Gina Neely's tips for sneaking veggies into weeknight meals (VIDEO)

Oct 9, 2014 at 6:00 p.m. ET

If you're anything like me, you strive to provide healthy meals for your family most days of the week. But if you're also anything like me, then you know that sometimes this is easier said than done. That's why I was thrilled to sit down with celebrity chef Gina Neely to talk about how she manages to sneak veggies into weeknight meals.

Partnering with Green Giant for its Fresh Take on What to Make campaign, Gina has been passionate about healthy eating ever since losing weight last year. Although originally known for Southern-style cooking show Down Home with the Neelys, the soon-to-be-divorced Food Network star now opts for a healthy salad, roasted salmon and sweet potato as her go-to dinner. Speaking with SheKnows exclusively about the difficulty of creating easy, vegetable-heavy weeknight meals, Gina shares her top 5 tips for sneaking in veggies.

  1. Watch the exclusive Mom vs. Food video above, in which Gina discusses what you should always have on hand to make easy weeknight meals.
  2. Let kids participate in the cooking process, which makes food more fun for them. Have them pick out a new vegetable to try in the store or decide which veggies should go on top of a gourmet pizza.
  3. To make a new meal out of leftovers, keep chicken broth, canned green beans and peas in your pantry and some carrots on hand. Then simply throw it all into a pot, and make soup.
  4. If you have only 15 minutes, then make whole-wheat pasta, and have the kids pick out the veggies to add (like spinach and cherry tomatoes). Then sprinkle with minced garlic for flavor.
  5. Always have a few go-to recipes and the ingredients to make them. In the recipe below, you can use Green Giant Steamers to add veggies to individual pot pies.

Gina Neely Chicken Pot Pies

Photo credit: Green Giant

Gina's quick 'n' easy chicken pot pies recipe

These individual-sized chicken pot pies are easy to throw together for a quick dinner.

Serves 5

Prep time: 5 minutes | Bake time: 12-15 minutes | Total time: 17-20 minutes


  • 1 (10.2 ounce) can Pillsbury Grands Homestyle Buttermilk Biscuits (5 count)
  • 1 (12 ounce) package Green Giant Steamers broccoli, carrots, cauliflower and cheese sauce
  • 2 cups cooked chicken, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese


  1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees F. Microwave the vegetables as directed on the package.
  2. Meanwhile, roll out each biscuit into a 5-inch circle. Press 1 biscuit into each cup of a 6-cup jumbo muffin pan, overlapping the top edge of pan.
  3. Divide the chicken equally into the biscuit-lined cups. Top each cup with the vegetable mixture. Sprinkle each with Parmesan cheese.
  4. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Loosen the edges with a metal spatula to remove the pot pies from the pan.

More healthy weeknight meals

Miniature macaroni and cheese cups
Spicy enchilada quinoa casserole

Steel-cut oat bean chili