“To get in shape! Eat what you hate”. Pretty good quote for somebody who doesn’t eat a lot of vegetables. If I were offered only beets, Brussels spouts, kale, fava beans, lima beans, okra, zucchini and black beans, broccoli and cauliflower I would probably lose a lot of weight because I hate all of them and would never consider eating them.
Well-meaning neighbors used to give me huge zucchini thinking I liked them. I would thank them for their thoughtfulness then dump the obscene things in the compost pile. Actually I do love just the squash blossoms, stuffed with fresh mozzarella, basil and dipped in an egg batter topped with lemon juice but don’t put grown zucchini on my forty-dollar entry plate in a restaurant. That would tad amount to serving me a worn out shoe sole as a side dish. And don’t come anywhere near me with that slimy okra, bitter tasting southern veggie which might as well be dirt.
My mother used to serve lima beans out of the can, those slightly greenish odd shaped beans, which tasted like newsprint. Beets are so tannic for my pallet that they taste like left over tea bags, but I have to say that the color of the water they boil in is beautiful. On the other hand I love beet greens one of my favorite vegetables but is hard to find even in farmers’ markets. I don’t like pinto beans or black beans but like refried beans and hummus. I ate garbanzo beans cooked in the ground once on a hiking trip. I wouldn’t have eaten them but it was the only thing for dinner supplied by my friend, who was the cook of the day.
What vegetables do I like? Well I like carrots – raw not cooked, spinach, onions, avocados, tomatoes, English cucumbers, pea pods, arugula, some lettuces, corn (white only), acorn squash, miners lettuce, cabbage – prefer red, turnip, rutabaga, bell peppers, artichoke, asparagus, horseradish and potatoes.
And there are some vegetables I will tolerate if hidden cleverly by a good cook who adds other flavors to a dish. My friend Sandra once made a side dish I found delicious and I asked for seconds. She told me later it had zucchini in it!
I do believe that when I was in India that I must have eaten lots of vegetables that I was unfamiliar with. And shopping in Uwajimaya’s produce section is always a cultural experience. There are so many different kinds of unfamiliar options with exotic names like niga-uri, sato-imo, tama-negi and karela. What an adventure to browse through Uwajimaya’s and try to figure out if something in the aisles are either fruits or vegetables.
Looking over this prompt for today I seem to like more vegetables than I thought I did. Maybe I should take up Asian cooking to provide more things which are “good” for me that might solve my problem.