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Help! How do I make veggies taste good?


Hpav

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Hello! I am a new member to NF and am just beginning my journey towards fitness. However, I hate veggies. I absolutely refuse to eat almost every single vegetable there is. Does anyone have any recipes I could try to try and like my vegetables more?
Thank you!

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Hi Hpav! Welcome to Nerd Fitness!

 

A fairly straightforward way round eating vegetables when you don't like any is to blend them up into a smooth sauce to use with chicken. Here's an example:

 

Ingredients:

- 1 can chopped tomatoes

- 2 onions

- 2 cloves garlic (or 1 teaspoon (tsp) garlic puree)

- 2 bell peppers (Red or yellow - not sure what the non-British term is. I'm meaning sweet salad peppers rather than spicy ones)

- 1 courgette/zucchini

- 1 aubergine/eggplant

(If you want to cheat, you can often find pre-chopped Mediterranean vegetables in the salad aisle of the supermarket; you can just use a pack of that, but it means you don't get to peel some of the veg.)

- 1 tablespoon (tbsp) olive oil (or other vegetable oil)

- 1 tsp dried oregano

- Salt and pepper, to taste

 

Method:

- 1.) Peel and dice the onions and garlic. Fry them in the olive oil until they're soft and golden brown in the bottom of a large saucepan.

- 2.) Peel and dice the zucchini and eggplant (you don't need to peel them but it blends nicer if you do)

- 3.) De-seed and dice your peppers

- 4.) Add everything except the chopped tomatoes into the saucepan, and fry on a medium heat until they're all soft and going golden. (About 5 minutes)

- 5.) Add your chopped tomatoes, mix well, and gently simmer without a lid until it reduces and isn't noticeably watery. (About 15 minutes)

- 6.) Transfer everything to a blender/smoothie maker (or you can use a stick blender) and blend until smooth. 

- 7.) Use as a sauce for pasta, or pour over chicken breasts/meatballs before you bake them in the oven. 

 

Variations:

Other things you could add to the sauce (can be to taste, too):

- 1/2 tbsp Balsamic vinegar and 1 tsp basil

- Tabasco sauce, cumin, cinnamon, cayenne pepper (I'd go for 1 tsp each)

- 1 tbsp tomato puree for a slightly richer sauce.

- Swap the olive oil and oregano for 1 tbsp basil pesto

- You could get away with adding a few (six or so) diced white mushrooms along with your zucchini, too.

 

There are a bunch of vegetable recipes in the recipe book in my signature, but that's probably the easiest way to trick your mouth into eating vegetables. 

 

Hope that helps!

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Why don't you try green smoothies? This site has a lot of tasty recipes. 

You'll get your greens in without tasting them :)

 

That being said: it takes about 10 times to learn to enjoy a new taste. Just take it one veggie at the time. Eat a few bites and try again a day or a few days later. There will be some veggies that you'll never like, but I bet there will be a lot of veggies you'll learn to love. Just take your time and don't force anything, it's about progress, not perfection.

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I would work toward learning how to prepare vegetables correctly. Watch America's Test Kitchen or sit down with Julia Child's The Way To Cook and learn how to properly cook and season your vegetables. Many people overcook and underseason. Frozen vegetables stink up the microwave and become rubber. Work with fresh foods, carefully follow directions, eat at highly rated restaurants so you know what things are supposed to taste like. I think you will like vegetables when you give yourself the opportunity to eat some that are actually prepared the right way.

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9 hours ago, Hpav said:

Hello! I am a new member to NF and am just beginning my journey towards fitness. However, I hate veggies. I absolutely refuse to eat almost every single vegetable there is. Does anyone have any recipes I could try to try and like my vegetables more?
Thank you!

 

First up, hello and welcome. I'm pretty new here but finding it incredibly useful, hope you do too.

 

Second, I think the key word there is "almost". If you refused to eat literally every vegetable there is we'd have a problem (not least because you'd probably have scurvy). But the way you've phrased that suggests to me that you do eat some vegetables. And that you might even (whisper it) enjoy some of them.

 

Happy to share some recipe suggestions but before I do, what veg are you already eating? Tomato sauce on a pizza or on pasta, maybe? Gherkins or salad in a burger? If we know what those sneaky veggies that have snuck through the net so far are we've got a much better chance of coming up with suggestions you'll really enjoy,

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21 minutes ago, Hpav said:

what is this "4 week challeneg"

You can find out more here! 

