Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Veggie Love

Can a vegetable really bring you joy?  I think so!  In fact, I've written about my favorite controversial veggie before - The Tomato!  I know, some of you are shaking your head thinking, "But that's a fruit!"  I disagree.  In fact, the Oxford Dictionary explains it like this:  a tomato is technically the fruit of the tomato plant, but it's used as a vegetable in cooking.  Let's just agree to disagree and enjoy it either way.  While the tomato is my fave, there is a recent contender quickly edging it out. 

While I'll never give up the juicy goodness a fresh, ripe tomato can bring, I've found a leafy green that is lately getting much love.  Browsing recipes online, which I do a few times a month while menu planning, I discovered kale chips.  This piqued my interest, as salt is a crave-weakness of mine and I'm always looking for healthy alternatives to chips or a crunchy snack.  Learning that a serving came in under 50 calories was enough to send me to the grocery.

The produce selection was looking a little droopy that day so I opted for the giant bag of precut/triple washed kale.  Thinking to myself, "I'll never eat this much kale but I'm not buying wilted veggies," I loaded it into my cart.  Once home and ready for a snack, I gave it try.  Shut the front door it was good!  Like really, really good.  Can't eat just one kind of good.  Lick your fingers clean good.  Yum-O! 

  With my giant bag I knew I had to be more creative though than chips if I were going to eat it before it too joined the droop club.  One night, I sauteed it with a little garlic as a side dish.  Very yummy.  I added it in small pieces to salad.  I dropped it into soup.  This morning, I added it to scrambled eggs.  It wasn't poke & eggs (a grandparent dish I love) but it was good.  I think it just needed a little more cooking time.  Hey - I'm learning!  ...Did you see I paired it with the lovely tomato though?

Except for the sauteed dish, I've also managed to sneak it into my family's bellies.  They normally run screaming with an introduction to any leafy green, but I've learned if it's not the star, they'll accept it.  (I've sneaked spinach into lasagna and soup.  We love raw spinach in salads.)  They would never try the eggs because it's too visible, but Noah surprise me last night by trying (and LIKING) the chips. 

Taking advantage of this beautiful non-February like weather, we grilled out for dinner.  Trying to keep with our healthy trend and because now I just prefer them, we made turkey burgers and dogs.  While they wanted tator tots, I decided to stay healthiest by making up a batch of kale chips for myself.  I had each of them close their eyes and taste.  Tina peeked beforehand and wouldn't have admitted she liked it, even if she did.  Tim tolerated it.  Noah went back for more.  And another.  Before he left my plate, he took three or four bites.  I was a happy Mom.

And, just so you know.  Kale is back on my list for the next grocery trip. 
I'm a little panicky because that giant bag is nearly gone!

How do you sneak vegetables into your cooking?  Or, what's your favorite veggie recipe?  I want to hear from you!

Posted also on: Living Well Wednesday


Kathleen said...

I am a tomato addict and kale is something I've only tried fresh from a garden. This looks yummy!

Heather said...

Thanks for posting! I've not had kale fresh from the garden but looking forward to farmer's markets this year to get it. The chips are amazing - and addictive too! But hey, veggies are a great thing to be addicted to. :)

Denise said...

Enjoyed this.

Heather said...

Thanks for reading! Come back anytime.

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