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Menu options because I'm picky

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Old 10-17-2013, 10:10 AM   #1
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Default Menu options because I'm picky

I like any type of meat, but very few veggies. I like cucumbers, carrots, celery, cauliflower, onions, peas, green beans, corn, potatoes, lettuce and sometimes others. My problem is that I am having a hard time finding side dishes to go with meals, because I don't like any of the above veggies cooked, except for potatoes, corn, green beans, and peas. I want to make the meal balanced, but don't want to get bored with the same sides all the time. And the starch in the potatoes isn't good either, so would a different potato be better? The meats I have are chicken breast, fish, ground turkey, pork chops, and hamburger. I have several stores around me that I can access for additional items, but am on a budget of $100 a week for 4 people. Could I also use fruit as a side? Any ideas with that? Thanks for all input!
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Old 10-17-2013, 10:25 AM   #2
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Have you heard of cauliflower rice? You can find some nice recipes made out of cauliflower. I even saw a recipe I want to try for cauliflower crust pizza. I don't see anything wrong with having fruit as a side. Potatoes are good as long as you don't add tons of oil or sour cream/butter. I like yams and I just bake them plain in the oven with nothing else. Sometimes, I'll slice yams or potatoes thin and bake them that way. You could do a green bean and garlic stir fry or just bake them with some garlic salt and a bit of olive oil (which is actually very nice with brussell sprouts, but you didn't list those). If you have a slow cooker, perhaps you could put together some potatoes, onions, carrots, celery and some spices to make a slow cooked stew? I recently made a delicious slow cooker stew using chickpeas, red lentils and butternut squash. PM me if you'd like the recipe.
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Old 10-17-2013, 11:55 AM   #3
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What do your typical meals look like now? Do they usually consist of a meat, one of your preferred raw vegetables, and a starch?

If so, maybe you could just make sure you keep portions in check, and you don't have to worry so much. 1/2 plate vegetable, 1/4 protein, and no more than 1/4 starch.
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Old 10-23-2013, 08:54 AM   #4
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Why live within the confines of your limits when you could expand your horizons? Vegetables are colorful, beautiful, delicious and abundant. Learn to explore them and eat them and appreciate them for what they are and what they can do for you. You will learn to love them, it's just not acceptable to not like them. Learning to like your vegetables is part of growing up and being an adult.
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Old 10-29-2013, 04:00 PM   #5
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Do you buy most of your veggies fresh or are they frozen/canned? There are some things that I don't mind frozen (peas, corn, edamame) but others that I far prefer fresh (broccoli, asparagus, carrots). Also, how do you cook them? Roasting carrots or cauliflower with a little olive oil, salt and pepper bring out their flavors -- in general, roasting is my favorite way to prepare veggies. Unfortunately, this may not be budget-friendly. Buying in season always helps with price -- right now winter squash is in season -- so delicious when roasted!

Do you like salad? If you prepare kale with a vinaigrette-type dressing, massage it in, and let it sit overnight to tenderize, it is not very different from lettuce and generally more nutritious.

We often have raw veggies with dinner. I'll put bowls of carrots, cucumbers, celery or sugar snap peas out on the table.

Fruit is a perfectly good side dish, but you need vegetables in your diet, too. You could do fruit some nights and veggies other nights to help with variety, but you really should eat veggies every day.

I would encourage you to keep trying different vegetables prepared in different ways -- there are so many different options, even a picky eater is sure to find something!
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Old 10-29-2013, 05:42 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by thesame7lbs View Post
If you prepare kale with a vinaigrette-type dressing, massage it in, and let it sit overnight to tenderize, it is not very different from lettuce and generally more nutritious.
I didn't know about this. Raw kale is bleh. Do you know if marinating it in dressing alters its nutrition?
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Old 10-29-2013, 06:39 PM   #7
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Wannabe, I don't know if it alters the nutrition. It may, because if you are breaking down the tough cellulose(?) walls, it may release some vitamins. However, I found this on Web MD:
Beyond antioxidants, the fiber content of cruciferous kale binds bile acids and helps lower blood cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease, especially when kale is cooked instead of raw.
So if some of kale's benefits are enhanced by cooking, perhaps they are enhanced by marination as well? Usually I think of cooking a veggie as reducing its health benefits. Ah, that kale -- it never ceases to amaze!

Here are some kale salad recipes I found:
kale salad recipes

When I make it at home, I usually do a dressing of cider vinegar, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. I throw on sunflower seeds as well. Or a white wine vinegar, sesame oil, and soy sauce dressing. Sesame oil has such a strong flavor, you don't need much!

The massaging is important. You rub the dressing into each leaf, front and back. Cooks Illustrated did a side-by-side test and it really makes a difference.
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Old 10-29-2013, 09:14 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by thesame7lbs View Post
Wannabe, I don't know if it alters the nutrition. It may, because if you are breaking down the tough cellulose(?) walls, it may release some vitamins. However, I found this on Web MD:
Beyond antioxidants, the fiber content of cruciferous kale binds bile acids and helps lower blood cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease, especially when kale is cooked instead of raw.
So if some of kale's benefits are enhanced by cooking, perhaps they are enhanced by marination as well? Usually I think of cooking a veggie as reducing its health benefits. Ah, that kale -- it never ceases to amaze!

Here are some kale salad recipes I found:
kale salad recipes

When I make it at home, I usually do a dressing of cider vinegar, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. I throw on sunflower seeds as well. Or a white wine vinegar, sesame oil, and soy sauce dressing. Sesame oil has such a strong flavor, you don't need much!

The massaging is important. You rub the dressing into each leaf, front and back. Cooks Illustrated did a side-by-side test and it really makes a difference.
Amazing! I'm going to try it!
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Old 10-29-2013, 09:40 PM   #9
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Get hungry. Stuff starts tasting better when you are hungry. I never used to eat any raw vegetables. Now I eat highly varied salads every day.

I also eat a lot of canned fish. Very healthy. Nicely portioned. Cooked. And affordable.
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Old 10-30-2013, 09:47 AM   #10
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My mom makes an awesome kale salad with olive oil-massaged leaves, balsamic vinegar, pine nuts, chopped tomatoes and red onions, and feta.
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Old 11-04-2013, 10:35 PM   #11
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I agree that roasting veggies can do wonders for them! Pretty much any vegetable is great roast. My usual approach is to chop it into big pieces (if necessary), toss it with a bit of olive oil, minced garlic, kosher salt, and coarsely ground pepper, then roast at maybe 400 degrees until as tender as you want. So good. Broccoli, carrots, beets, squash, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, zucchini, mushrooms, even tomatoes (leave them whole if they're cherry tomatoes or cut them in half and put them cut side up if they're bigger) are great that way. Grilled veggies are amazing as well, I do the same thing with the oil, salt, and pepper and just toss them on the grill. The ONLY way I like onions that haven't been cooked until completely soft is when they're grilled, specifically red onions. Yummy My husband was skeptical of how wonderful zucchini, red onion, bell pepper, and mushrooms could be until he tried them grilled, now he loves them.

As for the kale, my husband and I actually like it in salads completely raw and un-tenderized, but that may be slightly odd. Regardless, one of our favorite recipes is as follows. It tastes wonderful and the kale is not tough at all because the hot dressing breaks down the toughness (for lack of a better term) and then you massage the dressing in, which helps even more. You can tone down the vinegar if you don't like tart, but we think it's perfect as is.

-1 bunch kale, washed, dried with paper towels, stalk discarded, and leaves chopped into bite size pieces (or you can just buy a 10 oz bag of washed, chopped kale- I do that too and it works great)
-1/4 C extra virgin olive oil
-2 cloves minced garlic
-1/4 C apple cider vinegar
-1/2 t salt (or to taste, you might want less)
-1/3 C grated parmesan cheese (not the green can kind)

Place the kale in a large bowl. Pour the olive oil into a small skillet and add the garlic. Cook over medium until garlic turns light golden, then stir in vinegar. Let it simmer for maybe 30 seconds to a minute, then remove from the heat and pour it over the kale. Use tongs to toss the salad for a minute, until it's cool enough to handle. Then use your hands to massage the dressing into the kale for a couple of minutes. Add the parmesan and toss to distribute it, then add salt to taste. You can either serve it as is or refrigerate it until cold. It keeps well in the fridge for at least a day, but has never lasted longer than that because we really like it.
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Old 11-05-2013, 08:26 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HuggerBunny View Post
I agree that roasting veggies can do wonders for them! Pretty much any vegetable is great roast. My usual approach is to chop it into big pieces (if necessary), toss it with a bit of olive oil, minced garlic, kosher salt, and coarsely ground pepper, then roast at maybe 400 degrees until as tender as you want. So good. Broccoli, carrots, beets, squash, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, zucchini, mushrooms, even tomatoes (leave them whole if they're cherry tomatoes or cut them in half and put them cut side up if they're bigger) are great that way. Grilled veggies are amazing as well, I do the same thing with the oil, salt, and pepper and just toss them on the grill. The ONLY way I like onions that haven't been cooked until completely soft is when they're grilled, specifically red onions. Yummy My husband was skeptical of how wonderful zucchini, red onion, bell pepper, and mushrooms could be until he tried them grilled, now he loves them.

As for the kale, my husband and I actually like it in salads completely raw and un-tenderized, but that may be slightly odd. Regardless, one of our favorite recipes is as follows. It tastes wonderful and the kale is not tough at all because the hot dressing breaks down the toughness (for lack of a better term) and then you massage the dressing in, which helps even more. You can tone down the vinegar if you don't like tart, but we think it's perfect as is.

-1 bunch kale, washed, dried with paper towels, stalk discarded, and leaves chopped into bite size pieces (or you can just buy a 10 oz bag of washed, chopped kale- I do that too and it works great)
-1/4 C extra virgin olive oil
-2 cloves minced garlic
-1/4 C apple cider vinegar
-1/2 t salt (or to taste, you might want less)
-1/3 C grated parmesan cheese (not the green can kind)

Place the kale in a large bowl. Pour the olive oil into a small skillet and add the garlic. Cook over medium until garlic turns light golden, then stir in vinegar. Let it simmer for maybe 30 seconds to a minute, then remove from the heat and pour it over the kale. Use tongs to toss the salad for a minute, until it's cool enough to handle. Then use your hands to massage the dressing into the kale for a couple of minutes. Add the parmesan and toss to distribute it, then add salt to taste. You can either serve it as is or refrigerate it until cold. It keeps well in the fridge for at least a day, but has never lasted longer than that because we really like it.
I am so gonna try this tomorrow!! I'm going to limit the vinegar though since I'm partial to low acidity. And I'm going to add hot chili flakes to the oil too, we love a little spice.

Has anybody heard of Ottolenghi's book "Plenty?" It's a completely vegetarian book of wonderful recipes. I'ts on my wish list!!
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If a craving doesn't come from hunger, eating will never satisfy it.

You can't treat an eating disorder with a diet. Duh!

Last edited by Wannabeskinny : 11-05-2013 at 08:27 AM.
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Old 11-05-2013, 05:39 PM   #13
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Wannabeskinny, would you let me know how it turns out for you? We love it. When the leftovers have been in the fridge before, I've actually thought about it when I've woken up in the middle of the night, and I don't think I've EVER gotten out of bed during the night to go eat.
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