Veggie Challenged - Veggie-Eaters Impress Me

View Full Version : Veggie-Eaters Impress Me

06-24-2005, 09:59 AM
I can't do it. I just can't. If it's green and leafy, it's not going anywhere near my mouth.

I guess I'm doing a little better, though. Used to be I wouldn't eat anything with a vegetable on it, no matter what it was (except corn, I've always liked corn). Pizza with peppers on it? Pick a peck of peppers off my piece of pizza, please. Quesadillas were out of the question. Salsa? Ew, no way. But I actually eat all of that stuff now, no problems, and even go out of my way to find foods with them in.

But the green rabbit food just isn't happening. Anyone who can actually eat that without it climbing right back up impresses me. :P

06-24-2005, 11:44 AM
Guess what? Corn is technically a grain, not a vegetable.

I am a veggie lover -- either plain or fixed with other things. Had spaghetti squash for lunch yesterday with a tomato sauce made with tomatoes, onions, mushrooms and onion. Dinner included blanched brussels sprouts that were braised with pancetta and garlic.

Currently have in the fridge: cucumbers, green peppers, banana squash, zucchini, green beans, cauliflower, broccoli, romaine lettuce, and fresh spinach. And it will all get eaten within the next week.

I love raw green pepper slices with a little salt -- more vitamin C than an orange! Or steamed cauliflower or broccoli, either plain or with some cheese sauce (I'm doing low carb, so I make it with cream cheese, a little cream, and cheddar cheese). Grilled zucchini (on the George Foreman grill) with a little feta or chevre crumbled on top.

I know a lot of people who don't like cooked veggies, learn to like them raw (jicama, turnips, carrots, celery, cauliflower to name a few that are especially good raw). Since veggies are such nutrient-dense foods, I hope that you can find some that you like.

06-24-2005, 03:05 PM
I used to have a complete phobia of everything leafy and green. Then I started using fresh herbs instead of dried herbs in my cooking. I looked at my fresh basil in particular, and realised it was a green leaf and that I was eating it. So I closed my eyes, gritted my teeth and ate a salad. And it was fine. I've realised that the right dressing makes all the difference (and while I'm still getting used to salad eating I'm not stressing about the fat or calorie content in it, I'll do that later).

I ate my first salad last week. This week I've eaten salad almost every day. I've discovered I love spinach and rocket in particular.

I'm visiting my mother next week, who is used to the lettuce-phobic me. I can't wait to see her face when I eat some!

06-24-2005, 03:21 PM
I'm curious, what about veggies turns people off so much?

06-24-2005, 03:56 PM
I don't understand it, myself. I can understand getting used to eating food that's heavy on starch, fat, sugar, etc. so that vegetables seem less desirable in comparison. But to actually feel sickened by them is, well, beyond me. Maybe some childhood food trauma?

06-24-2005, 09:41 PM
I'm curious, what about veggies turns people off so much?

I think the problem is that so many of us grew up in homes where (1) fresh veggies were cooked until they were hardly recognizable; (2) we remember things like canned spinach or canned peas -- which don't come close to resembling the real thing; or (3) we simply weren't exposed to them as kids. I heard recently that it takes kids eating something new 20 times before they decide to like it.

I have finally convinced my mom that broccoli doesn't need to be cooked until it's mushy.

06-25-2005, 10:14 AM
Yes, Nancy, I think your points one and two apply to me (I don't like veggies much) but point three doesn't. My mom loved vegetables and served 'em all the time, but back then, as you say, they overcooked 'em or gave one spinach from a can ... now I actually do like spinach ... either fresh or frozen and cooked in things ... but that canned Popeye stuff still seems toxic to me! :)

I think another reason some people (me) feel sickened by veggies sometimes is purely physical. Not everyone is wired the same physically and veggies are strong and hard to digest or even to chew for some people. IMO it's not just a matter of mind over matter ... some people's bodies are not going to adapt easily to veggies, so IMO they should just try to eat smaller amounts of those that are agreeable to them and not agonize if they can't meet minimum daily requirements or some arbitrary idea of what they should be liking or feeling about food! :)

06-25-2005, 06:06 PM
What really turned me on to veggies was the way they were prepared. I started liking them in chinese foods and foods that had a sauce. Slowly but surely I started liking them and enjoying the flavors of them w/almost nothing on them. I can't eat plain broccoli to this day but drizzle a little butter (like a pat) and garlic on it and YUM.

Instead of focusing on what you don't like, try to eat more of what you do like and enjoy it !!! Slowly try different things along the way.

BRAVO on how far you've come !! :bravo:

07-05-2005, 02:58 PM
I am just the opposite--I don't mind leafy greens at all. You name the lettuce, and I'll eat it! I also like spinach, my new favorite (more nutritious) lettuce substitute for salads. I also find frozen chopped spinach easy to "hide" in other foods so I know I am eating it without really tasting it much (omelettes, tuna salad, chicken salad, tomato sauce, etc.).

