Veggie Challenged - My relationship with Vegetables...

05-29-2005, 01:06 PM
When I was a kid I used to think ALL veggies were gross, because I had the kind of parents who made you sit at the table for 2 hours until you ate everything on your plate...and anything green and unrecognizable made me gag! I STILL remember puking everywhere after being forced to eat a chicken pot pie at age had veggies in it!!!
Ok, so now I am 21, not AS picky, but still very SCARED of vegetables...there are still so many I haven't even tried, yet when I look at them my first thought is "ewww those are nasty!"...but when I try to actually REMEMBER what they taste like, I can't...because I realize I have never even tried them! In the past few years I have learned to eat certain vegetables...I am kind of proud of myself about it...I now can eat spinach (but its sooo much better with lots of cheeese!) broccoli (same with the cheese thing..), green beans, potatoes, corn, and problem is I want to try more veggies...but I have no idea how to cook them. If there's not a box with directions on it, then I'm clueless....and the worst part I'd say isn't cooking veggies, but knowing how to shop for them..I don't even know what a raddish looks like...and even if I did, I would have no clue what to buy to go with them...I guess I need some meal ideas here...

Also, are all kinds of beans really healthy? I do really like beans, I just don't know how to cook them..
any help would be appreciated!

Suzanne 3FC
05-29-2005, 01:55 PM
I'm right there with you! When I was six, I puked on a hamburger because it had a hard thing in it. I was at a family reunion. I didn't eat another hamburger for the next 35 years, last year lol, and only ate one then on a dare. I'm so glad it wasn't a veggie, or milk, or something else I needed!

My problem is that I grew up in the South, so we ate tons of yellow squash or okra, always dredged in cornmeal and fried in a skillet. Yum!!! But that's not good for us anymore. Another source of vegetables was zucchini bread and carrot cake :lol: Oddly, we were skinny kids, but only became overweight as adults when we tried to give up those foods!

I'm also a bit clueless when it comes to some vegetables. When I moved into my first apartment, I didn't know how to cook, so everything came from a can or box. I didn't know to season things, so I got used to eating them bland and didn't enjoy it. Needless to say, I much preferred having a big clown prepare my dinner for me, or have it delivered in a big flat box.

I think I hated vegetables because I didn't know how to cook them. I knew I couldn't fry them or sneak them into a cake anymore, so there were no options left :p But I have been experimenting and learning how to fix them.

My favorite way to fix green beans is to buy the frozen kind (I prefer the super thin haricots verts) toss them with a tiny bit of olive oil, fresh cracked black pepper, a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce, and then pop them in a hot oven (425*) for about 15 minutes. Roasting vegetables gives them a whole new flavor and experience.

Or did you mean shelled beans, such as kidney beans? They are also very healthy. I love to make a vegetarian chili with lots of kidney beans, black beans, red bell peppers, crushed tomatoes, onions, and seasonings. I'll post the recipe in another thread :)

05-29-2005, 05:06 PM
I'm right there with ya, too, breakfast surreal!!! :wave:

Doing a veggie-a-day challenge this week and getting great ideas from this forum. The roasted green beans are something I never thought of, Suzanne.

05-31-2005, 04:32 PM
I grew up on a steady diet of "Scottish Vegetables" otherwise known as potato,carrots, turnip and green peas :lol: It is the only thing my mum would eat so that is all she would cook. We occasionally had canned corn which she would give to my dad and but she wouldn't eat it.

When I was 19 and got my own apartment I lived right near a farmer's market. Everything looked so bright and fresh so I decided to try one new veggie per week. I now eat almost anything exept squash - still can't eat it to this day :dunno:

You could try surfing the net for some vegetable cooking sites that offer tips on preparing vegetables. Many vegetarian websites offer basic tips on how to choose and cook vegetables along with some recipes. There is also a forum called Veggie chicks here at 3FC that has some simple vegetarian recipes.

Next time you are at your local market ask one of the employees what things are and how to cook them. Or better yet, if you see someone buying that item then ask them what they do with it. I did this with a persimmon once - I just asked the lady beside me what they were and how to eat it and she was quite happy to tell me. :)

BTW- I've never eaten cooked radishes but when raw they are a nice addition to a salad. Adds a little color too. You can also try adding a little bit of raw carrot grated onto a salad and some raw snowpeas are good too. I am currently trying to figure out what to do with bok choi - the only place I have eaten it is at a Chinese restaurant in wonton soup.

Fresh beets are good too - you cut the tops off, peel them, slice them up and boil them in water until tender. Then you top them off with a little bit of butter and garlic salt :T I used to hate beets until someone made them this way for me. Another trick with cooked veggies is to toss a bit of Mrs. Dash seasoning on top or a spritz of fresh lemon.

I also cook baby carrots by boiling them and draining the water, you then add a tsp of honey and a tsp of butter to the pot while the carrots are still hot and toss them with the mixture until they are coated. This is the only way my husband will eat carrots. :lol:

05-31-2005, 04:40 PM
this is sad but...i dont even know what raddishes or beets look like :( i need a store buddy!

Suzanne 3FC
05-31-2005, 05:08 PM
Time for a field trip :D Seriously, when you have some extra time to spare, just spend time browsing around the supermarket and looking at the vegetables you usually rush past. Pick a large store that will have a better selection. Every now and then, I'll see something new, and will look it up online when I get home.

I love pickled beets, though they are high in sugar. I've never tried a fresh one, but I'm open to new things.