In the second post on that thread is a link to a suggested level one challenge, but go ahead and browse other people's challenges if you want to get a feel for what people do to challenge themselves for a month!

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12 minutes ago, Sarah Barr said:

You can find out more here! 

In the second post on that thread is a link to a suggested level one challenge, but go ahead and browse other people's challenges if you want to get a feel for what people do to challenge themselves for a month!

Thank you!!

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16 hours ago, Hpav said:

Hello! I don't mind celery, spinach or lettuce salads, grilled asparagus or garlic/onions(not themselves but when cooked with other stuff).

 

Spinach is the food of the gods and probably the most versatile of those ingredients. Protein, fibre, iron, loads of vitamins. For someone who doesn't like veggies you picked a good one to like.

 

A few quick suggestions:

 

- Wash a big portion of spinach (you'll need more than you think) and throw into a pan on a medium heat while it's still wet. Cover with a lid if you have one. Give it a few minutes and it'll wilt down. Add a little salt and pepper and some lemon juice. Serve with pretty much anything, but particularly steak, grilled chicken and grilled fish. This is also good for getting some veg into your breakfast - wilted spinach, mashed avocado, poached eggs and whatever protein you fancy (salmon, bacon, sausage etc) is a great way to start the day.

- Spinach salads are ridiculously easy. Big handful of baby spinach, your protein of choice - I tend to use chicken or tinned tuna - some nuts or seeds, other veggies of choice e.g. some asparagus, lemon juice and olive oil for dressing.

- Spinach-based curries are great. It's slightly more complex to cook so I won't list out the cooking instructions here, but if you google "chicken saag" or "saag paneer" you'll get some great recipes.

- Because spinach wilts down to a fraction of its original size, you can add it to almost anything that has a sauce. Pasta sauces, chilli, beans on toast, anything that cooks in a pan with a bit of liquid.

 

Celery is good for snacking. Load it up with peanut butter or whatever other nut butter you like and chomp away. 

 

Grilled asparagus goes great in salads. If you like it grilled try steaming it too. It's arguably healthier that way, and definitely tastes a bit different.

 

Onions and garlic are the base of a huge number of great meals!

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On 8/3/2016 at 4:49 AM, Myrdinn said:

 

Spinach is the food of the gods and probably the most versatile of those ingredients. Protein, fibre, iron, loads of vitamins. For someone who doesn't like veggies you picked a good one to like.

 

A few quick suggestions:

 

- Wash a big portion of spinach (you'll need more than you think) and throw into a pan on a medium heat while it's still wet. Cover with a lid if you have one. Give it a few minutes and it'll wilt down. Add a little salt and pepper and some lemon juice. Serve with pretty much anything, but particularly steak, grilled chicken and grilled fish. This is also good for getting some veg into your breakfast - wilted spinach, mashed avocado, poached eggs and whatever protein you fancy (salmon, bacon, sausage etc) is a great way to start the day.

- Spinach salads are ridiculously easy. Big handful of baby spinach, your protein of choice - I tend to use chicken or tinned tuna - some nuts or seeds, other veggies of choice e.g. some asparagus, lemon juice and olive oil for dressing.

- Spinach-based curries are great. It's slightly more complex to cook so I won't list out the cooking instructions here, but if you google "chicken saag" or "saag paneer" you'll get some great recipes.

- Because spinach wilts down to a fraction of its original size, you can add it to almost anything that has a sauce. Pasta sauces, chilli, beans on toast, anything that cooks in a pan with a bit of liquid.

 

Celery is good for snacking. Load it up with peanut butter or whatever other nut butter you like and chomp away. 

 

Grilled asparagus goes great in salads. If you like it grilled try steaming it too. It's arguably healthier that way, and definitely tastes a bit different.

 

Onions and garlic are the base of a huge number of great meals!

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH I AM SO EXCITED TO EAT ALL OF THAT!

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x100000 on onions and garlic.

Seriously, throw some fat in a pan, toss in onions, some chopped garlic, lightly season with salt and pepper..then just start throwing other crap in there..boom..tasty food!

