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Eat your fruits and…what were those other things?

Veggies

After looking at the food diary I’ve been keeping for the last two weeks, it’s hard to figure out when the last time was that I ate a vegetable. Fruits? Check! I have devoured pears, mangoes, and even little pineapple bits in my yogurt. Vegetables? Hmmm, well the Subway sandwich had some lettuce, tomato and red onion on it, so technically that counts. And the Palek Paneer I got at Whole Foods was full of spinach, but I was eating it more for the cheese.

I used to snack on baby carrots and hummus, but I can’t seem to find the baby carrots at the grocery store I visit most often, so either they’re hidden or the baby carrots grew up fast like kids do these days. I also used to snack on celery, mostly because of that delightful crunchy texture, which is almost worth getting celery veins stuck in my teeth. I just haven’t bought any lately. Otherwise, I’m not much of a veggie fan, mostly because of the work involved to make them taste good. I enjoy eating most fruits without any preparation, but to make vegetables palatable I have to sautee them, roast them, or sprinkle them with spices or seasonings. Honestly, that’s not that much extra work, but it’s enough to make me choose an apple instead.

So, mental note, more veggies! They have important vitamins and nutrients. They are typically not calorie dense and fill you up. One question though, does popcorn count as a vegetable?

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23 Comments

schmei • January 17, 2011 at 1:17 pm

I am of a similar inclination: fruit is nature’s candy! Vegetables are nature’s… brussels sprouts.

However, I’ve started getting at least one good-sized serving of greens every morning with Green Monster shakes. If you haven’t checked out Angela Liddon’s site, she has lots of ideas about how to disguise veggies in morning smoothies. I guess it’s still work, but it’s not hard work. And spinach is delicious when you essentially can’t taste it. :-)

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lauramich • January 17, 2011 at 1:55 pm

The lazy girl’s tip for upping the veggies: Frozen! A few minutes in the microwave, and I can have broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, or just about anything my heart desires. As I’m sure you know, frozen veggies (and fruits) are at least as good as fresh (at least, the “fresh” that you get in the supermarket in January) because they’re flash-frozen right after picking, which preserves the nutrients. The prep work has been done for you, and you don’t have to worry about spoilage. They’re also cheap, especially if you buy store brand and skip the “steam in the bag” varieties.

And while popcorn doesn’t count as a vegetable, it does count as a whole grain. Nom!

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Diana • January 17, 2011 at 3:00 pm

Roasted Brussels sprouts and butternut squash. A little olive oil and sea salt. Heaven on earth in the form of vegetables.

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Laura I. (G.G.) • January 17, 2011 at 3:10 pm

I’ll second the green monster/smoothie recommensation. Milk (any kind), a couple cups of frozen fruit (I like banana and cherry), a couple handfuls of fresh spinach, chocolate protein powder + a little sweetener) and OMG. You can see it, but you can’t really taste the spinach.

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RG • January 17, 2011 at 4:08 pm

Two ideas: tomatos and sauces. Well, third, tomato sauce. I buy tapenade (olive-based), hummus, avjar (roasted pepper sauce), soy-based dipping sauces, and even salad dressings – and use them as a dip for raw veggies. It’s still work to cut the vegetables, but the sweeter ones fare okay with mild flavorings (I cut up zucchini, mushroom, red pepper, cucumber). And then, the sauces I have on hand anyway like spaghetti and salsa work pretty well as a dipping sauce. It has a kind of french-fry like satisfaction of eating with your hands, but clean enough to surf the net. PS – palak paneer totally counts. A pound of spinach cooks down to almost nothing, and is sky-high on nutrients.

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Deanna - The Unnatural Mother • January 17, 2011 at 4:45 pm

Recommending spaghetti squash (not that you want a recommendation) because I fool myself that it’s angel hair pasta!!

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Danielle • January 17, 2011 at 4:59 pm

V8 juice tastes okay, and it’s an easy way to get vegetables in. Probably not as good as “real” vegetables, but it helps. (And I’m referring to the original one, not the mixed one with all the sugar added, which I bought by mistake once- really gross).

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Debby • January 17, 2011 at 5:31 pm

No way are brussels sprouts ever touching my lips! LOL! They look like little monkey heads and I just know they’re watching me. I suggest cauliflower. Eat it raw. Tastes like cabbage, which I love, and it explodes in your mouth. It’s like dinner and a show! :-)

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Kate • January 17, 2011 at 8:38 pm

I peel my celery. I’ve found videos of people actually taking a veggie peeler to it, but I just use a paring knife and grab the ends of those annoying strings. Makes my pbutter and celery a much more enjoyable experience :)

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Merry • January 17, 2011 at 8:51 pm

Hey, I figure if you order a pizza with extra veggies, that should count for something :)

I’m trying to train my taste buds to like what’s good for me, but sometimes the pizza fairy whispers suggestions like that in my ear.

