Where Local and Global Appetites Collide

June 17 – National Eat Your Vegetables Day

(nl: IJssla krop)Iceberg lettuce
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When I was a kid, we hardly ate any vegetables. We were a meat and potato family.

My dad didn’t like vegetables except when he grew them so he would eat sliced tomatoes, but tomatoes are really a fruit.

We would have the occasional salad of iceberg lettuce with a slice of tomato drowned in homemade thousand island dressing made from ketchup and mayonnaise and hot dog relish.

Of course we had sweet corn on the cob and a canned corn and very rarely canned peas and carrots and that was it except to saute onions as a base.

My mother wouldn’t buy cucumbers because she said she was allergic. The real truth was she didn’t like them. Anything she didn’t like, she was “allergic” to. How convenient.

It wasn’t until I was a teenager that I went to visit my sophisticated aunt in Wisconsin where I found out about broccoli, cauliflower, and avocados (another fruit).

When I came back home, those foods were incorporated in our diet but of course, my father never ate them, but my mother and I gobbled them up.

As I grow older and by no means any wiser, I find that I’m eating more and more vegetables and less and less meat. If you have a good recipe for vegetables that is not doused in butter, please share it.

Sweet corn on the cob is in season now and I like to microwave mine and then squeeze some lime into half spicy BBQ sauce and half olive oil to brush onto the corn. Of course, the corn would taste much better grilled or microwaved first and then a shorter time on the grill if only to acquire grill marks.

For moms who are trying to get their kids to eat more vegetables, try this cucumber snake.

  1. My grandfather was a farmer (mostly strawberries, but veggies too) so even when we moved far away from them we still ate a fair amount of vegetables. Mostly canned as a kid (cheap and quick): corn, petit pois peas, green beans.

    Mom would camouflage the canned taste of the green beans by adding butter, salt, pepper and garlic powder–it’s still nostalgic to have sometimes, though we’re more a frozen veggie house these days.

    In the Indian Cooking Challenge this month I had to make a mashed pea filling that used turmeric, chili powder and garam masala–add a little olive oil and skip the mashing and it’d make a fabulous side dish!

  2. The other night I made some steamed fresh cauliflower that I mixed with Trader Joe’s Cuban-style black beans (rinsed & drained). I drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled some feta on top and added a generous spoonful of Trader Joe’s roasted tomatillo salsa. It was filling and delish. With triple digits here, it’s too damn hot to cook.

    Can you post about the Indian Cooking Challenge? That sounds intriguing.

  3. Growing up almost all our vegies were frozen, canned or boil in a bag. Maybe that’s why I like fresh so much now.

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