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By favorgrl On 08/19/02  

I'm really bad about eating my daily fruits and veggies. Any tips on how to sneak more of them into my diet? I'm allergic to spinach so I won't be sneaking that.


By monkeyrocker On 08/19/02  

Ants on a log! The yummiest snack ever! Take celery sticks, put peanut butter in the little groove and put raisins on top (mmmmmmm....). If you aren't tempted to eat them all at once (my boyfriend and I ate a whole bag of celery last night), you can make some and put them in the fridge to eat later as a ready-snack. I like to carry a bag of apple slices and carrot sticks to work with me (when I remember). Also, I sometimes buy a bag of dried fruit and keep it in my desk at work (I like dried apricots and cranberries a lot).

By lindastar On 08/19/02  

cucumber slices, cherry tomatoes (oh god i love love love those nature sweet tomatoes), celery and carrots are easy to add to your lunch. my boss thinks i am super healthy but in fact i am super-poor. if the chopping up factor bothers you, buy pre-chopped (more expensive, but at least you're eating them!) or what i do is sunday night drag out all the stuff i need chopped up for lunch and go mad.

i like green beans, i buy them fresh pretty much every week. one thing i suggest (if you cook and such) is to try the fresh version and NOT the canned version cause there was a lot of stuff i didn't so much like till i tried the fresh version.

asparagus is good, although i'm developing some sort of allergy. broccolli, artichokes, squash and zuchinni.

i dunno... i basically steam all of my vegetables, and my bro got me in the habit of having one with each dinner i cooked (for him, when we lived together and had cooking tradeoffs), so at least i get that in. i just buy like 5 veggies at the store, at least, and then i've gotta use em or i'll be wasting. you can try adding them into things like stir frying if you are really vegetable averse.

i say, you just gotta branch out and accept em. i used to be a picky eater, till i made it 'exciting' to discover new foods, and for me its fun to cook, so like yesterday i made turkey w/squash garlic onions red peppers and celery leaves.. and lets just say i don't like any of those ingredients on their own, but it was fantastic.

good luck!

By kittythedog On 08/19/02  

I find if I buy fruit, I eat it. Especially if I don't buy packages of cookies and snacks. It's easier to eat an apple than cook something.

You can sneak a lot of stuff into soup, pasta salad or pasta sauce-- broccoli, carrots, peppers, corn, peas, whatever. Try making a bunch of prepared salads for the week, too-- like tabbouli, rice salad with corn and beans, couscous salad, chopped veggie salad, pasta salad, whatever. Then it will be easy to take them for lunch or eat them as snacks. Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison is THE best cookbook. Try the library or used bookstore for a look, anyway.

Also, make fruit salad and keep it in the fridge. Canteloupe, grapes, berries, pineapple, apple, whatever. Whatever makes it easy for you to grab it and eat.


By Tigrrrl On 08/19/02  

Try different methods of cooking fresh veggies that'll make them taste different. I *hated* vegetables since all I'd ever eaten were canned ones until I left home. You may want to try roasting veggies to "sneak" into sandwiches.

Also, check out local farmer's markets and stands. Locally grown fresh stuff is always the best, I think.

By kickarse On 08/19/02  

I agree with the advice above... I personally am a veggie-hater for the most part but I'm learning to come around.

A good way to sneak in a wide variety of vegetables is veggie quesadillas or fajitas! Spicy! There's a place at the outdoor market (that I plan to rip off!) that makes them with bell peppers, onions, potatoes, garlic, yellow squash, broccoli, skinny green beans, baby asparagus, and maybe even a couple of others, and they are SO GOOD. They stir fry the veggies with just a bit of oil and TONS of spices, and use just a bit of cheese, and it's delicious and you've just eaten about 25 veggies!

Also, try different veggies than your mom made you eat. We always had carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower, which I still don't like any of. However, I now know that I love all kinds of squash, sweet potatoes, lima beans, asparagus, etc.

By Elf_Chick On 08/19/02  

what are some veggies to roast? aside from potatoes

- Shannon, the picky eater

By monkeyrocker On 08/19/02  

Any roots are good roasted--a well-spiced mix of carots, potatoes, onions, leeks and rutabega with herbs is really delicious...just be careful buying rutabega--buy the small ones and buy in season.

