Every Sunday I painstakingly pick out the freshest and most ripe vegetables in the produce aisle. And by painstakingly, I mean googling things like "how to tell when an avocado is ripe" and "is it bad when all the peel is already off the onion." Avocados are vegetables right? Well, they're green, that's good enough for me.
For someone who lives in the cracker and candy aisle, produce is a whole 'nother world. A very strange one at that......Shallots: from here on forward, thee shall be known as "baby onions." Why do you need a fancy name? Ginger doesn't just come from a spice bottle? It actually comes from a root (that happens to resemble an ogre's fingers)? Green onions are a many splendor-ed thing: you can even use the white part! Squash is for more than decoration? You can actually EAT those weird looking things? Is it wrong that thumping melons makes me feel dirty? And there is actually a thing called a key lime. Contrary to popular belief, the well-known pie does not contain both keys and limes.
Despite my trepidation and skepticism, I always try to buy vegetables. I usually come home from the grocery store with three bags of assorted fruits and vegetables...and at least one bag of chocolate. You know what happens? By the end of the week, I'm all out of chocolate and the fruits and veggies are all rotting in my refrigerator. Even though I TRY to be a good herbivore and go out of my way to fill my home with vegetables, I just can't get anyone (including me) to eat them.
I think the big problem is that I don't know how to prepare them. I mean I can't just cut up a bunch of onions and green peppers and dump them on a plate. Well, I could but....ew! And for the love of me, I just can't figure out how to roast asparagus or green beans without them being all soft and soggy (am I cooking them too long, too short, too much oil?). I seriously don't know what I'm doing wrong. Veggies as an ingredient IN a main dish, I can do that. But I just can't figure out how to prepare them by themselves. Dudes....I'm 30 years old. I'm like a LEGIT adult now. How come I can't figure out how to eat vegetables?!
WHY IS BEING A GROWN UP SO HARD?!
So apparently, we are all supposed to be eating 2.5 cups of vegetables a day. I read this on the internet so it must be true. But I also read that chocolate is NOT a vegetable...so maybe not everything on the internet is true. But 2.5 cups? How? How the hell do people do that? For my family (four non-babies), we would collectively have to eat over 100 cups of vegetables EACH WEEK. That's INSANE. I don't think that many vegetables will even fit in my car? (I'm excellent at making excuses). Do I have to buy a second refrigerator just to hold all those freaking vegetables? Am I going to have to start growing sh*t in my backyard?
Well, I'm taking this as a mini challenge. No, I'm not going to make my kids scarf down 2.5 cups of baby carrots and broccoli every day. But I'm going to make it a point to introduce more vegetables into their meals. Except for maybe breakfast. I'm not sure they even make a vegetable that goes with Cinnamon Toast Crunch....or pancakes.
I'm starting slowly by making minor swaps and vegetable additions where possible. My daily peanut butter and jelly breakfast toast (ok, so maybe I'm NOT a legit adult) is now going to be a ranch and avocado toast (this is surprisingly yummy!). And I'm going to serve some kind of vegetable side at each dinner. Someone told me that steak fries don't count (sad face). This just cut my total number of favorite vegetable recipes in half.
So today at the grocery store, I bought broccoli (so much broccoli!), green beans, mushrooms, peas, and carrots. Now I just have to figure out what the hell to do with all this stuff. While I was able to convince my two year old to eat cucumber spears tonight by telling him they were swords, I'm pretty sure he will eventually catch on to my games....but then again, he's the kid who tried to pick his nose with a pencil and then got the pencil stuck in his nostril, so maybe not.
(P.S. Your favorite vegetable recipes would be very much appreciated!)