Skinny Daily Post

Invincible.

Interestingly, a lot of people e-mailed me about yesterday’s post to ask me for more information about exactly what I DO with all of those vegetables I’m buying. It seems I struck a nerve, because for a lot of us, we just aren’t all that well versed in how to prepare them in an appealing, practical, simple way.

Before I get to that, however, I want to highlight what I feel is the really important aspect of this journey. Namely, that my interest in, and enjoyment of, vegetables came about from a sort of palate-shift that I went through once I started eating fewer calories and began focusing on healthier habits. Its not so much that I discovered secret new ways to prepare vegetables that somehow made them more enticing. Its more that I began realizing that candy and snacks were not providing me with satisfaction or energy I need.

I should mention that one of my talents is NOT cooking. I don’t enjoy reading recipe books, and I don’t have much interest in asking people about food preparation ideas or where they find new cooking techniques, etc. I have never in my life watched a cooking show, either. When I work as a weight loss group leader, I always rely upon the other members to bring up the food ideas, recipes, and new strategies, because invariably they have invested more time and energy in it and are more excited by it. I’m always impressed by their interests and I encourage people to share as much as they can about this aspect of the weight journey. But I’m just not a cook.

So the only good news in all of this is that (1) if you currently dislike vegetables, relax, it doesn’t have to be that way forever and (2) you will not have to attend a culinary academy in order to learn how to prepare them.

And as for what it is that I do? Well, I have a couple of sturdy plastic containers. I place a few cups of frozen veggies in one of them, and then I stick it in the microwave and cook on high until they’re done. Sometimes I add spices, usually I don’t. Sometimes I’ll add some egg whites, usually I don’t. Trust me, when you begin to like vegetables, that will be enough. Often I dress them with a little salsa and/or mustard and then I’m finished.

Additionally, for Christmas, Devin bought me a fantastic new Calphalon pan. It is remarkable in that it not only heats quickly and evenly, but absolutely no cooking oil is required. None. I’ve tried with and without, and it makes no difference (to me). Again, my ‘recipe’ is to heat the skillet, throw the frozen veggies in there, sautee them till cooked and then remove them from the stove. And again, I dress them with either basalmic vinegar, some nice chemically flavorings (artificial cheese flavoring is delightful, if scary looking) and or a little salsa.

That’s it. My entire repertoire. I also have done this with fresh vegetables, but essentially, its just cook and eat.

The real ‘secret’ is just to give yourself a chance. Try different things. You don’t have to start out loving (or even liking) vegetables. But if you don’t serve them to yourself, you’ll never find out.

Your mileage may vary.

Jonathan.SDP@gmail.com

9 thoughts on “Stirring things up

  1. Greta says:

    I think that for me vegetables are a major key to weight loss. If I eat them I seem to lose and if I don’t eat them I seem to gain or stay the same. You forgot to mention raw as another great way to eat many veggies. Also almost raw lightly steamed is a good technique. However, I am much like you. I put a large quantity in a Corning casserole dish, add water, microwave, then eat plain.

  2. stretchy says:

    Jonathan,

    I have been eating frozen veggies since you started posting about them and I find them easy and satisfying.

    I never “try new recipes” and cooking shows bore me, so elaborate cooking is out for me… I eat a lot of mixed green salads too (those salads in a bag are great) I munch them as if they were Doritos– (on my little planet they are.) The more veggies I eat the better I feel.

    Your posts have helped me so much, to stay on track and to look forward in a good way, not like this is a chore.

  3. Margaret says:

    No way would I eat plain steamed veggies. But a little dressing up can go a long way.
    I sprinkle a little sesame oil and soy sauce and maybe add some tofu.

    Or in summer, I’ll mix zucchini with pasta sauce.

  4. Deirdre says:

    No way would I eat plain steamed veggies. But a little dressing up can go a long way.

    A sprinkling of parmesan cheese doesn’t add a lot of calories, but does add something to the flavor.

  5. stretchy says:

    I never believed I could enjoy plain salads or plain steamed veggies…never in a million years, no no no…but I was wrong… I used less and less spice, and I actually began tasting the veggies, esp fresh veg.

    I still use spices at times, variety and all… and i like adding hummus or salsa too… but sometimes i crave plain old plain veggies.

    Jonathan–how do you feel about mushrooms?

  6. Stephanie says:

    I have been reading this site daily for the past couple of months. You all are really amazing. I am learning so much. With this post I feel compelled to mention that there is evidence that it is not safe to microwave plastic. It is just as easy to use ceramic or glass. For women there could be a breast cancer link to plastic leaching into our food. I am all for easy prep, but I think no plastic containers in the microwave is a good rule. Okay, hope it is ok to post this kind of thing.

  7. Elizabeth says:

    Stephanie:

    http://www.snopes.com/medical/toxins/cookplastic.asp

    _If_ plasticizers are leaching into microwaved foods, it’s only foods with a high fat content, and probably only from containers and/or plastic wrap that are not approved by the FDA as microwave safe. And there’s still not any evidence of a link between plasticizers and cancer in humans.

  8. Allyson says:

    I shop at Trader Joe’s often. They have these really great frozen meal kits. My fave is the Asian vegetables with Beijing soy sauce. The entire bag is less than 500 calories! I used to cook rice with it but gave up cause the veggies are always done way before the rice.

  9. Pens says:

    Veggies go with Italian. I lose a lof of weight eating fresh (never frozen) vegis dressed with goats cheese, olive oil, balsamic, pepper and salt, seaweed (raw or toasted), sesame seeds. I was taught by my Italian friend after watching her make the most gorgeous salads, she eats every day – lettuse, tomato, pumpkin, cold eggs, tuna, cheeses, salmon – anything in the fridge.
    Neither of us has ever been overweight, thanks to the salads! and yoghurt.
    My fave italian restaurant dresses its namesake salad with a mix of olive oil, vinegar, mustard and finely diced onions – left for 24 hrs in fridge. gorgeous.

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