Cauliflower and parsnips will never ever find their way onto my dinner plate. I like trying new things, but I have my limits, lol. I find cauliflower to be extremely disgusting, no matter how it's prepared. You can't pay me to eat it. I've only had one experience with parsnips, and it was enough to turn me off for life. :eek:

06-01-2005, 10:57 AM
Suzanne- try roasting cut up cauliflower in the oven. Spread out the cauliflower on a baking sheet, spray with olive oil using a mister and then sprinkle with Mrs. Dash seasonings. Roast for about 30- 40 minutes- turns out quite tasty :)

I actually like parsnips :lol: I slice them into thin strips along with some carrots and do the honey mixture over them.

06-01-2005, 11:22 AM
Hmmm, the funny thing is cauliflower, which lots of people don't seem to like is one of the few veggies I can at least tolerate. My mom used to pickle 'em and they were good! I'd like to try that but would be afraid to try pickling or canning anything ... it seems dangerous to me! :)

06-01-2005, 03:21 PM
Here's a good way to deal with cabbage.

Chop up an onion and 3 - 4 cloves of garlic. Fry in a pan (I use cast iron, but then I think cast iron is just great for most anything) with 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil until they have turned translucent. Chop 1 head of cabbage corsely. Season with salt and pepper. Stir, and the lid till the cabbage wilts, stiring once in a while. Once the cabbage collapses, take of lid and continue to cook over med high heat till the cabbage takes on some brown color. Add a few dashes of hot sauce. Eat and go to heaven.

Cabbage cooked this way is actually kinda sweet.

06-01-2005, 04:50 PM
Suzanne, have you tried cauliflower raw? It's really very good, and nice and crunchy. Also, fresh beets - especially the little ones - are heavenly! And whoever said she peeled them, my hat is off to you. The way I always cook them is to cut off the tops and leaves, then boil them until done. Run them under cold water for a few minutes, and as soon as you can handle them (heatwise) just rub them with your hands and the peels will slip right off. You can zap the peeled beets in the microwave for a couple minutes if they cool off too much. Roasted beets are also good. I love pickled beets too, but they are high in sugar. I make my own, and I need to try using Splenda instead. Asparagus is my very favorite vegetable, along with corn on the cob. My grocery had both these on sale this week, I'm in heaven! :) And I don't think red radishes are meant to be cooked. . .

06-02-2005, 03:11 PM
that cabbage sounds good! :T

One thing I am trying is to pick one new vegetable or fruit per weekly grocery shop. Some picks have turned out great and others...:rolleyes: but half the fun is trying something new :)

07-01-2005, 01:45 AM
Thanks for posting your tips guys, I am going to try some of them - Great tread Breakfastsurreal! :)

07-04-2005, 11:52 AM
If you don't have time to shred the cabbage, buy the coleslaw mix in the lettuce section, its cheap and all the work is done :D I fry that stuff all the time and put it in a wrap w/ckn or anything I happen to have. Some times I just have cabbage wraps w/a teeny bit of shredded cheese.

08-07-2005, 12:58 AM
When I am making canned green beans or spinach I add a chicken bouillon cube. This adds a meaty flavor without adding fat. I even add it to my canned sauerkraut. :)

08-12-2005, 03:30 PM
I have just moved out of my parents' house and I can't cook anything other than french fries :)
The thing is that I want to lead a healthy life and eat a lot of veggies. Considering that I am a newbie cook , do you think you could help me with some simple veggies recipes. Thank you so much.

08-12-2005, 03:54 PM
I HIGHLY recommend picking up a copy of the most recent edition of Joy of Cooking. (Be sure it's the one labeled "All New" and published in '97 -- you can still find the '70s verson in bookstores and that's not what you want.)

In the Vegetables chapter you will find descriptions and pictures of just about any vegetable you might run across. There will be some basic instructions about selection and preparation, as long as more involved recipes. You could pick a new vegetable every week, read up on it, buy some, and try it out.

Keep in mind that you should try any given vegetables several different ways before deciding to give up on it. There may be some you like cooked but not raw, and vice versa. You may find something tolerable with a certain condiment or flavoring when you didn't like it plain, etc. Don't approach your experiment with dread, but with delicious anticipation. Admire the shape, the color, the form, the variety. How wonderful that we have all these different colors of bell peppers. (BTW, red ones are MUCH sweeter and milder than green ...) How leafy and green that swiss chard is. What a marvel of nature is the onion! How amazing the variety of summer AND winter squashes!

08-12-2005, 07:35 PM
Ah, funniegrrl, I wish I could send you some swiss chard - I'm drowning in the stuff. A very successful crop this year! :lol:

08-15-2005, 04:35 PM
... What a marvel of nature is the onion! ...
I admire you joy of cooking and be sure that I will follow your advice regarding that book you recommened BUT ... how can you say that onion is a marvel of nature :) I don't like it at all :p

08-15-2005, 04:50 PM
Hey NoChick
Onion is doing so much good for your stomach and health in general
Please visit the online guides to nutrition and you won't believe how much healthy is the onion ... See: trackmydiet, or or any other good nutrition sites ...

08-15-2005, 07:49 PM
I am currently trying to figure out what to do with bok choi - the only place I have eaten it is at a Chinese restaurant in wonton soup.

I love bok choi! It's best when it's lightly steamed. You can also wilt it in a pan - just heat up the pan, then saute the bok choi like you would onions or peppers.

08-16-2005, 12:56 PM
Do you think we should whatever we like? How do you choose your diet plans?

09-10-2005, 05:59 AM
I recenlty started outdoor biking ... ITs fantastic and boy it makes me soooo hungry :D

12-28-2005, 05:03 PM
I'm vegan, and I LOVE veggies. :carrot: :cb: :carrot: :cb: :lol3: