Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Let's Talk About Veg, Baby . . .

So, Ely left a comment on my last post (thank you for that!) and asked about my meals and if they were protein/grain heavy, noting that vegetables seem to be a recurring theme for me.  Um . . . yes, and yes.  I grew up in an Irish household.  We're talking meat and potatoes.  And bread.  With a very small amount of veg - you know, like corn . . .  seriously, my mom always made sure there were green vegetables, but when I was a kid, most veggies came out of a can and they weren't very good - except for canned asparagus, which I still like to this day  :-D

Vegetables are definitely a recurring theme for me.  They have never been my first choice, plus, I'm a seasonal eater.  I generally want hot food in the winter, which means I really have to think about a salad to actually have one in the middle of the deep freeze here at this time of year.

Ely also suggested veggie smoothies, which - in theory, is a great suggestion.  Everyone likes these . . . except me, apparently  :-D  My cousin, ME, is always trying to get me to have a smoothie.  I have never been able to consider a smoothie a replacement for a meal.  A smoothie is something you drink . . . in my brain, that means I would be eating twice.  This is not a good plan for me.

More importantly, however, I think that the entire point of eating veggies - actually there is more than one point, but the main one - is to fill you up so you are not hungry.  A glass of liquid doesn't do that for me.  It never has.

Obviously, it's clear I need to focus more on the fruit/vegetable dynamic.  When Linda the Chicken Lady was staying with me for a few weeks.  I ate a LOT of vegetables.  That's because she eats a ton of them and she was cooking a lot (which was great  :-D).  So, it's not like I won't eat them (although there are some I won't).  It's more a matter of taking the time to prepare them.

I am often in the situation of having bought all sorts of veggies with the best of intentions, and having them rot before I can eat them.  This happens a lot.  So I'm buying smaller amounts whenever possible, and perhaps more importantly, I'm checking off the boxes on my tracker - I had fallen away from that - those boxes are all about the good health guidelines.  We're supposed to follow those every day  :-D

There's no one standing over my shoulder, making me follow the good health guidelines.  I mean, I'm the only person who is responsible for what I put in my mouth . . . perhaps it is time that I step up to the plate (see what I did there?  ;-)) as an adult and not a five-year-old . . .

Here's short list of the veggies I don't really like:
  • Raw tomatoes.  They make me gag.  However, I will cook certain dishes with them (my lasagna is killer), and I like ketchup, and salsa.  Go figure.  
  • Peas.  Blech.  
  • Okra.  Please don't attempt to change my mind.  Not happening.
  • Mushrooms.  I will eat them if they are well-hidden in something (e.g., my lasagna and my spinach burritos)
  • Celery.  I've been known to eat it once in a great while (Ants on a Log, anyone?).  
  • Radishes.  Too peppery
  • Cauliflower.  Too peppery, but I'm going to try roasting it - I think it might be OK like that
I like:
  • Red Peppers
  • Onions
  • Spinach
  • Chard
  • Green Beans
  • Broccoli
  • Lettuce
  • Carrots
  • Asparagus (fresh or canned  :-D)
  • Beets  (my mom said that I was the only baby she ever met who liked beets.  I still like them - and I adore them pickled  :-) )
  • Spinach 
  • Brussels Sprouts  (roasted!)
  • Kale
  • Artichokes
  • Zucchini
  • Eggplant

And of course I like the starchy veggies:

  • Corn (Yum!!)
  • Lima Beans (Yum!!)
  • Potatoes (what's not to like?!)
  • Parsnips
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Winter Squash

Really - don't you just want to roast up a huge pan of root vegetables now?  :-D

There are probably a few I've left out, but it's not like I have a list a mile long of veggies I won't eat. I mean, the list of the ones I like is WAY longer, and for the most part, if a veggie is set before me, I'm going to eat it.  I think it's the preparation and the fact that veggies are just never the first thing I would reach for - for anything.

Think back . . .  when you fell and scraped your knee, did your mom say, "Come on, let's have a salad, you'll feel better."  Did she?  Mine didn't.  Treat and comfort foods were NOT of the green variety when I was growing up - more along the lines of candy, cake (still my favorite), or ice cream; and my favorite comfort foods are still a grilled cheese sandwich, red jello with Cool Whip, and Kraft dinner, more commonly known as mac and cheese.

I digress . . .

I've got a good list of veggies up there that I like.  I'm going to have to find some good ways to cook them that don't take 25 ingredients and two hours to prepare.

I'll keep you informed  :-)


Michelle said...

Believe it or not, yams (the darker, sweeter, creamier of the "sweet potato" varieties) are much lower on the glycemic index than regular potatoes or even carrots. I just scrub them and pop them in the microwave and eat the whole thing up, skin and all. Nothing easier than that!

A :-) said...

Yum! Sounds good!

Linda said...

Sorry I'm late to the party with my comments; I keep falling behind on blog reading.

Roasting makes most veggies taste fantastic, so do give the roasted cauliflower a try. (Didn't we do a batch when I was there? I thought we did and you judged it passable, but not as good as roasted potatoes. ;-))

Roasted veg make great leftovers to have with a quick dinner or even breakfast. Go ahead and roast up some asparagus and green beans. Have a few roasted asparagus spears cold with your breakfast of ham and cheese. They're so yummy rolled up into a little finger food at breakfast, lunch, or for a quick dinner. Roasted green beans can be used the same way.

Hot soup with lots of veggies is good,, too. Be inspired by minestrone and make something similar with some quality veggie broth from a carton and add stuff like finally chopped celery (you'll eat it this way, right?), sliced or diced carrots, and some garlic or onion. Simmer it for a while as you settle in after work. Toss in some zucchini slices, add some canned beans if you want, and in the final minute or two add some fresh or frozen spinach. If you wanted pasta that night you could cook up a bit and add it to the bowl before you eat this wonderful veggie soup, or just have some bread and cheese on the side. Or add some protein in the form of roasted pork or chicken. Don't forget to add some fresh or dried herbs like basil to the final dish. :-)

Those are just a few ideas. I can always give you more, just say the word!