"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. " ~ James 1:2-3


Vegetables. As a kid, I never really fought over vegetables (with the exception of bell peppers, which, as I had convinced myself, were spicy). Other than the typical veggies that most of us don't care for (brussel sprouts, lima beans, etc), I enjoyed these healthy greens, and occasionally yellows and oranges.
Somewhere along the line, vegetables lost their appeal. Not their delicious taste, but their appeal. In college especially, balanced meals were never a priority. A quick sandwich, bowl of soup, or fancier - grilled chicken with a pre-made pasta mix. Fresh vegetables are pricey, especially since they have a low shelf life. If you don't eat it in the first 4 or 5 days, you might as well not buy it. For someone who would shop monthly, fresh vegetables rarely made it on my table. Frozen vegetables had a soggy quality, since I really only ever cooked them in water, often overcooked at that. And our last veggie option is canned. Canned vegetables are the Ramen of vegetables. They will suffice, but both the taste and texture are highly compromised. Salt is normally a necessity. In fact, they work well in Ramen. Thus, as a cheap college student (as in economical, not promiscuous) vegetables rarely made it at all to the table.
There was always one grand exception - a concoction that erin and i call "vinegar salad." Chopped, colorful veggies - mostly bell peppers, corn, green onions, and often some small-style pasta like orzo dripping in some combination of vinaigrette, red wine vinegar, and italian dressing. A batch of vinegar salad lasts about 5 days, thus I often had at least two servings of veggies for a whole 5 days straight.
Since I've moved out, left college, gotten married, and worked harder on healthier choices, the vegetables are beginning to make a comeback. It's a slow process, for sure. I have discovered frozen steamed vegetables, which are hard to overcook and are rarely soggy. They show up in at least one meal a day. Tom tries to put vegetables in my lunch, but often they go untouched. I'm just not "in the mood," and they rarely sound good. Years of pushing aside nature's choice foods has reduced their appeal. I try to eat them anyways, knowing that I enjoy how they taste, once I actually take a moment to savor them.
I go shopping twice a month and make it a point to buy fresh vegetables every time. Sometime it's green peppers in my spaghetti, zucchini, corn on the cob, or green beans. Though I can't afford fresh veggies at every meal, alternating them with the steamed frozen variety gives me daily servings of the food pyramid.

Who thought getting your vegetables could be such a chore?


K said...

Frozen cooked in the microwave with Mrs. Dash. Gotta get more Mrs. Dash. She's right up there with Betty Crocker, Duncan Hines and Sara Lee. Oh wait. We're not on vegetables anymore...

So, I just figured out that you are blogging too...
Want me to link you so my four regular Wandering readers will visit? :-)
love you.