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Hospital-i-Tea Blog-a-Thon: Decor-a-Tea

I Confess


I confess,

I hate broccoli and cauliflower. I have had them roasted, served with an amazing sauce, even  Les Bouquinistes can not get me to like them. So I am looking for ways to eat these foods. I read Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld and it gave me some great ideas of how to sneak in pureed veggies. I started with broccoli. I bought a large bag from Costco, I steamed them, I pureed them and put cup fulls in little baggies (which I then put all those little baggies into a big freezer baggie). Now I have frozen puree on-hand to throw into dishes whenever I want. I have put the purees into chili (a fav.), spaghetti sauce, sauteed veggies, pesto. I have put pureed cauliflower into mashed potatoes and my family (and I) have loved it all. You really can not tell that it is there.  I am still playing with ways to sneak it in.  If you are picky like me, I challenge you to try sneaking in some broccoli xoxoxoxo

Pasta With Broccoli Meatballs, Roasted Red Peppers and Mushrooms

Tips for the meatballs:

You can take any recipe you love and add the broccoli puree. Just remember you are adding moisture and so decrease your other wet ingredients.

I make my meatballs on the wet side for a tender meatball. I bake my meatballs or cook them strait in the sauce I am serving them. If you want to fry them in a pan, these will not work well. They are to wet and fragile.

Do not over mix.

Keep them on the small side.

You can make meatballs ahead of time and freeze them. Bake off frozen, they will only take a few minutes longer.

For the meatballs

1 pd. ground beef or turkey or chicken

1/2 cup of broccoli puree

1 egg

1 cup plain bread crumbs (I use panko, I get from the bulk section)

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped or smashed

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Salt and pepper

1 TBL. smoked paprika

Gently mix all ingredient and roll into balls. They can be any size, but when serving them with pasta I like to make very small ones. Like the size of a walnut. Set on cookie sheet to bake. They can be close together but not touching. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Till cooked on the inside but browned on the outside.

For the pasta

1 1/2 pounds uncooked pasta (cook while meatballs are baking)

Sauteed mushroom 

Roasted red peppers, chopped

<<<< amounts is to your liking

Salt and pepper

Gently toss cooked pasta with meatballs, mushroom, roasted peppers, salt and pepper. If pasta seems to dry, drizzle a bit of olive oil over it. Serve with cheese of your liking. Parmesan, crumbled goat or blue cheese, also feta would all be wonderful.


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This sounds like a perfect idea for a 'sneaky mom' like myself to get her kids to eat some veggies!
Thanks Clarice,


Gumbo Lily

Being a ranch woman and cattle producer, I beg you, hold your nose and eat your broccoli if you must, but don't ruin a perfectly good meatball with it!



I do like those vegetables but the recipe and tips you shared are another fun way to enjoy them. Thank you, Miss Clarice!


I'm sorry, I like those veggies. I don't like lima beans though.


I can't seem to get passed the smell of either broccoli or cauliflower. I m not sure I'd even be able to cook them. Do you smell them at all in the recipes?
my Grandma used to smuggle carrots into the spaghetti sauce...

Cece Marie

What a great idea! I'm so darn tired of uninspired veges. I just love the idea of sneaking them in!


For Brocoli I steam until just tender it needs to have a bite. then I squeeze lemon juice over the brocoli, drizzle virgin olive oil and then sea salt and black pepper. Have you tried purple stem brocoli or tendersweet brocoli instead of the regular large head? My children who would not eat it loved it. I have to say that I cannot eat cauliflower unless I have grated cheese on the top and grilled it in the oven.


I'm impatiently waiting for my turn to read that cookbook (library hold). Glad to hear you found it worthwhile. We're veggie lovers around here, but I'm always on the lookout for new ideas. ThanX for the tip!


I love broccoli and cauliflower, but I may try those meatballs sometimes. I love pasta. Every meal should be with pasta, yum...

The Glitter Fairy

What a great idea, Clarice! Must try that as my son is not a good veggie eater. I will sneak it in the red sauce!
So good to hear from you.
Glittery hugs comin' at 'ya!


Hmm...I love broccoli and cauliflower. But even though I do not have that in common with you, I *do* have those same April Cornell napkin rings :>) Have a great day!


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