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Topic: Sooo, I guess I'm not a vegetable-type person  (Read 3886 times)
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« Reply #10 on: August 01, 2008 12:18:05 PM »

Making soup is an easy way to get your veggies! Start with broth - veggie broth or bouillion is easily found or made. Chop up practically any veggies you want (carrots, broccolli, roasted peppers, fennel bulbs, tomatoes, squash, pumpkins, onions, combinations of things, too). For extra flavor you can sautee them first in olive oil and garlic if you want, or roast in the oven. Throw them in the broth and boil until they are soft. For thicker soup throw in a chopped up potato.
You can add any seasonings you like as well.
When the veggies are soft, turn off the heat, let it cool a little bit, and then whizz with a hand blender until it's nice and creamy. You can throw in cheese, cream cheese, milk or cream at this point if you eat dairy and like creamier soup.
That's it!
If you make a big pot you can freeze small portions in ziploc bags or tupperware for quick meals.
Heat them up, throw in some croutons, and you have a yummy vegetable meal!

Another fall back is stirfry veggies with oli ve oil and balsamic vinegar, soy sauce or mushroom au jus and serve with pasta, rice or couscous. I can even manage to eat beets that way!
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sunshine_fix
« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2008 12:32:40 PM »

If trying vegetables doesn't work for you, but you still want to be vegetarian, try and finely grate veggies like zucchini and carrots into things like pasta sauces. There is also this book out called Deceptively Delicious that I saw in the bookstore that's meant for people with kids. It's meant for omnivores, but it would probably be really easy to adapt lots of those recipes to the veg diet. Go to the book store and write down some recipes. She claims her kids don't know the difference.
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lemonader
« Reply #12 on: August 16, 2008 08:03:07 PM »

Experiment!

I used to think I hated vegetables. That's because, when I was a kid, all my mom would cook were the following:
-potatoes (which I liked, and still do, but have long since branched out)
-frozen carrots
-frozen corn
-frozen peas (which I still will not TOUCH to this day. Ever.)

And since I hated most of these, she wouldn't even try to feed me anything else. So I grew up not eating many veggies, and then moved away. And when I started doing my own grocery shopping, I noticed all these other types of veggies - spinach, kale, peppers, zucchini, sprouts, snow peas - the possibilities were endless. To this day, about once a month or so, I make a point of buying a totally new vegetable and learning how to cook it.

You know what? I love vegetables now. I've turned into the type of person who will sit down and just eat vegetables for dinner.

So, my advice to you is this - experiment, experiment, experiment!
Some of my favourite vegetables dishes:

-Parmesan-crusted mushrooms: slice up white mushrooms and saute them in a bit of butter/margarine and olive oil. Not a lot though, you don't need much. Throw some fresh diced garlic in there, and cook it all up until the mushrooms are cooked through. Throw a handful of commercial parmesan (the stuff in the can) or even vegan parmesan into it, and fry it some more. The parmesan will stick to the mushrooms and get all crusty and golden. It is delicious!!

-Stuffed artichokes: Cut the stems off 2-4 artichokes and clip the tops of the outer leaves with scissors until they're flat, and then take a knife and cut a few centimetres off the top. There are picture tutorials out there on the internet. Pop them into a big pot of boiling salted water until they're a vibrant green - 10-15 minutes. While they're boiling, make your stuffing: mix bread crumbs (I like the Italian-flavoured ones for this), parmesan/vegan parmesan, spices, and a bit of olive oil to make it all stick together. Once your artichokes are done boiling, remove them carefully and let them cool down enough to touch. And then stuff those suckers!! Get the filling in everywhere that you can. Put them in a small pan (note: pans with high sides help keep the artichokes upright) and bake them in the oven until the stuffing is browned and crispy. Delish! You just bite the "meat" off of the outer leaves of the artichokes, but you can eat the inner leaves whole.

-Grilled zucchini/eggplant/kusa (a Lebanese variant of zucchini/eggplant, I forget which) - so easy. Slice it up on the diagonal so you get slabs about 3/4 of a centimetre to a centimetre thick. It's more of a personal preference, I find slicing them thinner is nicer because you can put the leftovers on sandwiches too. Heat up some olive oil in a grill pan, and when it's hot, arrange the pieces on the pan. Salt and pepper them on either side to taste. Now the trick - squirt some Braggs liquid aminos on both sides. Once you try this stuff, you'll put it on everything. If you want those great grill marks, put the pieces on the grill and LEAVE THEM THERE. Don't touch. Only flip them once after a few minutes.

