My friends Cheryl and Susan posted recently about vegetables. I struggle with vegetables because I struggle with cooking. Not that I am not good at it. I really am an awesome cook.
Actually, I just stink at the stuff surrounding cooking. I don't get to the grocery store as often as I should (ironically, I live across the street from one. However, I am really big on fresh produce, and they fail my test on that. They are great for the "Honey, we are out of this!" runs, though. And I am not talking behind their backs. I've told them. Heck, on more than one occasion, I've had to take back something I bought only five minutes before, once I cut it open).
I also stink at putting my stuff away and cleaning up, and so do the other three people I live with (I'm the best of the bunch, really)....so it always turns into a big project to cook, because there are four projects to do before I CAN actually cook (find the bottom of the sink, make space to work, put away a whole bunch of stuff, and get the kids to clean up the mess they made on the table). So there are way too many nights that McDonalds or Taco Bell does the cooking because of this, because we are already hungry, irritable, etc. when it comes time to look at getting dinner done (okay, add menu planning to the thing I am bad at getting done).
But I do like the cooking part (as does everyone else in the family, so again, it is a mess magnified).
I love veggies. We are working at getting more into our diet, so to think things through...I thought I'd do the same thing Cheryl did and see how many we are regularly eating, and how we can improve that.
Thinking through this process, I've also realized how much comes into play that I have a family (namely two males) who are rather picky when it comes to vegetables. The old one is getting better. The young one is getting worse, because he used to love anything and everything veggie...now he doesn't. Sometimes I ignore it. Sometimes I avoid it.
Things we regularly eat:
salad greens (I am lazy, I buy the box premixed...but by doing this, I've found my husband tolerates more greens than even he thought he did. I used to avoid everything but Iceberg and butter lettuce because he'd complain about things tasting bitter. Maybe since I get the baby salad mixes, it hasn't had time to go bitter, either. Since I started doing that, I haven't bought a head of iceberg lettuce).
sweet potatoes -roasted for an hour at 350. I have no idea why anyone would want to sweeten these up. They are heavenly.
asparagus (when in season) - I keep wanting to plant it in my garden, but I just KNOW that if I do, the year they finally will be ready to harvest to EAT, Jeff will get a call somewhere else. That is pastor's wives Murphy's Law.
broccoli (even though a certain young someone hates it)
cauliflower (and that young someone will eat it fresh, just doesn't like it cooked)
green beans (the only canned veggie I will eat, though fresh is better)
baby spinach (the kids will eat a bag of this like potato chips)
butternut squash (in the winter)
(woohoo, I hit 13!!!)
Things We Eat Sometimes:
cabbage (as naturally fermented sauerkraut. I have to make some of this. Oh man, it is so much better than vinegar fermented).
other types of squash
corn (if I can count corn, can I count other grains?)
beans (well, if you count how often Jeff does hot dogs and Bush's baked beans, they'd probably move up)
Things I Want to Try or Start Eating Again
beets - roasted. I make kvass with them occasionally. But it definitely is an acquired taste
jicama - I used to use this more when I was low-carbing.
cucumber - I like them. Nobody else does unless they have "Claussen" on the jar
radishes and radish greens - I think those are going in the garden next.
zucchini - these are going in the garden next, too. Again, nobody likes them but me, but with enough garlic, you can get my man to eat anything.
yellow squash - same
purslane - it is typically a weed, but it is REALLY good for you. It is the highest in Omega 3's out of ANY plant source. Good in salads, and I am told steamed. In fact, I have one patch in my garden that is growing because we actually planted seeds, and I have another variety growing in with our potatoes and watermelons that were completely unplanned.
As far as veggies go...my FAVORITE way too cook almost any is to roast them. I love to coat them with olive oil and throw a bunch together (usually always including carrots, celery (just for flavor), onion, and garlic). But then I will add asparagus, potatoes, squash, cauliflower, bell peppers, turnip, or something else. I'll coat with sea salt and then either put them in on their own, or throw a slab of meat on top and that is my one pot meal. It is SO good. In the Summer, my hubby will take whatever and do the same thing, but cut up the meat and put it all together in a foil pouch (huge foil pouch by the time he is done) and then throw that on the grill. No dishes to clean up. We also will put oil on asparagus and other things and just grill them. About the only thing I've found that isn't good roasted is broccoli, the flowerets anyway. The stalks are good that way.
I will occasionally steam, but I don't think I've ever boiled a vegetable. I don't like them that way.
I hope this post isn't as all over the place as I feel. That's why I highlighted the veggies in green...because I just can't seem to talk about anything lately without a ton of comments, or completely losing my train of....um what word was I thinking of?)