For those of you who claim to NOT like vegetables, I feel compelled to say that chances are you haven’t given them a chance. I was, for many years, a vegetarian who really didn’t like veggies (except, of course, potatoes!). My mom, who by the way was born on this very day, did try to get us to eat our greens, including salads with most dinners, but most of the veggies I remember eating came from a can. I do remember my mom making frozen spinach and mixing it up with a mashed baked potato. I LOVED that. But, with peas and corn and other vegetables coming from a can, it’s no wonder I thought I didn’t like them. When the kids were growing up, I worked most nights and stocked the freezer with Green Giant mixed vegetables in a pouch. Some of them were not half bad, but the sodium was high and the portions were teeny tiny.
I am sad to admit that it wasn’t really until I began leaning so heavily into a plant-based diet (and no longer worked 4 nights a week!) that I started experimenting with all kinds of vegetables, in all kinds of combinations, cooked all kinds of ways, that I learned I LOVE VEGETABLES!!! For a while I was addicted to grilling eggplant, zucchini and portobello mushrooms. Then, I learned how much stir-frying changes the texture and taste of foods like red cabbage, turning a crunchy somewhat bitter vegetable into a yummy, sweet treat. Who knew kale could become a chip, another delicious treat. Fickle that I am, my new love is roasted vegetables. Any of them. Seriously. I try to buy what’s seasonal (which generally means inexpensive and often locally grown) and try different combinations. The method is always the same. Cut into chunks, mix together with some olive oil (just to coat, not for the vegetables to swim in) and fresh herbs and roast them on a flat tray for anywhere between 30 and 45 minutes depending on the vegetable. My single favorite is eggplant. I highly recommend cutting the eggplant in half first, making some long cuts in the flesh and pouring some salt in about a half hour before cooking time. Then, when all the other vegetables are cut up, I wipe some water (which the salt has brought to the surface) off the eggplant before cutting it and adding it to the bowl. This keeps the eggplant from soaking up all the oil. I like to leave some of the skin on, and peel some off. I often mix it with zucchini, but last night I mixed it with cauliflower-ettes and sweet potatoes. There really is NO end to the choices and throwing in the chunks of sweet potato make it all sweeter and more colorful. Try sweet peppers, sweet onions, brussel sprouts, carrots, yellow squash, tomatoes, garlic or any of the vegetables YOU are more apt to like.
Low in calories, no cholesterol, minimal sodium, high in fluid (great for hydration, so high in vitamins and minerals and anti-oxidants, EVERYONE should revist vegetables and try them again for the very first time. Learning to like YOUR vegetables might just be the key to weight control and wellness! Remember, “if you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” You just might find, you, too, develop a love affair.
Happy birthday, mom. I wish you were here so I could make you a delicious and healthy birthday meal. I know how much you would love and appreciate it! We would call it a party, and yes, we could splurge and have some cake, too!
***SilverSneakers students stay tuned to a probable change in the Tuesday 11:30 format of class. In as much as I hoped Yoga would be a great addition to the schedule, the participation is low and we will keep tweaking the format until we figure out what YOU want. It is YOUR workout! Next Tuesday WILL REMAIN YogaStretch, and I will keep you posted at the club and right here at peaceandfitness. com.
Thanks for stopping in. Please share vegetable recipes!!! I can’t get enough. Much love.