Bad childhood memories of PEAS and stuffed green peppers? Flavorless, overcooked or canned vegetables that are gray and mushy? Do you hold the belief that vegetables are for decoration only? Read on…
I had a student of a culinary class I teach contact me wanting help finding vegetable recipes for health reasons.
I inquired: I’m putting on my thinking cap! Give me a little more detail about why you avoid them at all costs. Flavor? Texture? There’s a whole new world out there for you to discover and I want to make sure I hit the target in the bulls eye for you.
“I need someone to teach me how to make vegetables fun and taste good. “Mushy” – is not a good texture except for guacamole and mashed potatoes.”
I Googled “I Hate Vegetables” and was overwhelmed, shocked and perplexed by how many people Hate Vegetables! It’s simply unbelievable! I can’t comprehend it at all. There are a few that I don’t care for myself, but literally only about two: raw squash and hmmmmmmmmm, what was the other one?
I drew an imaginary line on the floor for my new client and they gleefully jumped over it in anticipation of discovering the Joys of Vegetables.
If your are veggiephobic and want to change your evil ways and gain the nutritional and tasty benefits of vegetables, here are some tips:
1.) Take a tour of the produce department at your local organic supermarket such as Whole Foods, Vitamin Cottage or a Farmer’s market, etc. that has locally grown produce. (Conventionally grown vegetables tend to sometimes be flavorless and mealy.)
2.) Buy organically grown produce that is in season, it is the most flavorful, nutritious and economical that way.
3.) Mix up the colors, different colored vegetables contain different vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants and phytochemicals.
4.) Start out with dishes that contain both meat or poultry and veggies.
5.) A little bit of butter, sea salt and fresh ground pepper really bring out the natural flavors in vegetables.
6.) Try new vegetables and cooking methods that you haven’t before. Explore!
Here are some recipes that might help you go from veggiephobia to veggietopia!
(Veggiephobia Part II is coming soon!)
Sweet Potatoes and Spicy Chorizo
3 LG Sweet Potatoes
4 Oz. Dry White Wine
12 Oz. Chorizo
1 sm Onion (chopped)
1 Jalapeño (finely chopped) (include seeds and membrane if you like HOT)
Fresh Ground Pepper
Peel and cube (3/4”) the sweet potatoes. Put wine and a pinch of salt in a large pot and bring to a boil. Place cubes of sweet potato in the pot making sure they all get coated with the wine mixture. Reduce to a simmer and cover. Let cook until all the wine has evaporated or until tender. While this is happening, render the chorizo in a skillet breaking it apart with a spatula. When chorizo is brown, pour off the excess fat and add chopped onion and jalapeño. Cook until the onions are translucent. Gently mix in the sweet potatoes. Season to taste.
Savory Green Beans with Bits of Bacon
3 Lbs. Fresh Green Beans
2 Slices Bacon
Snap (or cut) off ends of green beans and rinse. Discard any bad ones. Render the bacon in a sauté pan and reserve. Blanch the beans in boiling salted water for approximately one minute. Drain beans removing as much of the water as possible. Place trimmed and washed beans into the hot sauté pan with the bacon fat. Be careful, they will sputter and splatter a little but this will help steam them. Keep them moving in the pan and totally coat each bean with the bacon fat as this will seal in the flavor. After the sauté pan has calmed down a bit, season to taste with salt pepper and savory. Continue cooking until they are still slightly crisp (al dente’). Just before serving, chop the cooked bacon strips and sprinkle on top of beans.
Roasted Potato Wedges
4 LG Potatoes (mix them up:Yukon Gold, Purple, Sweet Potato, Fingerlings
To Coat Olive Oil
To Taste Sea Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper
To Taste Fresh Rosemary (bruised) or dried rosemary
Pre-heat oven to 425f.
Wash thoroughly and dry potatoes with paper towel. Cut Potatoes in wedges (except for fingerlings). Place in bowl and coat with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and rosemary. Arrange on oiled sheet pan (cookie sheet) making sure that there is space between the potatoes. Roast for 20 min. then turn the potatoes. Keep in oven for an additional 15to 20 min. (or longer) depending on how crisp you like them.