06/23/2015 12:51 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

5 Delicious Veggie-Loaded Recipes Your Kids Will Love

leonori via Getty Images

It's an issue as old as dinner itself. Mom or dad spends a ton of time preparing a well balanced meal for the family - and as dinnertime winds down, there's an inordinate amount of green stuff left on the plate of anyone under the age of 15. Kids won't eat their veggies? It's all good. Hide 'em (the vegetables, not the kids!). Or, better yet, transform the vegetables into something more fun to eat than a pile of green beans that just get fed to the dog under the table while you aren't looking. Here are five dishes to ensure your kids are getting the nutrients they need, as they tuck into their dinner plates with a gusto usually reserved for Skittles and Slim Jims.

1. Spaghetti Squash Yakisoba Style


The cool thing about this dish is that it is totally comprised of vegetables - but doesn't necessarily look like it. Spaghetti squash is high in fiber and low in fat (and the stringy, slightly chewy strands of squash almost resemble noodles). Tell your kids this savory dish is a new kind of pasta they haven't tried before. When the truth comes to light, it shouldn't scar them too badly.

2. Mushroom Barley Burger with Sriracha Mayo


These mushroom barley burgers are packed with deep flavor - and equally important, they happen to be good for you. The mushrooms bring the umami, and the barley binds it all together, approximating the texture of meat. Load them up with all the fixings and a healthy dollop of sriracha mayo, and watch your kids ask for seconds.

3. Vegetable Ricotta Pie


Zucchini, red bell peppers and sun-dried tomatoes baked with eggs, pecorino Romano and ricotta sounds like a fancy-lady-day brunch dish (possibly served with a few too many mimosas). But, in reality, this vegetable pie hits some of the flavor notes of a good pizza. The kids won't believe it's pizza BTW.

4. Daikon Noodles with Creamy Avocado Sauce


The impossible crunch from the daikon radish is complemented by creamy avocado and sweet corn. Soy sauce and lime juice bring the salt and the tang. The entire experience is made more fun by twirling the 'noodles' up in your fork like you're all eating carbonara at the family's favorite trattoria.

5. Baked and Stuffed Zucchini Boats


This is a fun recipe that your kids may even feel inclined to pitch in and help you make! Zucchini and bell peppers are loaded up with bits of bacon, olives and plenty of cheese, and into the oven they go. What you pull out ends up looking and tasting almost like French bread pizzas, but that bread just happens to be a vegetable this time!