Veggie truce

Hello, my nemesis.

Confession: cooked veggies have never been my thing.  Just ask my parents – I think they gave up on me after a couple of pivotal dinner-table standoffs.  It’s kind of weird: I’ve always loved salads.  I’d tolerate, if drenched in ranch dressing, raw crudites.  But cooked veggies were either surreptitiously avoided or pushed to the side of my plate.

In the last few years I’ve come a long way in getting over my hatred of veggies.  I conquered green beans by learning how to sear them in browned butter; now they are one of my favorite side dishes.  Cooked carrots, which used to make me retch, are now delectable when glazed in maple syrup.  Asparagus – well, I’m working on that one.

Broccoli, though?  Ick.

However.  Millions of people eat broccoli every day and enjoy it, so I will persevere.  In this war against veggies, conquering broccoli would be a key victory for me.

So when I saw this recipe for Thai Chicken and Mango Stir Fry from Eating Well, I fought my immediate urge to replace the broccoli with something else.  You’re going to eat the broccoli and you’re going to enjoy it, I scolded myself.

It’s hard to hate on a dish that looks so colorful and delicious:

Honestly?  There was so much awesomeness going on here that I barely even noticed the broccoli!  I won’t go as far as to say that I liked it, but it wasn’t objectionable.  I didn’t pick around it or avoid it.  I didn’t grimace when I ate it.

This is huge for me.

One more step in the journey toward being a grown up who eats her veggies.  I’ve come a long way from the days of childhood clean-plate showdowns.

Today’s EAT: Obviously I’m a fan of this Thai Chicken and Mango Stir Fry!  I absolutely love cooking with Thai flavors: salty fish sauce, sour lime and spicy chillies go so well together and pack a massive flavor punch:

I just made a couple of minor mods:

  • Added chopped red bell pepper
  • Used dried basil instead of fresh; skipped the mint and cilantro (although if I’d had all of these herbs fresh, I would have definitely used them!  I just didn’t have them on hand)
  • Served over whole grain rice instead of noodles

The hubs and I both inhaled this.  The bold flavor was so satisfying!  I love eating dishes like this fresh out of the pan, too, capturing the heat of the temperature as well as the chillies.   It reminds me of eating street food in Thailand.

Today’s DRINK: Garbage disposal night!  There were a couple of random wine bottles open with just a splash left in the bottom, so I am doing cleanup duty.  It’s a dirty job, but someone’s gotta do it. 🙂

Today’s RUN: Easy 5 miles, my usual Hudson river route.  41:45.  Resting up for CTPC track night tomorrow night!  Is it bizarre that I am so stoked for this?  I love track workouts.

Today’s QUESTIONDo you have a veggie nemesis?  Or any food nemesis?  Something that you know you should like but just have a hard time with? I battle with broccoli, cauliflower, cooked spinach and peas.

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9 responses to “Veggie truce

  1. Peas. I’m pretty sure no one will argue with peas. They may not understand it, per se, but they probably won’t judge. Same goes for, say, okra.

    I can’t stand either, for the record.

    But the veggie I struggle with publicly is… artichoke hearts. Sure, I can kick ’em back when they’re slathered with copious amount cheese and spinach (or crab!) but served up any other way grosses me out. Hearts of palm, too – ugh.

    I’ll stick to broccoli, cauliflower, and cooked spinach, my friend. 🙂

  2. corn. eck. The only corn i can stomach is cream corn & I’m sure that’s on the top 10 things of horrible foods.. but frozen corn & corn on the cob make me gag. I can eat it if its cooked into something- shepherds pie & chili, but not by it self .gag.

    can’t say that i’ve ever tried artichokes or okra.. just sounds gross.

    • Oh my goodness, I’ll take all of your share of corn on the cob! That’s gotta be one of my all time favorite foods. Makes me think of summer. 🙂

  3. oooh i love thai-inspired dishes – dreaming up a coconut peanut kinda thing in my head.

    i have a serious problem with olives, but wish i didn’t – want to eat a greek salad like a normal person. someday maybe…

  4. Hater! I love all vegetables. Even rutabaga and parsnips, which I despised in my youth. Seriously, I’m trying to think if there’s anything I really don’t like…probably these dried passion fruits I got from Trader Joe’s once. Oh. And prickly pear.

  5. Peas and celery. I know celery is good for you, but blech. I used to almost gag when I had to cut them up when I opened the bar when I bartended in college.

    Actually, raw veggies give me trouble digestion wise. Cooked they are fine, but you won’t find me snacking on raw broccoli.

  6. I pretty much hate all veggies unless they are smothered in a sauce of some sort.

    But my ultimate food nemesis is pickles. The smell makes me want to vomit. and I absolutely HATE when places feel the need to RUIN french fries by laying a pickle over it when you order lunch. 🙂

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