The real secret to making veggies taste good is to have a nice assortment of fats on hand (olive oil, coconut oil, specialty oils (avocado, hemp (yes), hazelnut..whatever strikes your fancy) and a few good seasonings you like.  Don't be afraid, if you can, to spend some money on some good seasonings that aren't from the grocery store.  Grocery store seasonings aren't even comparable to those you get from dedicated spice shops.  My personal favorite is http://www.thespicehouse.com that's the spice company that changed how I look at food.  But most times, if you're near a decent sized city, you can find a local shop.  Buying and supporting local is always good.

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On 8/1/2016 at 11:12 PM, Hpav said:

Hello! I am a new member to NF and am just beginning my journey towards fitness. However, I hate veggies. I absolutely refuse to eat almost every single vegetable there is. Does anyone have any recipes I could try to try and like my vegetables more?
Thank you!

Add bacon.

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Another way of putting in veggies is by making soup, especially nice now that it's getting colder (depending on where you live, obviously).

I really love this recipe: carrot and coconut cream soup. It's very easy to do and the great thing about soups is that it's just as much trouble making a little bit as it is making a huge pan. So I usually make a lot, eat a bowl today, have some the next day and stuff the rest in the freezer.

 

Also, since you say you like spinach, you could try making a green omelet. Green omelet recipe. Depending on your appetite you could use 2 or 3 eggs and blend it with as much spinach as you like. Bake it in a pan and there you have it.

 

Good luck!

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ok, heres some thoughts.. some broad thoughts and not specific recipes

you know those noise cancelling headphones what them old folks like to use to drown out them youngins? they work by sampling the ambient screaming, and neutralizing it with a contrasting blast of soothing hollering.

flavors can kinda do the same thing. you can take something you like in a food and kick it up to 11, or you can tone down an offensive element by using a contrasting secondary note. if you hate bitter coffee, sweet tames that beast.
like sweet things? a bit of salt will kick that into overdrive

so what im saying is, you need to really identify exactly what it is in a vegetable that you cant tolerate, and then find something to balance it out.
as far as im concerned, the green leafies that are most problematic usually tend to be in the brassicas. cabbage, broccoli, kales. and they all have the same issues. they are bitter and they get sulfuric, or funky, when cooked wrong.

id suggest roasting basically any vegetable (or sauteing, if its a green leafy and not a starchy.... uhh.. rooty thing) with a bit of sweet and a bit of sour, and trying that plain just to see if it makes it more palatable. after you figure that out you can start to think about hiding vegetables in dishes... but damn if you arent missing out on a really interesting, bitter and funky world if all you do is try to disguise cauliflower as beef (which is totally doable! vegetarian cauliflower and mushroom taco. a gift from the gods).

im surprised you like asparagus (my all time favorite vegetable.. if i could make a crown out of aspara............ i CAN make a crown out of asparagus). asides from grilling it, what else do you put on it? olive oil, seasoning salt, lemon, and a touch of honey is my favorite roasting combo for asparagus. clean, bright and punchy. plus, i love what it does to my pee.. can i say that? seriously.. i really do.

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Ditto the roasting - if you've ever hated Brussels sprouts, you've probably only ever had them steamed or boiled.  I toss them in a bit of fat (EVOO), salt, pepper, and garlic and onion powder (or fresh minced, if I have the time/inclination) and pop in a 375*F oven for ~30-40 minutes until they're all crisped and browned. They're almost sweet, and have that lovely nutty/roasty flavor instead of the weird bitter funk. (And they don't smell weird and funky, either! FYI for those of you sharing space with others who might be sensitive to kitchen smells.) 

 

[I love asparagus, too... and what it does to your pee is fabulous if you have access to a mortal enemy's mattress and/or shoes... Worse than tomcat markings.   Just sayin'.] 

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On 10/1/2016 at 2:37 PM, Ajaxus said:

Seriously, throw some fat in a pan, toss in onions, some chopped garlic, lightly season with salt and pepper..then just start throwing other crap in there..boom..tasty food!

 

Word.

 

Basic seasoning + olive oil and/or butter + minced garlic. Possibly a quick squeeze of fresh lemon and a little grated Parmesan Reggiano?

 

giphy.gif

 

The other thing? Don't overcook them. Leafy veg should be just wilted. Firm veg like carrots or peppers should be just starting to soften in the center. 

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