Despite being a vegetarian for six years, I have hated vegetables for most of my life. It wasn’t until this year that I began expanding my veggie horizons and trying different veggies cooked a variety of ways. It all started when we were invited over to a friends’ house for dinner. She fixed squash, which I’d never had before, and I fell in love. Since apparently tomatoes are considered a fruit, this was the first new vegetable that I actually liked.
Shortly after my squash experience, a friend at work had me sample the BN Broccoli Cheddar soup. And that was the first time I tried broccoli. As it turns out… I like it. Not raw– it must be cooked. Which is considerably odd, as I prefer most vegetables raw (and how I survived on salad, pasta and peanut butter for six years). Since then, I’ve also broadened my horizons by trying spinach. Another friend at work recommended I try fresh spinach cut into small pieces tossed into my salad. As my hubby loves spinach and I haven’t served it once in the three years we’ve been together, this seemed like a good first step.
The first time I tried it, I cut the spinach into ridiculously small pieces. They’ve gotten gradually bigger as time goes by. But I discovered this actually does work, and make spinach taste edible. I also realized that I had allowed canned vegetables to wrongly lead me to the conclusion that I don’t like 90% of vegetables.
This startling realization led me to question my dislike of other food groups.For most of my life, I’ve wrinkled my nose at seafood. I tried shrimp on our honeymoon in the Florida Keys, but it had a weird texture. Then a friend of ours invited us over for dinner and served a shrimp cocktail as an appetizer. As it turns out, I do like shrimp. In fact, last week I made Curry Shrimp with Snow Peas (thanks to Real Simple magazine, for providing a fun recipe worth trying!).
With my newfound seafood bravery, my hubby and I made grilled lemon pepper tilapia. As it turns out, I like that too. Since then, I’ve made roasted tilapia three times (thanks again goes to Real Simple for providing another recipe).
My discovery of veggies and seafood has also encouraged us to eat healthier all around. So far, so good. We’ve been eating healthier for two weeks (by this, I mean we’re only eating healthy meals. Although we do keep snack size treats around for every now and then). For example, tonight we’re having salad (with spinach, carrots, tomatoes and romano cheese), scalloped potatoes and roasted lemon pepper tilapia. For dessert, you ask? I’m going to try some smoothie making.
The Baking Odyssey has somewhat stalled. This is partially due to my obsession with my Kitchen Aid mixer and partly to our new healthy streak. But I can only go without baking for so long. Maybe I’ll thank those friends at work for introducing me to veggies…by giving them sweets. 🙂