Veggie Love (Part I)

Vegetables get a bad rap. A lot.

Sure, you are supposed to eat them. Everybody says that, but I mean come on,

Ads that talk about how much better it would be to eat ice cream. Well, duh.

Articles that talk about how to get your children to eat them.

Magical landscapes with dancing carrots and cucumbers to entice us.

Sauces, and dressings, and seasonings and everything else to make vegetables taste better. Or, taste at all. Hmmm.

In our world of veggie hate and veggie debate it is clear that many people don’t have the love. The veggie love. And it makes me wonder why.

When I met boy eat I quickly learned the answer.

This all came right after a conversation during which I had told him that, growing up, veggies were no problem for me.  In fact, I loved them, and I always wondered why all the other children hated them. So much. Well, he told me, if they don’t taste good, no one wants to eat them. Well, duh.

Nothing like the simple mechanics of a boy’s brain to drift you right back to reality sometimes.

Well, duh.

So, in an effort to boost veggie love, I declare two things:

1. vegetables are tasty

2. but (like everything else in this world that turns into tasty) they need some work.

Steaming broccoli and throwing it in a bowl might appeal to some. It might not appeal to others. Or children.

So, how to overcome this veggie obstacle? Taste, pure and simple.

Imagine carrots, potatoes, ruby red beets sauteed in sunflower oil and turmeric, cumin, salt. So simple, so good. The vegetables come to life. They sing. They dance. You sing. You dance.

Imagine sweet potatoes cut into sticks and rubbed with olive oil and roasted in a super hot oven until they are crunchy, caramelized, sweet and salty. Mmm mmm good.

Imagine, if you will, eggplant, cooked in garlic, tomatoes, tamarind and coriander until even a sniff of it makes you hungry. Oh, me. Oh, my.

Imagine tomatoes, roasted until their skins pop off and simmered into a delicate and bursting with life marinara sauce. Now, that’s amore.

Vegetables plucked straight out of the ground may not be everybody’s thing but with a little work even a veggie hater can see the pure, bright light of veggie love. 

Does a bowl of ice cream still taste better? Maybe. But it’s a much tougher competition now.

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