Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Eat Your Veggies!

One of our first weeks of the CSA last year.
One of my biggest pet peeves is inviting someone to dinner only to find out that they're "not big on" vegetables.  Hmm.  Well, I'm not big on heart disease and other bad health conditions, so we eat ours here.  Vegetables are one of the best things you can provide for your body.  Fresh and frozen are best, but canned will work in a pinch (though you're getting significantly less nutrients).
Mediterranean tart: yellow squash, zucchini, red onions, tomatoes and goat cheese.
Did I grow up eating a lot of veggies?  Um... no.  Our general choices were either green beans or corn cooked, and raw we might have carrots and iceberg lettuce (which I find vile and would pour dressing all over).  We just didn't eat a lot of veggies.  G's family ate quite a bit more variety, but to be honest he generally hated what he ate (note: canned peas suck).  When we got married I decided that for our health we were going to try a variety and eat a variety.  And I love veggies now!  Squash is a huge winter staple because we can eat it cubed, shredded, and pureed into soup!
This was the beginning of the squash overload, with spaghetti, acorn and butternut squash.
The key is being an adult and making yourself eat something you might not have an acquired taste for.  Acquired is the key word there.  Within 20 times of trying something closer together in succession, you will gain a taste for it and even come to love it!  I used to think I hated cabbage, but now realize that cooked well, I will fight you for it!  Same goes for brussels sprouts, broccoli (which btw should be avoided raw since you're body can't break it down and you get very little nutrients... you need to at least steam it), beets, etc.
Pizza with zucchini, tomatoes and eggplant.

I'm still not a huge fan of eggplant, but I've found ways to work it into the diet.  Green bell peppers still seem off to me, but I usually make sure to eat them when offered.  And I absolutely am not a fan of beet greens, but in order to not waste them and their amazing nutrients I eat them.... covered in hot sauce like I would with other greens.  They're also good chopped and tossed into soup.
Roasted chicken with beets and beet greens!
I'm excited to have our child grow up only knowing to eat their vegetables.  I joked today that pregnancy has been the best "diet" ever as I've noticed my legs and arms are slimmer and that seeing as how I can see where my belly has extended, I think even my waistline will be smaller after I deliver.  Part of that has to do with my loss of appetite.  But even with my loss of appetite I made sure to take excellent care of myself.  Last night I had roasted chicken, roasted beets and some broccoli that needed to be eaten (that I roasted to make parts of it crisp).  I have a hard time getting enough protein in, and have to remind myself to do so, but am getting a ton of fruits, vegetables, and dairy in with healthy fats.
Roasted brussels sprouts
I don't think any of us sets out to eat ourselves to death, but even those at a healthy weight may be doing so.  You need to be conscious of the foods you eat in order to keep your body running strong.  Vegetables, supposed to be a huge part of your diet, are a good way to help get that done!
Roasted asparagus with mushrooms
Are there any vegetables you tend to avoid out of fear or dislike?  Maybe I can help you come up with a new way to try them!
Pumpkin and black bean soup!


  1. I think we had very similar vegetable upbringings. We also had frozen corn, peas, and the dreaded "mixed vegetables," blech, with salads of iceberg lettuce and Ranch dressing. I shudder to think.

  2. Oh, I absolutely love my veg! I was fed lots of vegetables as a child and I didn't like them all, but now I love everything except parsnip ... My kids are a bit fussy - one eats most veg; the other eats hardly any :)

  3. I grew up eating mostly Asian veggies: bitter gourds, long beans, asain eggplants and mustard leaves, etc. But we did get our carrots and celery too! I love veggies and in India I got to try veggies that I had never eaten like red and white beets, okra, red daikon and others I'm sure but don't remember. Yes, i'm all about eating your veggies! Your pumpkin soup looks delish, mind to share the recipe?

  4. I was really lucky: growing up, we had vegetables at every meals. During summer, granma would give us veggies from her small field (tomatoes, zucchini - which I never liked - green beans, potatoes) and several kinds of fruit.
    Today I am so fond of tomatoes that I am able to eat them whole, as you'd eat an apple, without any dressing - if it's a good tomato of course. So, I don't find eating veggies a chore.

    I think if your little escargot gets used to eating veggies and fruits from the very beginning, he'll love them for the rest of his/her life. I can see this in my niece: she asks apricoats and carrots as a snack!

  5. Beautiful post kalee! Any ideas on what to do with extra cucumbers? I have a TON from my garden already. I am thinking about trying an easy pickling recipe as well as a peanut cucumber salad with some whole wheat pasta. But any ideas are welcome! I think I might be blessed with a ton of cucumbers this year :)

  6. Kate, all of these recipes look AMAZING! Like, seriously amazing. I want to make each one of them! I like some vegetables but am always looking for a way to incorporate more into my diet. I usually take a fruit and a vegetable to work with me every day (in addition to my sandwich for lunch) and try to eat them before I snack on anything else. I'd love to eat even more veggies. You're right--they're so so good for your body!

  7. All of this looks delish. I'm really into greens right now: kale, chard, spinach, etc. A quick saute, some chopped garlic, crunchy Maldon salt, and I'm in heaven.

    I'm currently experimenting with making mock mashed potatoes out of cauliflower. With nutmeg, cream, and butter - how bad could it be?

  8. My upbringing was the complete opposite of yours. We had a huge vegetable garden (my parents in their 80's are still raising one)and I have memories of running out to the garden right before dinner to get a tomato, leaf lettuce, or radishes. I am a firm believer in introducing various vegetables to children at an early age. I would eat dinner with you anytime....just not the mushrooms (allergic!)

  9. I grew up with no veggies! I think that is part of the reason I seem to have detested them my whole life! Being an adult, I realize I HAVE to eat veg and am giving it my best effort. I do very much love some of the basics like green beans, steamed carrots, peas and corn. I freakin love corn!! Every now and then, I ENJOY broccoli. I'm even eating salads regularly. Roman lettuce is so yummy!
    I'm not opposed to trying other veggies, I just havent worked myself up to trying more.
    I will say that thanks to your niece refusing to touch her main meal until she eats every last veggie, we have vegetables at every lunch and dinner. Its getting better and Im totally open to suggestions on veg dishes.