Thursday, March 1, 2012

When is a vegetable not a vegetable

All of you who think that corn and peas are vegetables, raise your hand.  Well, guess what?  Corn and peas are actually starches. This means that in both the diabetic plan and Weight Watchers the quantities are limited.  We had eaten a lot of peas and corn in the past.  This left a HUGE hole in our vegetable repertoire.  At first it meant that we ate green beans (cut and french style) and broccoli.  How often can you do that?  Well, apparently you can switch off almost every night until you get really sick of them.  We did intersperse some fresh asparagus and then some frozen asparagus. 

Then someone told me that cauliflower can be made to look like mashed potatoes and it was quite tasty.  So, I found a crock pot recipe for cauliflower that looked like mashed potatoes.  The first hint of a problem came from the smell.  It was not exactly enticing.  But I didn't let that stop me - I served it anyway.  It was, without question, the grosses thing I have made so far.  I could only take one bite.  UGH! 

(Going for a spin in the "wayback machine"...  My Dad's job was to sell advertising space in magazines.  One of the magazines that he represented was for the food technology industry.  He would attend their convention once a year and bring home samples.  The one I really remember was salt water taffy that tasted like ham.  This should have taught me a lesson in trying to have food look like one thing but taste like it is a another.)

I did try some of the recipes in the cookbook.  They were good but since I don't give enough thought to the vegetable portion of the meal - too used to pulling a bag of frozen out of the freezer and throwing it in the microwave - they took more time than I usually allotted for vegetable preparation.  But those recipes did at least get me thinking.  I actually have a new love - I think of it as refrigerator vegetables.  I go to the vegetable bin and "whip up" (such a joke!) a stir fry with whatever is there.  It starts with my good friend Pam then in go the onions and a bit of garlic (cuz it smells so good cooking) then mushrooms, zucchini, summer squash, fresh spinach, tomatoes, and peppers.  The recipe varies by what is actually in the vegetable bin that day.  I could eat this most of the time but I do restrict myself to fixing it once a week.  It seems that others in my house remember what they ate and are not interested in eating the same thing each night.  So picky...

I do truly miss my old friends corn and peas.  Yes, we can have them and we do occasionally but usually in a blend with other vegetables.  I like that they are now blends rather than the old "mixed " vegetables.  Really, whose brilliant idea was it to mix peas, corn, carrots and lima beans?  All across America there were children picking lima beans out of their vegetables each night. The lima bean growers truly found a way to sell their product.   

I know that there is a whole world of vegetables that I have yet to work into our lives.  Since this is our new normal, I will be investigating this wonderful world.  This summer will include perfecting grilled vegetables. 

Thanks for reading!

1 comment:

  1. YESSSS! I love this post!!! You guys are doing so great!

    Here is a steadfast tip - baby spinach or English spinach can go in everything. Eaten whole: lettuce substitute (or addition) in salads, it cooks down great in soups, stirfrys, curries, quiches, risottos, on pizza bases. Or shredded up really fine for home made spaghetti sauce. It tastes great sauteed with fresh garlic and onion - yum! Lots of iron and leafy goodness :)