-In my opinion, there is nothing finer than a grilled vegetable sandwich on some fresh crusty bread. Sauteed mushrooms, roasted red peppers, grilled zucchini, lettuce, olives, carmelized onions... you get the picture. Put some condiments on it (I like the nayonnaise/mustard/egg-free horseradish combo) and some cheese... the cheese is essential. When I ate dairy, I loved some old cheddar or goat cheese on this sandwich.

-Celery remoulade. Look it up - bonus points for finding a picture tutorial, because you'll need it. It's like coleslaw, just made with celery root (celeriac). Note: this is only for people who really know how to cook, as a remoulade sauce is hard. But when you learn how to do it, the dish is so rewarding - tender and tangy, it will make your mouth water.

To sum up:
1. Learn to cook. If you already know how to cook, learn to cook better. Find new recipes. Buy a couple of vegan or vegetable-centric cookbooks. I find that Veganomicon is a fabulous collection of amazing gourmet recipes.
2. Try new vegetables. Trust me, you have NOT tried them all.
3. Make sure your vegetables are as fresh as possible. If you know someone with a garden, hit them up for veggies. Vegetables ALWAYS taste so much better when they were on the vine that morning.
4. Don't try to "sneak" vegetables into your food - that doesn't always work out well. Sure, add a  new veggie to a veg dish that you already like, but doing the Jessica Seinfeld-esque grating zucchini into brownies is a recipe for disaster (no pun intended). Find a way to prepare vegetables so that you get to appreciate them for what they are.
5. If you don't like something at first, try to figure out why. Was it prepared poorly? Is there something about the taste, texture that you dislike? And if you're having trouble eating veggies, just remember that your palate will re-train itself shortly. Your human nature means that you do like veggies - you're just used to a life full of meat and processed crap that when you taste something pure and natural like a vegetable, your taste buds reject it because it's not what you're used to. Give it time.
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lil_abi
« Reply #13 on: August 19, 2008 08:20:12 AM »

I just want to say that I think it's great not only that you're considering going veggie, but especially that you want to learn to like veggies.  I had a roommate in college who was a vegetarian since birth (owing to her parents, who thought the normal picky eating of a toddler was her asserting stolid food preferences early on), yet wouldn't touch anything green, almost on principle.

I was not a veggie lover growing up.  We didn't keep too many fresh veggies in the house since they would just go bad, salad didn't excite me, and cooked veggies were usually cooked into oblivion.  Now that I'm cooking for myself, my husband and I are lovers of many things green.  We've figured out how to cook broccoli and green beans so they're not army green and mushy. 

Like many have said before, stir-fry.  Start with a few things you do like, throw on plenty of sauce, and cook just until they're just done.  Some people prefer raw veg with dip; I prefer lightly cooked veg in sauce.  That's going to be your preference.  If raw makes you gag, cook 'em.  Also, try throwing a new veg on top of pizza.  I learned to like green peppers this way.  Also, try onions, broccoli, spinach, etc.  Or try throwing something green into a burrito or a quesadilla.  Cheese quesadilla plus salsa or guacamole or onions, or peppers or mushrooms.  Slice 'em thin so the flavor is mild. 

Good luck! 
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serendipity3_82
« Reply #14 on: August 19, 2008 10:48:25 PM »

Someone made a good point about not liking veggies because they were from out of a can or frozen.  Canned veggies are metallic tasting and usually the texture is bad. 

When I moved out on my own, learning how to cook veggies properly helped SO much.  A lot of my family members over-cooked veggies into a grey, smelly blob (especially broccoli, brussels sprouts..that sort of thing).  Roasting root vegetables is easy and yummy.  Steaming is also really good and fast.  Dressings really help too.  Lemon juice and sesame seed oil or olive oil and different kinds of vinegar are awesome.   

There are cookbooks out there that deal specifically with how to cook veggies.  They're really informative!
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« Reply #15 on: August 20, 2008 07:11:00 AM »

Getting a CSA has forced me to try a lot of veggies I'd never normally buy, and learn to cook them. I'm surprised by how much I have enjoyed this. Farm fresh organic veggies are amazing.


