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Rethinking your vegetables

February 4, 2009

My mother always made me eat my vegetables.  I had to clean my plate before I was allowed to leave the table.  It was sheer torture to have to eat a big serving of broccoli when all I wanted to do was go watch cartoons or play a game with my brother.  Unfortunately, I’ve avoided most of the foods that I disliked as a child throughout my adult life.  It never bothered me until I started working here, though.  I am constantly learning about how healthy for you Florida’s vegetables are and the thousands of different ways you can cook them.  So I’ve decide to rethink my vegetables.  I’m going to give all those that I despised as a child another shot.  I’m going to block out all my bad thoughts about mushrooms, broccoli, cauliflower and the rest of them and have a completely open mind (and an open palate).  Who knows, I may find a new favorite dish!   (Read on to see how my first one went)

I invite everyone to rethink your veggies.  Try something new! Or take something you’ve never liked, and cook it in your own way.  Mom usually steamed those veggies I didn’t like, so I’m looking for other ways to prepare them (we’ll get a nice example of that in a second).  I’ll try to share my experiences along the way, and I hope you’ll share your’s too.

First up is the radish.  I don’t know if you would technically call this a veggie, but it doesn’t really matter.  It’s my experiment, and I can do what I want.   I took the easy way out on this one because I’ve never disliked radishes.  In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever eaten them except for the little pieces you sometimes get in salads (which I never paid much attention to).  Most people think that’s about all they are good for, but this little root is so much more.  They are crispy, spicy and practically calorie-free (only 9 calories per half cup).  Where most people just see a garnish or small component of a salad, I saw more. I saw roasted radishes. Well, at least the potential for roasted radishes.

 roasted radishesI picked up a bag on Saturday to try out.  Let me tell you, radishes are cheap!  A bag (maybe 2-3 cups) was barely more than $1.  Back to the roasting part – I washed them, cut the ends off and sliced each one into 4 or 5 pieces (like little coins).  I drizzled some olive oil over them and added kosher salt, pepper and thyme.  I popped them into a 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes, turning once half way.  That’s it. Easy!  Taste-wise, they lost a lot of their peppery kick but were not bad at all.  I’m not the best at describing flavors, but I’d say they were almost a little sweet.

roasted radishesI roasted them again another night but instead of small slices, I just halved them.  I also covered them with foil for about half the cooking time then uncovered the rest of the time.  I think I like them better like that – in bigger chunks; there’s more flavor in each bite.  I’ll say that either way, though, they were pretty good.

I found some recipes on the internet that suggest using peanut oil and soy sauce.  I may give that a try next time!  All in all, I think roasting the radishes went pretty well and made a nice side dish.  See, rethinking your veggies pays off!

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. erin permalink
    February 4, 2009 11:11 am

    There are so many great vegetable recipes out there (see my post on greens)! Keep experimenting, I’m sure you’ll have many pleasant discoveries. I am a firm believer that people who do not like vegetables are too stubborn to rethink their hatred and too unadventurous to try something new. I’m glad to see you’re giving vegetables a second chance. Too bad Fresh from Florida Kids wasn’t around for your parents 🙂

  2. Don B. Aveggiehater permalink
    February 5, 2009 10:25 am

    Way to go Sarah. I only recently found out from my father, I.R. Aveggiehater, that this man who now eats anything that started its life with roots, actually wouldn’t eat much as a child, but chastised me for being the same way with spinach. That didn’t stop him from growing and selling mustard and turnips in our community. Being willing to try different methods of preparation is essential to transforming into a veggie lover.

  3. February 5, 2009 11:54 am

    Don- You must not have watched Popeye as a child like I did. I didn’t really like the taste of spinach, but I never complained because I thought it would make me really strong.

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