I don’t know about you, but I get tired of eating the standard canned beans and peas, and the garden variety of frozen veggie bags..But, I know as a mother, (and a wife) how important it is to serve my family vegetables each night. My husband and daughter don’t really care for salad, so I like to look for creative and inexpensive vegetable recipes to prepare. Here are a few of my recent favorites for you.

Twice Baked Zucchini Potatoes

We have an abundance of zucchini, and while I adore my zucchini bread (post to come soon!), and my zucchini chocolate chip cake (on the blog), I am always looking for new ways to get my family to eat it. No one in the family besides myself really care for zucchini when it is just sauteed by itself. Towards that end, when I saw this recipe, I knew I had to try it! (We will actually be eating this for dinner tonight!)

Ingredients: 4 large baking potatoes (or however many people are in your family) , 2-3 cups of shredded zucchini (as a tip, if you want to hide the zucchini from your children, peel it before you grate it! The middle of the squash is much harder to spot than the dark green peel!), 1 small onion (if you are lucky enough to get to cook with onions…I am not.), 3 T butter or margarine, 1/2 cup sour cream (cream cheese or cream of chicken soup will work if you don’t have sour cream), salt and pepper to taste, grated cheese (why bother putting an amount..just put in how much you like!)

Wash your potatoes well, and poke with a fork. Bake at 400 degrees for an hour, or until tender. (You can also bake them in the microwave! Much faster!)

Meanwhile, saute the zucchini and onion in butter or olive oil until tender. Season with salt and pepper.

When your potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut in half, and gently scoop out the middle of the potatoes and place potato filling in bowl. Make sure you don’t scrape too hard and ruin the peel.Stir in the sour cream (or soup, or cream cheese), several tablespoons of butter, salt and pepper, cheese, (and perhaps a little milk if you like a smoother texture). Mash well until the consistency you like. (I personally whip mine with my hand blender.)

Stir the zucchini and onion mixture into the mashed potatoes. Spoon into the potato shells (or use a piping bag if you want to be fancy). Sprinkle with grated cheese and bake for 25 minutes or so in a 350 degree oven, or until mixture is heated through and cheese is melted. Yum!!

Creamed Corn with Bacon (Okay, so this isn’t exactly a “healthy” vegetable dish…but it is GOOD!)

Ingredients: 1 small onion finely chopped (you can omit it if you have an onion hater in your house as I do), 1 T butter, 4 cups fresh corn (frozen works too), 1 c heavy cream (told ya it wasn’t healthy), 1/4 c chicken broth, 4 bacon strips cooked and crumbled (all things in moderation right?), 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Saute your onion in the butter until almost translucent. Add corn to skillet and saute until onion and corn are tender. Onions may caramelize a bit, which is fine. Stir in the cream, broth, bacon, and pepper to taste. Cook for 5-7 minutes, or until slightly thickened.Stir in cheese before serving.

How good does that sound?

Sweet Baby Carrots

Ingredients: Baby carrots, chicken broth, butter, brown sugar, water (I don’t really measure, so I’ll give you approximations.)

I really like to mix sweet and savory. I came up with this recipe several years ago, and really love it. Start by steaming up some baby carrots. Steam the carrots until they are almost fork tender, as they will cook a bit more in the glaze, and you don’t want them to get mushy.

In a large skillet, melt several T of butter, and stir in about a cup of chicken broth. Add your steamed carrots. Sprinkle in about 1/4 cup of brown sugar, and stir well. Let your carrots cook in the sweet broth until it has reduced down to a glaze.

This is DELICIOUS. Man, I wish we had some carrots!

Enjoy these tasty new ways to serve up some veggies! Ditch the can and try one of these recipes on your family!

(*The first two recipes were adapted from Taste of Home.)