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Bethama • January 17, 2011 at 8:54 pm

I tend to try to cook a lot of vegetables over the weekend so that I can eat the leftovers all week – but yeah, failing to do that, I tend to make do with lettuce or raw cabbage salads. And lots of apples and bananas (eeples and banee-nees?).

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leora • January 17, 2011 at 9:53 pm

Mark Bittman has some pretty awesome recipes on his blog. His recipes are also really quick and easy and great for those of us who might be kitchenappliancephobic. http://markbittman.com/

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Sarah • January 18, 2011 at 12:31 am

Agreed– popcorn is a whole grain. Not a veggie… But it does have Fiber. :)

Also agreed with poster who said frozen! Especially in winter I use these all the time. Look for sales and can get the individual steamer ones for pretty cheap. Well, the smaller packages, not sure if they are meant for individuals as they usually have several servings.

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Japple • January 18, 2011 at 5:27 am

Discovered the sweet yumminess of peeled broccoli stalks? I could take or leave the flowers but peeled raw broccoli stalks mmm… grated into salad or just crunched as they are.

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Sarah • January 18, 2011 at 8:11 am

Interesting. I suffer from the reverse. I am not a huge fan of fruits. I love veggies, both raw and cooked. I think I really like them because I can cook them into my food. And when I eat a red sauce with pasta I add extras in to pump up the veggie factor and extend my meal.

Whereas my boyfriend detests veggies and mildly tolerates fruit. it makes cooking and eating a bit of a challenge for me.

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Princess Dieter • January 18, 2011 at 11:40 am

My fave breakfast is an egg white 4 to 6 veggie omelette. My current addiction is buying those bags of broccoli slaw and I often get pre-chopped veggies , and I get my pan going, toss in up to 6 veggies (lately the b slaw, onions, peppers, mushrooms, and zucchini) let it sit in the big pan with a lid until mostly cooked, flip, put fat free or lowfat cheese on top. While it’s cooking, I nuke a small to medium sized tomato (that I’ve chopped or bought pre-chopped) and after minute to 99 seconds, that baby is almost sauce. I pour that on top of the omelette (over the cheese, cuase it keeps it melty). It looks like a pizza. :D (I also use Mrs. Dash herb mixes in my omelettes). The combo of several veggies servings, the variety of colors and the BULK, keep me full for many many hours. You get all your veggie servings in one shot….and the rest of the day you can ahve your fruitsies. :D

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Cathleen • January 18, 2011 at 12:30 pm

My new favorite: edamame from Trader Joe’s. I buy the bags of cooked pods, let them thaw, and then just eat them. It’s not popcorn, but when it’s lightly salted, it’s a pretty good second!

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Cathleen • January 18, 2011 at 12:30 pm

Too bad most veggies don’t taste as good as they look in your picture!

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Debbi Does Dinner Healthy • January 18, 2011 at 1:51 pm

Just a thought if you like onions, peppers and garlic to saute for stuff. You can cut a bunch ahead of time and freeze them in individual portions. Makes a great glaze for chicken (add some balsamic vinegar or other sauce) or for pasta sauces, eggs or stir frys. You can also add the onion, garlic, pepper saute to just a can of corn, peas or green beans to make them more palatable.

The key is to do it ahead of time. So it will be quick and on hand when you need it!

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Shea • January 18, 2011 at 5:49 pm

I second the frozen vegetable recommendation. I swear by them when it’s colder out and I’m less likely to eat salads and such. Since they’re already prepped and washed, it’s really easy to just toss a handful or two into whatever you’re cooking (or make a slurry in the blender to throw in a sauce and pretend they’re not even there). It’s also really convenient to just nuke a bowl and have them ready (adding salt/pepper/dried herbs, where desired). It’s just slightly more time than it takes to peel an orange.

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Darvis Simms • January 19, 2011 at 2:35 pm

I’m was eating my apple as I read your post and I must agree with you. Veggies take prep time and other than the weekends I don’t take time to prepare them. I’m a fitness professional and I’d like to eat more veggies, just have to make the time.

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Natasha • January 21, 2011 at 10:30 am

Jamie Oliver was on Dr OZ and he had some really good and simple dressing that you can dip pre cut veggies in

Ranch
1/3 cup of plain yogurt
2 tbsp of white or red wine vinegar
1 tbsp of extra-virgin olive oil

Also, he said if you have acid and oil in your stomach at the same time as the vegetables you will absorb more nutrients.

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LBC • January 27, 2011 at 10:30 am

I toss cauliflower with lemon juice, pepper, thyme (or whatever seasoning you like), and a very small amount of olive oil, and roast in a Dutch oven until lightly browned. Or roast in the oven. Either way, we end up fighting over who took more than their share. (This probably works for other vegetables, too. I could see Brussels sprouts or broccoli done this way, too, since they’re similar.)

In the interest of full disclosure, though: I cannot imagine not liking vegetables. I get sort of cranky when I peek in the fridge and all I have is iceberg lettuce and cucumber. If it came down to having to give up either chocolate or Brussels sprouts for life, I would have a hard time deciding.

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