Can you guess the Veggies in this meat sauce??

Looks like a typical meat sauce and spaghetti, right? Well here's a perfect example on how you can pack some of your favorite recipes with more veggies, whether it's for you or your kids.

This recipe was loosely taken from Rachael Ray's Pappardelle and Lamb Meat Sauce.

I simply adapted it to what I had available and "hid" a bunch of extra veggies in there. I used buffalo instead of lamb, thanks to a recent sale at my local store where I bought about 4 one-pound packages of ground buffalo and stored them in the freezer. Buffalo is more lean than beef, yet tastes about the same.

I also added finely chopped celery, fennel bulb and about 1 cup of pureed greens for extra veggies. Not only that, but instead of adding the milk to give that creamy texture, I added a cup of pureed butternut squash. Since I wasn't using lamb, I opted for the traditional Italian spices, basil and oregano, instead of the orange zest and rosemary.

This is a great way to add nutritional value to your foods. The little steps really do add up! Whether you want to incorporate more vegetables and fiber into your diet, or you have some picky eaters in your household, purees can be essential! I use them all the time, and I like veggies! Once you start experimenting with different flavors and textures, you'll realize how easy it is to create cheesy or milky textures with pureed squash or avocado, or add depth of flavor with pureed greens. Your getting the added nutrition and fiber, reducing you need for a multivitamin or added supplements.

Combine that with using a whole grain, high-protein pasta and you've got a much healthier meal, packed with flavor and antioxidants!

Cooking is medicine! It's just a matter of making good decisions on making your favorite recipes more nutritionally sound.