Friday, April 13, 2012

Country Crock makes Veggies Fun and Tasty with Tips, Recipes and More!

This post is sponsored by Country Crock. I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective, and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

It isn't uncommon for me to tease my husband that our children eat more vegetables than he does. After all, he deserves a little ribbing for the fact that he'll eat a salad consisting of only lettuce and tomatoes, while our 5-year-old and 3-year-old happily munch on their plate of spinach, peppers, cucumbers, celery and much more, right?

However, whether I'm cooking for the girls or for our whole family, I'm always on the hunt for fun and creative ways to add more vegetables to our lives. You just can never have enough! While we do enjoy eating our veggies raw, I also know that it's good to have a secret weapon when it's time to bring them over to the stove. For us, that's definitely the delicious, nutritious Country Crock.

Country Crock

With 70% less saturated fat and 30% fewer calories than butter and containing 0 trans fat, Country Crock has long been an easy way for moms everywhere to add more veggies to the table. After all, 8 out of 10 kids think veggies with Country Crock are delicious and there's no need to work to hide them when kids are already happy to eat them!

So, when I was introduced to two new ways that Country Crock makes incorporating vegetables even easier, I was excited to check them out. First, the Crock Country Chronicle, a resource destination for quick and simple tips and recipes to help make serving veggies fun. Find news, entertainment, good eating habits and much more that will leave you craving fresh, spring veggies.

Country Crock Chronicle logo

When it comes to whipping up something tasty with those veggies, however, Country Crock's chef, Clare Crespo, has put together a cookbook that is not to be missed... especially because it's free to download! The Clare Crespo Cookbook is full of fun, whimsical, step-by-step recipes that families are sure to love.

Just browsing through all of the cute, kid-friendly recipes was making me inspired. From enjoying the Out of the Park Baseballs while watching a game to giggling over the Bear Paws at a cookout to enjoying the tasty Pizza Flag for the 4th of July, there's no doubt that my kids would eat them all!

kid-friendly recipes

As it had been a while since we enjoyed pasta salad (one of our favorite dishes) around here, when I came upon the Pasta Full of Posies, I knew that the girls would be excited to find it on the menu. Who wouldn't be when it looks this adorable?

Pasta Full of Posies

8 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes

2 yellow and/or orange bell peppers (although there's no need to limit yourself to orange or yellow peppers – use any colors you'd like!)
1 package (16 oz.) whole wheat penne (or pasta of your choice)
3 Tbsp. Country Crock® Spread
1 Tbsp. olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese
5 cherry tomatoes, halved
7 basil or baby spinach leaves

Chop off top and bottom of peppers. Slice down the side, remove the seeds and lay pepper flat. Cut into petal shapes.

Boil pasta according to package directions; drain. Melt Country Crock® Spread and heat olive oil on the stove over medium heat in a pan big enough to hold pasta. Cook garlic and peppers together for about 5 minutes. With tongs, remove pepper petals and set aside.

Add pasta and cheese to garlic and toss together. Put pasta in shallow serving dish. Arrange tomato halves on top and surround them with pepper petals to make "flowers." Add a basil or baby spinach leaf to each flower.

Although my creation wasn't quite as photogenic as that of the Clare Crespo Cookbook, I was still happy with the way that it came out! Plus, as one of the best parts of a recipe is being able to tweak and alter it to make it work for you, I added in a few extra ingredients and spices for a custom meal sure to be a hit.

pasta salad
It was only after my Pasta Full of Posies had been disassembled and everyone was eating that I realized that I had forgotten to put on the spinach leaves for the finishing touch. Oh well, can't win 'em all.
As well as the attractiveness, however, I was happy that both of my girls gobbled down multiple bowls of this pasta salad, raving the entire time about its taste. Thanks to Country Crock, the noodles and veggies tasted delicious!

pasta salad for kids

Whether veggies receive cheers or boos around your house, Country Crock is always a good choice to complete your meal and ensure that it will receive smiles all around. Be sure to connect with Country Crock on Facebook and Twitter for even more great suggestions and ideas.
And, if you are looking for quick and simple tips and recipes to make serving veggies more fun, be sure to download the free Clare Crespo Cookbook here for fun and whimsical recipes your family is sure to love!


Pamela Scott said...

cute ideas I love that pizza flag pinned it so i can remember that for the Fourth!!!