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.