Monday, February 7, 2011

the Vegetable Issue

An AE fan writes in with the following question:

My significant other hates vegetables, but wants to like them. What could I make him [to get him more comfortable with eating vegetables]?

First off: major props to your dude for wanting to give vegetables a try! They're not as scary as they seem, and can easily be disguised until his true love for them comes around.

Root vegetables are a great place to start because they dress up nicely and can do a lot of different things. If someone likes potatoes (and honestly, do you know anyone who doesn't?), other root veggies can be substituted 50/50 or even 100% in many recipes. Some examples:

  • Use both white and sweet potatoes to make mashed potatoes.
  • Slice some sweet potatoes thin, coat them with olive oil and a healthy dose of salt and pepper and bake them up for some homemade sweet potato fries.
  • Make home fries using a mixture of white potatoes and turnips. Their similar coloring makes them nearly indistinguishable from one another. Turnips may have a bad rap but they're actually pretty high up on my favorites, mostly because they taste like a combination of carrots and corn. Yum!
  • Chopped root vegetables (perhaps a mixture?) drizzled with olive oil, salt, pepper, and fresh rosemary if you've got it, baked at 475 degrees for 30 minutes.
Soups are often a good choice because many people who "hate vegetables" won't go to the trouble of picking them out of a soup. Chicken noodle soup with green beans, corn, carrots and celery or Tomato Florentine soup and grilled cheese might be worth tries.

My focus here is to target things that he already accepts as "safe foods" and then slowly work to replace some of the ingredients with vegetables, or add vegetables to them. The Tomato Florentine soup listed above is pretty much plain tomato soup with some veggies thrown in. If he is comfortable eating roasted potatoes or homemade french fries, he may be willing to give them a try even if they're not make with white Russets.

He may also transition well (in the future) to meals like my Leek and Lemon Risotto with some chopped asparagus added in; a good beef or chicken stir fry with veggies like broccoli, thinly sliced onions, carrots, and peppers in a peanut sauce or sweet soy ginger sauce; or homemade pizza with pepperoni and some colorful veggies.

Faithful readers, do you have any other suggestions that may be of help?

1 comment:

  1. I would only add that raw vegetables (even uncooked green beans and peas, etc.) have always been a big hit with the men in my life. For dinner, I just slice up some carrots/celery/cucumbers or put a bowl of cherry tomatoes on the table (instead of potato chips) and see what happens.

    Also...I'm trying your Leek and Lemon Risotto for V-day. So. Excited. :)