Veggie Challenged - Changeling tastebuds

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01-04-2009, 12:23 AM
I've never thought of myself as Veggie challenged, so you'd think this would be a weird place for me to post, but in considering where to post it, I thought this was perhaps the BEST place to post, since it might give some veggie haters hope.

As I said, I've always liked many veggies, but what I hated, I absolutely hated. I've never thought that I had a huge sweet tooth either, because I didn't eat dessert often (but didn't realize how much sugar I was eating in foods like barbecue, sweet and sour pork, empress chicken.....).

I've noticed my tastebuds changing in subtle and not so subtle ways. The better I eat, the less salt I want. The sweeter, sweet things taste, but today for the first time, I realized that I have a completely different sense of taste than I did when I started this.

It really does feel like someone swapped MY tastebuds for someone else's.

Brussel Sprouts - Yucky, Yucky, Yucky, I would have said until last year. I tried them roasted and liked them. Interesting I thought at the time.

But TONIGHT I ate Brussel Sprouts for dinner (a pound of them). I know Brussel Sprouts for dinner is not a balanced meal, but it's what I not only had a taste for, but they were AMAZING. I had eaten half a pound when I realized I LOVE these things. I was enjoying Brussel Sprouts like I would have a piece of cheesecake in the past. I mean that kind of amazing. I loved the crispy little edges, and the garlic/chive seasoning I'd put on them.

Ok, that struck me as weird, but what happened after dinner was even weirder. A few days ago, I bought a bag of cranberries (not even sure why, I'm not very fond of cranberry sauce and what else can you do with fresh cranberries, at least that's what I thought).

So, I asked my former-chef husband what I could do with cranberries, and he suggested cutting them in half and sweetening them, but warned me that would be very tart (he hates most tart foods like vinegar and grapefruit, but loves cranberries). He said that if they were too tart, then I could pour the sweetened cranberries in a pot and cook them to make them less bitter (cranberry sauce, Ew).

Well, tonight I decided that I would cut the berries in half and (probably) make them into cranberry sauce. When I was a kid, my brother and I would steal frozen or fresh cranberries out of the bag (pushing them through the little air holes in the bag) and eat them as sort of a dare. I remember them being so tart, my face would scrunch up instinctively. So, as I was cutting the berries tonight, I of course popped one of those little babies into my mouth expecting that face-puckering tartness, and I thought "Huh, this isn't that tart, in fact its pretty good." Yes, it was sour, but not VERY, VERY sour. So as I cut, I popped fresh cranberries into my mouth. Then I added some Splenda - to the bowl, not my mouth. I used about half what I thought I'd need and a couple of tablespoons of water to help the berry juice dissolve the Splenda, and then tasted - Perfect!

The thing is, the Brussel Sprouts I can attribute to trying them cooked a different way, but while they were ok last year, I didn't consider them great until today's batch. So when did that change?

And for the cranberries, I haven't even tasted raw cranberries in about twenty years or more, so it definitely wasn't a case of eating them UNTIL I didn't mind them anymore.

I guess I got a new set of tastebuds for Christmas without realizing it.
I don't know who has my "old" tastebuds, but I'm very happy with my new set, and I'm not trading back.

Suzanne 3FC
01-04-2009, 08:27 PM
First of all, I want your recipe for Brussel Sprouts :lol:

Second, I think it's an amazing change! I do think that forcing ourselves to incorporate healthier foods will eventually have that effect. It can be difficult at first, but hopefully the veggie challenged will feel inspired :)

01-04-2009, 09:09 PM
It's my shake and roast method I posted before (shake in ziploc, or stir in bowl) veggies with a bit of canola or olive oil. Add dry seasonings of choice and bake at 400 degrees until tender and carmelized (about 25 minutes for brussels sprouts).

I quartered the little buggers (More surface area, means more crispy edges). Tossed them in a bowl with 4 teaspoons of canola oil, and then added the dry seasoning I mixed in another bowl (about 2 tsp of ranch dressing powder, about 1 tsp of chicken soup base powder, about a tbsp each of dried parsley and chives, a dash of seasoned salt, garlic powder and black pepper and cayenne)

One thing I did differently (by accident rather than design) was that after I was done seasoning them, I didn't roast them right away. I ended up putting them in the fridge and not cooking them until a day and a half later, so they marinated in the fridge about 40 hours. I don't know if that made the difference, but yikes, they were the best darned brussels sprouts I've ever tasted.

I love the "shake and roast" method so much that I'm always looking for new vegetables and new seasoning mixes to try it with (see the post on turnip fries).

I've heard you can do it with radishes, and that's peaked my interest for a new experiment.

01-04-2009, 10:15 PM
Well I bought the few remaining bags of cranberries at Trader Joes and tossed them in the freezer thinking I was going to do a Splenda sweetened jam or relish. Now I will try the raw way. These things are full of good sstuff and I love the taste.

I was also a veggie person before my weight loss journey but it always seemed to need to be accompanied by starchy carbs. Now thanks to new techniques like roasting and grilling (including on the George Forman) I have really brought veggies "front & center". Coming from a long time Weight Watcher mentality I look at veggies as "free" and that "frees" me up to make them the stars.

01-04-2009, 11:33 PM
I use an exchange program, but I also consider non-starchy vegetables as "free" in the sense that I think of my four servings more as my "minimum," rather than my maximum. I understand that it would probably be possible to overdo even vegetables, but long before I have calorie issues, I have serious IBS issues (in fact, I'm suffering a bit today for eating a pound of brussel sprouts and some seaweed salad (at least eight veggie servings) yesterday.

01-05-2009, 12:21 AM
I've heard you can do it with radishes, and that's peaked my interest for a new experiment.

I'll wait for you to report back on the radishes before trying them! :lol: But this truly is a great way to make veggies. I do it with asparagus and paprika (or chili powder) and my kids inhale them like they are french fries.

I'm looking forward to trying the brussel sprouts. Have you tried this recipe with frozen brussel sprouts?

01-05-2009, 12:25 AM
No, I've not tried it with frozen brussels sprouts, but I have used other frozen veggies. In fact, I just finished posting in the thread "turnip fries" all of the veggies I've tried, so far.

01-05-2009, 12:26 AM
Heh, I just came back to edit since I read that last post. Thanks!

01-05-2009, 12:27 AM
Oops, somehow I double posted, but here's the direct link to the turnip fries thread