Also, I'm not so much a fan, but I know most other people like roasted red pepper. You can roast a bunch of red pepper and then keep it around to throw on a sandwich as an extra bit of veg-power.

I have to say, I think most people don't like veggies because someone in their life either didn't know how to buy them and/or didn't know how to prepare them. My boyfriend used to HATE spinach because all he ever had was frozen. I didn't even know there was such a thing as frozen spinach untill I met him. Also, when buying root veggies to roast or steam, buy smaller younger ones (especially carrots--and for god's sake, peel 'em!). Unless you're using them in soup stock, larger root veggies tend to be overpowering and can be bitter.

The best cookbook in the world is The Joy of Cooking; it tells you how to pick your produce (it also tells you how to make wicked cocktails, how to butcher a whole lamb, and how to can all those veggies you got at U-pick if you really want to eat canned...).

By lindastar On 08/19/02  

asparagus is really good roasted (oh why does my stomach have adverse reactions to asparagus?!?!).

roll in a bit of oil, shove on baking pan, heat for 15 minutes. yum.

serve w/lemon and butter, and pepper. mmm.

durn. i can only have like 2 pieces or i pay.

By monkey_thoughts On 08/19/02  

Yummy, I am getting hungry. You can roast almost all veggies and they will taste good if you marinade them. I like either red wine vinegar or Italian dressing. I started using raspberry vinegar, good also

My friend showed me this great recipe her husband makes. Zucchini dipped in ranch or blue cheese dressing (ever so lightly), then rolled in bread crumbs and baked till crumbs brown. So Good. You can peal or not. I am sad I have no zucchini now.

My dinner tonight is definitely stir-fry.

By seventwelve On 08/19/02  

I went to a friend's house for dinner once, and she made a summer squash risotto out of the Williams Sonoma "Savoring Tuscany" cookbook. There were several other veggies in it, none of which I wanted, especially the sqaush, but damn, that risotto was tasty.

I think a lot of it is convincing yourself to give something a shot. I'm very bad at that.

By MsPriss On 08/19/02  

I've been known to throw some onions (plain) and squash or zucchini (brushed w/ oil then sprinkled with spices) onto my George Foreman grill. Pretty tasty!

I like the fajita and stir-fry ideas. Salads are easy to sneak things into, also. By the time you chop the veggies up in little pieces and douse them with dressing, you'll never know they're in there, and it'll make that plain iceberg lettuce so much more interesting!

By dre On 08/19/02  

Buy those already cut bags of veggies, baby carrots sometimes the deli section of grocery stores has cauliflower and other veggies cut and in individual servings. Just give them a little rinse and voila! this way you don't have to prepare them..that always gets me.

By Mona Mew On 08/19/02  

I <3 my veggies but I live in a house of carnivores. Last night, I made lasagna and popped a bunch of veggies in the food processor with the tomato sauce and ground it all up. Made a really good, thick sauce and the veggies blend right in!

Like dre said, the ready to eat bags of veggies make them more like a snack food. Much easier to convince yourself to eat good stuff when it is prepared for you.

And all the suggestions for grilling veggies... make a marinade and soak the veggies for a bit, skewer them, then on the BBQ or grill.... delish!

To get yourself eating fruit, go to a farmers market or grocery store that has the fruits all cut up and you pick your own for you bowl. I did that two Saturdays ago: pinapple, cantelope, honeydew, strawberries, raspberries, watermelon... It was so good! Made me wonder why I don't eat fruit more often.

By Tigrrrl On 08/19/02  

Elf Chick,
I was thinking in particular of roasted asparagus with balsamic vinegar (mmmmmm, so good, but maybe not on samiches.) Though as monkeyrocker mentioned, root vegetables are particularly good roasted too.

And monkeyrocker, you are dead-on about poorly prepared veggies. It's a minor miracle I eat vegetables after all the canned-peas-microwaved-with-margarine-and-skim-milk my parents tried to feed me. BLECH!

