Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day - Eat Green!!

You know, it's funny to see the influence of your upbringing on your adult life.  My grandparents always ate very healthy - looking back now, I think my Memaw needed to for some health issues, although she passed away when I was too young to fully understand them.  I can remember them eating wheat germ and making  yogurt and growing bean fact, when I got my own apartment, I thought I was such a grown up because I bought wheat germ (still do!).

The same holds true to my mom and I've told you how much influence I believe she's had on my life and daily routines... one important one being to have a green vegetable on your dinner plate.  Now, sometimes she strayed from that and we had carrot sticks or corn, but almost every dinner found something green.  Today, I really don't feel like I've put a complete meal on the table without a green vegetable. 

By now you know that I'm battling picky eaters, so it doesn't always mean that my kids EAT them, but at least I put them out there. So I thought it would be fitting, being St. Patrick's Day, that we talk about our favorite green veggies and how to prepare them. 

Nutritionally, your best bet for eating vegetables is raw - it holds all the vitamins and keeps the most water in the food you're eating (think hydrating your body from the cells out!).  If you have little kids like me, though, you may shudder at the thought of raw veggies.  Elizabeth is not the best chewer and last night, we saw Rachel suck a piece of cabbage into her mouth like a spaghetti noodle and swallow it whole. *shudder*  So unless we have sandwiches or pizza (I may get teased for serving carrot sticks with pizza for the rest of my life...but that's how my mom did it!), most things that hit our table are cooked.

When heating vegetables, your best bet is to steam - and by best, I mean healthiest.   Steaming has gotten so much easier with the frozen steam-able vegetables, the bags that Ziploc makes (has anyone tried these?) or hand-dandy machines.  I very rarely pull down my big double-boiler pot to steam anything anymore.

Another option - now that the weather is warmer - is to use your grill.  When we were visiting my best friend a couple weeks ago, her husband made an awesome dish of  diced zucchini, yellow squash, onion, a little olive oil and salt and pepper.  He mixed everything and then put it in a little slotted pan designed for the grill and cooked it beside the burgers.  It was wonderful!

I pulled out my electric griddle the other day (because I swear, the thing can cook anything) and tried it with asparagus.  I think we were having steaks or something nicer and I wanted to make a fancier vegetable.  

This looks like a hodge-podge, but I ATTEMPTED to line them all up, like you cook hot dogs, drizzle olive oil and salt and pepper, and then rotate them until they were cooked on all sides.  They came out wonderful!

We have peas...mostly mixed with mac and cheese... and green beans (only canned for my little weirdos) and broccoli.  I haven't gotten into salads yet with the girls - when does that happen?!  I can get spinach in soups but can't sneak a brussel sprout past them to save my life.  

One day, I dream of a garden where I will grow rows of fresh produce and use my children as cheap labor... however, the idea overwhelms my brain right now.  Perhaps that will be the answer to this pickiness...  Hey, a girl can dream, right?!

Ok, tangent over.  Talk green to me, people!! 

1 comment:

  1. My kids will eat peas or corn any day, and they like carrots, but they will not eat green beans and the babies won't eat broccoli. I think maybe it's because they aren't mushy enough? Not sure, but they do tend to like mushier veggies better... which means if you cook the vitamins out of them, the kids will eat them.

    Eli (4 yrs old) will eat raw radishes (not green) if they are sliced like chips or baby carrots as snacks, too.

    P.S. I love the Steamfresh veggies that you can steam in the microwave!