables.

We’ve rounded up the best-ever dee-lish after-school snacks featuring veggies as the main ingredients. So good you’ll totally forget it’s broccoli!

Dip It!
We’re not talkin’ about those not-so-healthful creamy dips for chips. Instead, go for something exotic, like baba ghanoush or hummus. Huh-wha … ? Baba ghanoush (dig that name, right?) is made from mashed roasted eggplant, and hummus is pureed chickpeas. These savory dips come in different varieties -- such as spicy chipotle or sweet red pepper -- to suit any palette. They taste awesome with crunchy raw veggies, like celery sticks or strips of green pepper. Seriously, don’t knock ’em till you try ’em.

Hot Stuff
Soup is good food, especially when you’re craving a nice cup of comfort! The best soups allow the veggies to take center stage -- tomato, mushroom, French onion and, of course, vegetable soup. (Duh!) But don’t be afraid to try other, less garden-variety (get it?) soups, like butternut squash or black bean. These meals are as fulfilling as they are tasty.

Steam Boat
Broccoli, cauliflower and squash are good not only raw, but also steamed. Don’t have a steamer? The microwave does the job! Just put cut-up veggies in a microwave-safe bowl, add a bit of water, cover with plastic wrap, and cook on high in one-minute intervals until tender. For extra oomph, toss in a pinch of salt, a pat of butter and a handful of shredded cheddar, and you’re golden!

Rainbow Bright
Ever stop to appreciate the brilliant colors in veggies? Thank you, Mother Nature! Next time you’re hosting a group study sesh, ask Mom to stock up on the essentials for a rainbow veggie platter. The trick here is to use an array of colors. The bell pepper family is a good place to start with red, orange, green and yellow. Then add some staples like grape tomatoes, broccoli, carrots and cauliflower. Put some ranch dressing or honey mustard on the side for dunking. Take it to the next level by adding a handful of black and green olives. Hmm. … Let the debate begin: Are olives fruits or veggies?

Stuff It!
Tired of the ho-hum ham-and-cheese sammie? Practically any veggie can help plump up your sandwich bread or flour tortilla wrap. Avocadoes and spinach are nutritional powerhouses, and alfalfa sprouts add depth and flavor. Lettuce and tomatoes are the old standbys, but why not try something different, like sliced cucumber or shredded carrot? Or get really fancy and add marinated portabella mushrooms or artichokes. Oh, and instead of mayo, try a smear of hummus.