By moonlady On 08/19/02  

roasted vegetables ! try carrot , courgette (i think its called zucchini in the US) , new potatoes , garlic , cherry tomatoes , any other veggies you have. v. easy and serve with hummus

By trishie On 08/19/02  

I made a lovely potato salad recently - I added carrots, green pepper, broccoli, and some herbs to the goopy sauce (mayonnaise, yogurt, cider vinegar and umm other stuff I forget). I pureed it all and poured it over the potatoes - it was very good and I didnt even notice the broccoli (which I hate).

I'm also a big fan of pureeing veggies, oil and lemon juice/vinegar to make salad dressings.

By kickarse On 08/19/02  

mmm... leeks. I also really like lotus root in stir-frys (you can get it at asian markets.)

I like to eat veggies that seem exotic or different from just the ol' run of the mill veggies.

By CAtwiggy On 08/19/02  

I used to live in the midwest and I grew up on things like Macaroni and Cheese and Hamburger Helper. They were yummy, but I always had weird health issues: like I would get random migrain headaches or feel dizzy when i stood up after sitting for awhile, have trouble concentrating in class, wierd marks that grew in my fingernails, etc. And I think that it was a result of poor nutrition. I really don't know how my body functioned with all the chemicals, preservatives, etc. . . .

Now I live in CA and I get a weekly delivery of fresh (picked and to your door in 48 hours) fruits and veggies. I rarely have to go to the grocery store and I cook what comes in the box. To me it is a waste to eat a lot of the produce you buy at safeway and generic stores because it is most likely genetically modified and treated with pesticides and after all that shit is altered the nutritional value is SEVERELY DIMINISHED. I can truly tell the difference in the amount of energy I get form organic vs. non-organic, plus organic always tastes better.

I think that "nutrition" is a really complex science and i wish that it was a required course in high school. FYI, i think women's studies should be required in high school too.

. . .steps off soapbox . . .

By jtsang On 08/22/02  

Did you drink a lot of milk as a kid? I was told those white 'moons' on your fingernails are actually desirable b/c it means you're getting more calcium than you actually need and it's showing up in your fingernails. Sadly I no longer have moons, it's so hard to keep milk from spoiling in my fridge that I don't get it for everyday anymore :(

By Pink Skeleton On 08/19/02  

I have difficulty getting protein, so I found a recipe for oatmeal chocolate chip cookies made with northern white beans. Every little bit helps... and you can't taste the beans at all. (I hate beans- I think they taste like clay)

By Elf_Chick On 08/19/02  

pink skeleton:

i have got to see this recipe. can you post it please?

and are the beans, like, pureed, or whole, or what??? i must know.


By monkey_thoughts On 08/19/02  

Really? White beans. I must know more. Do you mash them and add to the mix?

By clevergirl On 08/19/02  

Two things. I make a smoothie for myself and my kids every morning. I figure that if I can get my five to seven servings in in the morning I can forget about it the rest of the day. I keep a can of frozen OJ (with calcium) in the freezer and scrape out a tablespoon, add water and then, fresh or frozen raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, frozen bananas and yogurt. Trader Joe's has great, cheap frozen fruits and buying them that way really makes it easy to make your smoothie. Their frozen mangos are wonderful. I also peel bananas and break them into peices and throw them into a freezer bag whenever they get too ripe. They add a thick ice cream feeling to your smoothie.

I also keep my blender jar in the fridge and if my kids only finish a little bit of fresh fruit or a yogurt I just toss it in the jar and save it for the following morning.

They other idea is to read a book called Stealth Health by Evelyn Tribole. She talks about how to sneak nutrition into your diet. She has recipes things like black bean brownies.

Good luck

PS Don't use kiwi or grapes in smoothies. They have a very icky texture.

By whywhyzee On 08/19/02  

I like to make sort of hash brown thingies by:

- boil a potato for ten minutes, let cool until it's easy to handle

- grate the potato, with a carrot and some onion and garlic into a bowl, mix up together

- dump it into a frying heated with a little bit of olive oil

- shape into large patty in the pan, cook until both sides are nice and well done

I also like to mince/grind things like carrots and broccoli and put them into rice so they're not as noticeable.

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