samalope

Intimidated by veggies... some help finding variety

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So I really haven't had much variety in the veggie department. I am kind of nervous to try something new - what if I put effort or money into making something and it turns out horrible!

I've noticed these are the veggies I like and have been eating regularly : broccoli, carrots, green beans, potatoes
I also like these raw: carrots, celery, chopped greens (a cabbage, kale, lettuce mix)

Green peppers are ok, but only if I don't really notice them or in very small amounts.

Some veggies I have tried to like but just can't: sweet potatoes (don't like the flavor), zucchini and squash (the texture and taste bug me)

I bought a spaghetti squash last month but never got around to cooking it D: That is something I would really like to try and not be afraid of ruining it

I feel like I might be missing out on some nutrients or other healthy benefits... any one have a suggestion to force myself out of my veggie comfort zone?

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Green peppers taste like grass. Have you tried red, yellow, or orange peppers? Much different flavor than green. 

Pick a vegetable, look for a recipe that sounds interesting, and cook it. Honestly, that is the only way you're going to branch out. Make sure you have a recipe. 

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Roasting most veggies is, in our household, the most favoured way of cooking them. It tends to carmelize the natural sugars and crisp out the outsides.

You can literally chop up whatever you have, throw on a baking sheet, toss in fat and roast at around 435-450 until fork tender. Normally you would go for sturdier veggies as the more wet ones will just steam.

You won't ruin your spaghetti squash, get online and find a tutorial on how to cook one. There are lots of different ways about it so I won't expound on it here.

 

 

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I'm guessing the sweet potatoes you've tried are just the regular orange ones. If you happen to find Japanese sweet potatoes, give them a try -- totally different flavor and texture. They look like this:  https://urbanacres.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/red-japanese-sweet-potato.gif

The Crisp & Sweet recipe on this page is my favorite way to have collard greens, it will also work with kale and other greens:   http://meljoulwan.com/2010/01/12/eat-your-vegetables-kale-chard-beet-tops-and-more/

How do you feel about mushrooms? I like to put them raw in salads, but also really like them sauteed as a topping for steak or chicken. (Here's a recipe:  https://juliasalbum.com/mushroom-and-garlic-saute/)

Jicama adds a nice crunch to salads, or cut it into sticks and use it to dip guacamole. Google how to cut jicama if you aren't quite sure how to deal with it. There are recipes for cooking it, but I don't like it cooked, so I can't really recommend one.

I second roasting just about any vegetables, especially root vegetables and winter squashes like butternut or acorn squash. And definitely just go wander the produce department and see what looks interesting. You never know what you might find.

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20 minutes ago, samalope said:

I MADE SPAGHETTI SQUASH AND MEAT SAUCE! And it was delicious NSV !!!!

YESSS!!!!!  Way to expand your culinary skills and tastes!!!  Awesome!

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I wonder if the things you don't like are due more to how they were cooked and seasoned or lack of seasoning than anything else.  I can't stand steamed veggies with just salt and pepper--texture puts me off and lack of creativity in flavoring.  Sweet potatoes for example are amazing when chopped into wedges, tossed with olive oil and seasonings (salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, pinch of cayenne, and smoked paprika) and roasted in the oven.  A microwaved sweet potatoe with just the most basic of flavor is beyond boring for me.  Though I do find zucchini and yellow squash can be too watery in many recipes that are online because of the cooking method.  You might also like a good soup from some of these veggies.  I find I love zucchini soup, and it requires me to purree teh zucchini, so I don't have to deal with the texture. 

Sometimes, recipes just don't specify how large to chop the vegetables up, or I realize that I like to chops certain ones smaller like celery to make them more palatable.  I think the biggest thing will be seasoning and cooking method for you.

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I really like cabbage sauteed with onion and garlic. Sometimes I'll add in paprika, salt, pepper, and allspice to taste too (sounds strange, but very good!). It's a really tasty meal with a baked potato and a nice piece of chicken or pork. And spinach is divine sauteed with garlic, onion, and an Italian herb blend (oregano, basil, etc).