My problem, on the other hand, is ALL OTHER VEGGIES! I don't like peas or carrots or green beans or peppers (I have tried green, yellow, red, and orange peppers!)...the list goes on and on. I don't even like tomatoes (which some consider a fruit, but whatever). I like potatoes and corn, which are both really starches and not so much vegetables :p

I have tried all of these veggies as an adult. I keep an open mind (I have even recently discovered that I don't mind steak after hating it for the past 22 years!), but those veggies and I just don't mix. I have tried them fresh or froen, cooked or raw, plain or with dressing--my taste buds just flat out reject them. I LOVE fruits, but veggies have been my long-time nemesis :devil:

The really crazy part is, I remember really liking peas when I was little, but now I can't stand them. I know that our taste buds actually change every certain number of years or so, so maybe I will like veggies later in life. Right now, though, it just ain't happenin'.

07-08-2005, 02:35 PM
Some people are very sensitive to flavors. Vegetables tend to be on the bitter or astringent side compared with other foods. THat's why we're told to introduce our children to "sweeter" vegetables like carrots later than we introduce them to green beans, or they are more likely to refuse the greens over the sweets. Children's palates are hyper-sensitive. Picky eaters are that way for a reason. Some never really grow out of it. The veggies that are the usual culprits are those with strong non-sweet flavors, like broccoli and cabbage family, bitter greens, shelled peas, bell peppers.

Sweet veggies are things like corn, carrots, onions, young peas or snow peas, etc. Try focusing on them first. For instance, if you like corn, add a bit of red bell pepper to it, or some herbs like basil. Not much, just a little. If you don't like canned peas, try the petite frozen peas. My father always ate his peas with a bit of milk and butter, in a bowl. Try glazing your carrots with a bit of sugar, or adding a little cream or cheese sauce to the more bitter veggies. Not much, because you still need to be cognizant of calories. But it may help you get used to them.

Try introducing a vegetable you want to learn to like by pairing it with a vegetable you already like. I learned to eat cooked spinach by trying a stewed tomato dish at a potluck and loving it. It was stewed tomatoes with onions and spinach. I went home and made something similar, with mostly tomotoes, which I love. Next time I made it, I used more spinach. Next time, more. Now it's mostly spinach, with some tomatoes for flavoring. And I can eat cooked spinach by itself just fine now, even though it classifies as a bitter vegetable.

"sneaking" veggies into foods you already like is a classic way of doing it. I used to grind in my food processor an onion, some carrots and celery until it was teeny-tiny minced. Then I'd pack it into ice cube trays and add enough water to hold it together. The frozen cubes were put into a Baggie in the freezer. I'd add one or more of those to almost any "wet" dish I was making -- omelet, spaghetti, stew, soup. It got my family used to the subtle tastes of these common veggies. Carrot is easy to hide in tomato sauce. Spinach is a natural for lasagna.

For raw veggies, again, try the sweeter and milder ones first. Snow peas, jicama, celery, cucumber, carrot. Try dipping them in a veggie dip if you prefer. That often works for picky kids. They love to dip. Why should we deny ourselves the same fun? Raw broccoli and cauliflower, in my mind, is very tough and bitter. I usually nuke them for just a little bit. Not enough to cook them, but enough to shock them and bring out their sweetness and the bright color of the broccoli. Then plunge into cold water to stop the heat. They're ready to be dipped and eaten.

Hope that helps.

07-09-2005, 12:02 PM
Like you mentioned I would suggest slowly sneaking them in. For example I used to LOVE potato chips with french onion dip, today (for a treat!) I dip carrots, broccoli, and peppers into low fat french onion dip- sooo yummy.

Try adding baby spinach to your sandwiches, onions and tomatoes to your turkey burger, have greenbeans with a pat of butter for a side at dinner.

To be honest with you I could never salt and pepper a whole tomato and eat it raw (like my fiance does) but with the right dressings/seasonings and camoflauge you'll be enjoying veggies in no time! lol.

07-10-2005, 05:46 AM
The thing I've found helps me is mexican food. I've always especially hated peppers, onions, diced tomatoes, and all that. But I absolutely love chicken quesadillas. I got tired of asking for it "without this, this, this, this, and this" and finally just ate it the way it came to the table. And was rather surprised to find that I actually like it.

I still can't do veggies by themselves, though. Blech.

07-18-2005, 10:20 PM
A lot of people don't like a lot of veggies since they were forced to eat them as a kid. Some of my friends parents would pull the old "you can't leave the table until you eat your vegetables". Then you end up with a bad association with that vegetable and when you become an adult you relish the freedom to say no!

