Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Vegging Out

Given the fact that I have a son who is decidedly anti-vegetable, and a second son who is showing all the signs of becoming that way, not to mention a husband who is super-selective about his vegetables (he'll always eat green beans, but anything else he won't eat unless he's in the mood), I've had to get creative in the ways I serve vegetables. I've tried packing on the flavor.... Lemon herb carrots and sauteed green beans have worked to get my husband to eat them. But it hasn't done anything for Nathan. We'd manage to sneak a bite in, and it would pop right back out as soon as it touched his tongue. Even if we hid it under a bit of mashed potatoes or rice, as soon as he started chewing and tasted it, the whole mouthful would come back out. (Corn is the one exception. He will eat it all by itself.... If he's in the mood.)
I didn't want to be one of those parents putting pureed vegetables into everything. I'd rather my kids learn to eat vegetables on their own, without having to trick them into eating them. Maybe when they're older. But for now, I've found three ways to put them in dishes we eat somewhat often. This was born of necessity - these vegetables are going bad in the fridge, and I know they won't eat them plain, so I'm going to make them eat them regardless.
First off was meat loaf with shredded carrots and pureed green beans. The carrots I'd shredded for a cole slaw, but it ended up that I didn't need all of them, and the pureed green beans were baby food I'd made for Jacob that he soundly rejected (all 10 times). So when I squished up all the ingredients for meat loaf (beef, egg, oatmeal, mustard, seasoned salt), I just added those in. You couldn't tell the difference unless you looked really closely.... There was no difference in flavor.
Second dish I tried was tacos. We had cabbage, also leftover from the slaw. I was just going to serve it as a topping, instead of lettuce (like they do in real Mexico), but I knew Paul wouldn't eat it. So I threw it in with the taco meat and cooked it. Add a package of taco seasoning, and there was no difference in flavor. In fact, I think I may have added some carrots to this one as well.
Most recently, our fight has been about zucchini. Paul absolutely will not eat zucchini - to quote, "There's only one way to eat zucchini, and that's in bread." I got a bunch of zucchini from my grandpa, and given the fact that I just swore off sugar (mainly to help get rid of Jacob's thrush, but also for my general health), I won't be making bread any time soon. So I made fried zucchini the other night. Delicious, tender zucchini, sliced thin, breaded and fried (in bacon grease no less)(no comments about "general health" here)..... And he wouldn't even touch it.
So - and yes it was out of spite - when I made spaghetti yesterday, I shredded up a zucchini and put it in with the tomatoes. It cooked down and really wasn't that noticable. I'm not sure if Paul would have realized that it was in there had he not seen the peels and core in the sink. He did concede that it wasn't bad, and he didn't mind zucchini when it was in something.
So even though I'm doing sneaky cooking to get veggies in on my sons, it's working on my husband too. I'm going to have to come up with some more recipes. But I still would rather they would all three learn how to eat vegetables, because they taste good and are healthy for them. What is it the Bible says? "Man shall not live on bread alone"? (Completely out of context, I know.) All three of my men would like to live on bread alone. With a side of beef. But not if I have my way.


JC said...

Seriously, I don't get the animosity towards vegetables. They are pretty much amazing. Seriously, how can you go wrong if you've got a side of grean beans, asparagus, brocolli and cauliflower, or anything with peppers and onions on the side with that beef?
PS - you'll have to try the chicken that I made this week...oh yeah. Well, sometime I'll have to make it for you. Pan seared/oven baked salsa chicken with onions and garlic. Put some of that zesty coleslaw on top of it with some cheese and sour cream. Wow.

Doug or Janice Rhodes said...

Keep at it. Does Paul still eat salads? Since I have trouble chewing raw veggies with my new teeth (I am getting better) I have been having veggie wouldn't that be a wonder if your guys would eat that???? Doug has always been a meat a potatoes man but eats all the rest too he "sees food and eats." Do not know what happened to Paul.... sorry. He NEVER ate like what is considered a "normal" teenaged boy. Hasn't changed much has it?