Roasted brussels sprouts and roasted cauliflower are also favorites of mine. Both are great tossed with some olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, and pine nuts. Like posters above, I find sauteing and roasting to be far superior ways of cooking veggies over steaming, so you might try that instead? Good luck!

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I love cauliflower and brussels sprouts for roasting ... brussels sprouts I like to quarter and then roast with avocado oil salt and pepper and they're always tasty 

cauliflower is so neutral and can carry so many seasonings really nicely, I'll roast them one night with a bunch of seasoning and the next day incorporate them into something else for example; 

roasted with an Italian type blend ... leftovers tossed in with spaghetti squash meat sauce (which yay glad you had and loved that!)

roasted with curry or other asian blend ... leftovers tossed into a curry/stew or stir fry 

roasted with Latin flavored spices ... leftovers tossed into a taco salad 

I find cucumber to be an easy thing to incorporate and they're so good for you!

for me the key is blending my own herbs and spices using my nose, cutting things down small so they get an extra little crisp to them. 

Honestly, dollar stores have fresh produce ... I saw eggplant there the other day, be sure you salt it and let it rest to pull out the bitterness before you cook it (this would also be great in a meat sauce and spag squash) ... you could even try to spiralize zucchini or yellow squash, maybe you'd like them better in sauce / the texture changes when it's in noodle shape. 

Also, if you aren't loving things you've made, throwing it all together into a soup or curry sometimes masks what you don't like or reverses what may have gone wrong in the cooking .... or you can also try new veggies in a frittata that's another masking strategy :)

I also loooove mushrooms and beets (poaching beets and then peeling after is the easiest way in my opinion)

shredded radishes in taco salads? Hahha okay I'm gonna stop now, I guess I love too many veggies 

Good luck!

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One of the things I like to do to keep from getting bored with produce is get the occasional Misfit Market Box. It's one of those subscription services that sends you organic produce that would otherwise be discarded due to size, minor blemishes, or surplus at a discount. It would defeat the purpose of the box to waste food that's in it, so I end up having to find creative ways to use produce I either wouldn't normally select or even things I don't care for too much (soups/stews are really good for items that are a little more damaged, starting to turn, or ones I just don't like and need to hide; for fruit cooking it can help if there are a lot of bruises, etc).

Misfit Market is only available in NJ, NY, PA, CT, and DE, but there are other companies like it including Imperfect Produce. (I do have a referral code for MM that will give anyone a discount on their first box). 

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Try adding a new veggie to soups or other dishes, like the spaghetti squash and meat sauce, maybe next time you make it, add some roasted eggplant to the sauce, or some mushrooms!  Next time you make soup, toss in some chopped bok choi or red pepper.  Or, if you have kids, let them pick out a veggie to try and look up a recipe when you get home.  Also, if you don't like zucchini, try it raw (either chopped small or in thin slices-sliced with a veggie peeler).  It is really neutral and can be great in salads. 

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20 minutes ago, Sharon90 said:

You can make nice tacos with zucchini and minced meat. I personally like to make toasts with the healthy zucchini bread and eggs or salmon. you can also add nuts and cocoa into the recipe and make a sweet bread

This recipe is definitely not whole30. You might want to review the rules:  https://whole30.com/whole30-program-rules/

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On 3/28/2018 at 7:51 AM, samalope said:

So I really haven't had much variety in the veggie department. I am kind of nervous to try something new - what if I put effort or money into making something and it turns out horrible!

I've noticed these are the veggies I like and have been eating regularly : broccoli, carrots, green beans, potatoes
I also like these raw: carrots, celery, chopped greens (a cabbage, kale, lettuce mix)

Green peppers are ok, but only if I don't really notice them or in very small amounts.

Some veggies I have tried to like but just can't: sweet potatoes (don't like the flavor), zucchini and squash (the texture and taste bug me)

I bought a spaghetti squash last month but never got around to cooking it D: That is something I would really like to try and not be afraid of ruining it

I feel like I might be missing out on some nutrients or other healthy benefits... any one have a suggestion to force myself out of my veggie comfort zone?

I top my spaghetti squash with a spaghetti sauce, like a replacement for pasta. Tastes great.

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