I was a model child when it came to drinking my milk, but vegetables? Not so much. This plea appeared recently on my blog, and I’m sure applies to many of us


Model child Jewels
“My mother never made me eat vegetables so I never developed a taste for them. I want to eat healthier but everytime I try a veggie I don’t like the taste. Is there any veggie’s you can recommend for a veggie hater? Thanks, Regina”
I don’t know about you, but my mother’s idea of vegetables, was to open a can, drain, heat, and dump on the plate. Eventually she graduated to the frozen variety you simply snip the corner off the packet, nuke for a couple minutes, and serve swimming in butter. I too, thought I hated vegetables.

 

Christmas dinner with Nicks parents, Sylvia and Roger
I admit, the only reason I ever tried fresh vegetables, is because I was too embarrassed to say “no thank you” when my soon to be mother-in-law served them to me for my first Sunday lunch in their home. At first I made sure each bite was disguised by a bit of roast beef drowning in gravy. Eventually my taste adjusted, and I started eating vegetables on their own. These were not the veggies of my childhood. Plus our taste buds mature as we age, so I recommend re-trying things you disliked as a child.


I think a great way to develop a taste for vegetables, is to eat them in combination (or hidden) with other foods you do like. Try a pasta dish with tomato sauce and cheese to balance the flavor of vegetable, or perhaps a cottage pie, or a stew.

If it is the texture you don’t like, change it! Try a pureed vegetable or soup. The purple cauliflower mash above can be made with normal, white cauliflower, and should mimic the consistency of mashed potatoes. Try the different variations I suggest in the recipe, like adding Parmesan or chipotle peppers to adapt the flavor more to your liking.

Braising kale with chicken or vegetable broth
Try new preparations of the “despised” culprit. Boiling or steaming can get dull after a while, and the vegetable flavor will be strong. Mellow it out by braising in vegetable or chicken broth.
Sesame roasted yellow & orange baby carrots
You can also roast just about any vegetable – cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, asparagus, beets, etc. Roasting brings out the natural sugars that can make vegetables more palatable to everyone, even finicky eaters. About the only vegetable Tatjana doesn’t care for is green beans (she eats vegetables, because we always ate them, and she wasn’t given an option), but she loves them roasted.
Grilling adds a smokey flavor, and you can season with different herbs and spices to alter the flavor more still – I like a little cajun seasoning on mine.
Marinades are great for adding flare and flavor too. Put an Asian slant on it with the sweet and sour asparagus above, or more of an Italian twist with the balsamic marinated vegetables below. I make a huge batch at the beginning of the week, and snack on them.

 

Sautes and Stir Fry’s are also a quick, flavorful approaches to keeping it interesting and healthy. There are thousands of stir-fry recipes on the web, and I can’t help myself – I eat a whole pan full of these Brussels sprouts every time I make them.

My point is, how can you say you don’t like vegetables until you have tried them all prepared in a multitude of different ways? Now, while the local farmer’s markets are brimming with fresh produce is the time to get experimenting, and find a few (or more) that you do like.

Buying direct from the source ensures the freshest
Whether you’re trying to lose weight (vegetables are extremely low in calories so you can eat plenty of them, but high in fiber so you stay full); or just wanting to eat healthier – you can’t go wrong adding all the vitamins, minerals, and anti-oxidents you get from veggies to your diet. They even add color to your plate, making a meal much more inviting! You can click on the link under most pics for the recipes to make them. Have I persuaded you yet?
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