I was lucky, my mum never made me eat anything I really hated. She doesn't like vegetables much either and my dad loves them (has been a vegetarian for several years now) so I guess I fall somewhere in the middle.

I hate stuff that tastes bitter or mushy - turnip, Brussel sprouts, lima beans, squash of any sort - blech! :p

I can't stand the taste of canned veggies - they always seem mushy and waterlogged and frozen always seem to have a wierd texture to them so I try to eat fresh whenever possible.

I think test driving different things as an adult helped me expand my taste in veggies.

:chin:... something I find odd is that some people love cooked tomatoes (ketchup, spaghetti sauce etc.) but hate them raw. I enjoy tomatoes in most forms - raw or cooked- but can't stand them fried and I am really disgusted by tomato soup - weird huh? :lol:

07-19-2005, 07:18 AM
hehe, I am one of those! I definitely LOVE tomato sauces (pasta sauce, marinara), tomato soup, ketchup, and even sometimes salsa, but I cannot STAND plain tomatoes! :p

07-19-2005, 02:24 PM
hehe, I am one of those! I definitely LOVE tomato sauces (pasta sauce, marinara), tomato soup, ketchup, and even sometimes salsa, but I cannot STAND plain tomatoes!

Me too. For me the veggie phobia is all about the texture which I think is why I love cooked tomatoes but can't stand raw ones. I LOVE salsa but everything in it has to be pureed within an inch of its life for me to eat it. Otherwise I eat the "juice" and leave the chunks. I love the taste of onions, peppers, tomatoes, etc but I can't even bear the thought of eating any that are still recognizable as such. I don't even mind veggie burgers as long they're pretty homogenized.

I still remember sitting at the dinner table literally gagging down some cheese drowned broccoli that my mother made me eat. Probably the first and last time that she ever tried to force me to eat something that I didn't want to.

About the only green vegetable that I can stand to eat on a regular basis is romaine lettuce - and I have to have croutons in order to eat that. It's really mental as well. There are lots of things that I never ate as a kid and never thought to try as an adult but then all of the sudden one day I would think "hmmm that sounds good all of a sudden" and sure enough it was (e.g. black beans - who knew?).

07-21-2005, 10:22 AM
I think taste has a lot to do with your exposure as a child. (So for all you parents try to keep that in mind!) My sister loved bread and hated vegetables so my mother always made sure there was a vegetable she liked - "corn", green beans, carrot or cucumber sticks and dip. Now, my sister has grown up to appreciate lots of other types of vegetables.

We also ate a lot of chinese food. Ever had Moo Shu Pork? It has a lot of veggies in with the pork, but you cant really tell. She got us to eat broccoli with Beef and Broccoli and pretending the broccoli was trees and we were tree monsters.. lol.. She also promoted salad a lot and even my sister liked salads.

With my kids I've tried to make them open to try new things. When they were just starting to eat on their own, we would go to Souper Salad, a pretty large salad bar place and it was free for kids up to 5, so I would put lots of little finger foods from the salad bar on their plate. Ham, cheese, peas, garbanzo beans, kidney beans, baby corn.. I'd always have things I knew they liked and things they could try. Some worked, some didnt... to this day they both love olives because of that place and I hate them!

One thing I try to instill in my kids is that its not enough to try something one time, prepared one way. As you can see not everyone likes everything the same. My son doesnt like raw tomatoes even on sandwiches.. EXCEPT..he loves them on grilled cheese. I read somewhere it takes a kid 13 tastes to really tell you if they like something. So sometimes when they barely take a bite and proclaim it as disgusting, its more in the mind than in the tastebuds. :)

I've found that giving them a choice helps. For Thanksgiving, we have a family tradition of letting each person choose a vegetable dish. Last weekend, I let my bf's kids choose a vegetable they wanted for dinner. One chose sugar snap peas and the other broccoli. So I guess it works. Normally they stick to hamburgers and hotdogs with fries.. but this last weekend we had chicken both nights and not only no complaints, but requests for more!

07-21-2005, 08:15 PM
I'll post my 2 cents worth about veggies too. I love most of them except for lettuce. If I make a salad I will put in everything except lettuce.

When I was a kid, we grew our own veggies & ate from the garden for most of the summer. When I left home and went out on my own I didn't eat a lot of veggies. But now that I'm older, veggies make up a lot of my diet.

I have grown several tomato plants this year, and I can't wait for them to be ripe.

A good way to sneak in veggies, is to use them ground up or shredded in meatloaf instead of bread crumbs to hold it together. It is really good made with grated zucchini.


09-01-2005, 09:28 PM
Okay I admit I really really like vegetables but everyone doesn't season veggies correctly and they end up tasting terrible. A vegetable cooked properly will cause your tastebuds to droll for more. really some of my favorite veggie combos can be found here:

crazy for Veggies :dizzy: and hopefully one day you will be too :smug: (