Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Eating your veggies

So I've never been into vegetables...ever. I like salads (mostly lettuces and cucumbers) and love corn and even broccoli as long as it's drenched in cheese, but let's face it. I'm a Cuban woman who loves her arroz con frijoles (beans and rice) and lechon asado (roast pork), and nowhere on any menu growing up was there a plethora of veggies. My parents didn't eat them (other than corn and yucca, of course) and neither did their parents and so on and so on.

My husband on the other hand LOVES vegetables and I cringe at his love of celery sticks. I mean seriously, it tastes like what I imagine grass tastes like! But, as a 33 year old woman trying to eat healthy, lose weight, and hoping to get pregnant soon, I know that I need to eat my veggies. So the question became, how do I get my veggies in without gagging and drowning them in cheese or dressing?

I'm sure most of you have heard about Jessica Seinfeld's book "Deceptively Delicious" since her appearance on Oprah made the book almost impossible to get and also due to the controversy from some other author who said Seinfeld copied her book. I ordered the cookbook after watching her appearance on Oprah and like many others, was intrigued by Oprah's amazement at how good all her recipes were and that the veggies were pretty much impossible to detect in them. For those who haven't heard of it, Seinfeld's book shares recipes using vegetable purees hidden in all kinds of foods in order to trick your kids into getting their veggies, but still making it taste great. I'm not a kid, but I sure need to find ways to trick myself into getting my veggies!

So ever the skeptic, I tried a couple of recipes and I was amazed at not only how delicious the food was, but also at how I couldn't detect the veggies by taste! The first thing I tried was the chicken nugget recipe. I mean seriously, chicken nuggets with broccoli puree as part of the batter? Can we say "ewww!"? But they were so tasty and I couldn't detect a hint of broccoli!

My husband never even realized the extra veggies I added to his favorite meatloaf or even the brownies I made! I'm sure that even he, ever the veggie lover, would have balked if I had told him that there was carrot and spinach in his brownies! Even Sunday morning scrambled eggs had cauliflower puree added and all he commented on was the extra creaminess of the eggs!

As a frugal woman I would never advocate spending full price on a cookbook, but if your local library doesn't stock this cookbook (always my first resource) and you need a ways to get some more veggies into your diet, then definitely splurge and get this cookbook. It's a great investment in the long run and Amazon has it on a nice discount here.

Of course, being the frugal nut that I am, all my veggie purees are made with sale veggies and I just stocked up again at Publix with frozen Bird's Eye veggies at 50% off and bought with a matched coupon!

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