Another good one for brocolli or cauliflower is to mash it with potatoes, then sprinkle cheese on top and broil. Yum!
Omelettes/frittatas are great with various veggies, too.
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ladykluck
« Reply #16 on: September 18, 2008 10:44:45 AM »

I'm not a vegetarian, and I think the closest I'll ever come is alternating weeks... though when I think about it, I hardly ever cook meat on my own.

That being said, I am trying really hard to eat more veggies.  Growing up there were only a few I liked, so I've been working on expanding that.  I've discovered that i really do like spinach in stuff - last night I made spinach and broccoli lasagna that was sooooooo good. 

Anyway, I found a cookbook that has been really helpful as I've been learning about vegetables.  It's called The Vegetarian Family Cookbook by Nava Atlas.  (She also has a helpful website, i can't remember it off the top of my head, but you could google it.) I checked it out from the library and liked it so much that I bought a copy.  There is information about a lot of vegetarian staples like seitan and tofu - how to choose them, what kinds are available, etc.  It was really informative and helpful.  The recipes are pretty good, too - since it's made for vegetarian families with picky kids, at least half of the recipes are completely reasonable with veggies you've heard of....  I made the Alphabet Veggie soup last week with stuff I had in my fridge, and I've got the Shepherd's Pie and Veggie Pot Pie planned for relatively soon.  Recipes like that might kind of ease you in a bit more gently, or at least see what is possible!  A lot of them are also either vegan or include comments about how they can be made vegan.

Good luck and well done you for teaching yourself to like veggies!
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« Reply #17 on: September 18, 2008 11:08:23 AM »

Roasting veggies is a good, easy way to fix them: toss in olive oil and sea salt and stick in the oven at 400 for 10 mins or so. Green beans are like french fries this way!
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Ducky2010
« Reply #18 on: September 25, 2008 08:01:33 AM »

Anyway, I've been thinking a lot lately about becoming a vegetarian.  I don't really like meat anyway and I want to work towards being healthier.  Plus, I do like a lot of breads, fruits, and dairy products.  I don't, however, like many vegetables.  I want to, I just don't.

Just HAD to put my two cents in here.  Tongue Vegetarianism is NOT healthier on principle. I've seen a lot of very unhealthy vegans (you know the kind, they're all skinny and sickly looking because they're malnourished). I've also seen plenty of healthy meat-eaters. The reason vegetarians seem more healthy is because if they want to do it for any length of time they have to know how to balance they're diet to get all the essential proteins and vitamins, whereas people who eat meat (and often a lot of other crap) get that from the meat itself without necessarily trying. Also, vegetarians, especially vegans, tend to cut a lot of the processed crap from their diets because its not kosher.

However, that does not mean that I don't think you should go for it, but do it because YOU want to, whatever that reason may be. Otherwise you'll end up cheating, etc, and that's what tends to give vegetarians a bad rep. There are lots of good resources on this website and through Google that can get you started with recipes, etc. So... good luck!
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lemonader
« Reply #19 on: November 03, 2008 04:24:03 PM »

Anyway, I've been thinking a lot lately about becoming a vegetarian.  I don't really like meat anyway and I want to work towards being healthier.  Plus, I do like a lot of breads, fruits, and dairy products.  I don't, however, like many vegetables.  I want to, I just don't.

Just HAD to put my two cents in here.  Tongue Vegetarianism is NOT healthier on principle. I've seen a lot of very unhealthy vegans (you know the kind, they're all skinny and sickly looking because they're malnourished). I've also seen plenty of healthy meat-eaters. The reason vegetarians seem more healthy is because if they want to do it for any length of time they have to know how to balance they're diet to get all the essential proteins and vitamins, whereas people who eat meat (and often a lot of other crap) get that from the meat itself without necessarily trying. Also, vegetarians, especially vegans, tend to cut a lot of the processed crap from their diets because its not kosher.

However, that does not mean that I don't think you should go for it, but do it because YOU want to, whatever that reason may be. Otherwise you'll end up cheating, etc, and that's what tends to give vegetarians a bad rep. There are lots of good resources on this website and through Google that can get you started with recipes, etc. So... good luck!

Great point, Ducky! I've met so many people who tried going veg and just gave up and went back to being omni because they were so unhealthy... because most of what they were eating was crap. There are, of course, those who just aren't suited to vegetarian/veganism, but I think for a lot of people it's a matter of identifying what your body needs and what you aren't getting. If all you eat is processed soy junk and bread, sure, you're going to be pretty damn unhealthy.
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