It’s not really anything to do with the color “green.” It just so happened that all the foods I didn’t like also happened to be green. Broccoli, peas, green beans, salad ….
At some point I was able to sum up my food aversions with one sentence: “I don’t eat things that are green.”
Well, I’m happy to say that’s no longer true.
Going back to a few years ago, I started trying more and more new foods of all different colors, including green, partly at the prompting of David and partly because I was tired of being picky.
I realized this past week just how far I’d come when nearly every meal included something green. Guacamole and grilled cucumbers with my Mexican dish at lunch. Jalapenos on my nachos. Grilled broccoli with dinner. I didn’t pick around the peas in the fried rice.
This is not just a change in attitude about green foods in particular but about having a more open mind about food in general. I have misjudged a lot of foods based on smell or look or one bad experience. How a food is prepared makes a BIG difference. So I’m trying to be more open to new foods in general and so far I’m enjoying the results!
Recipe for Roasted Parmesan Green Beans (pictured above)
“I don’t eat anything green.”
That was my stance just a few years ago even and has been all my life. No broccoli. No green beans. No turnip greens. No lettuce until I was 18 or so. I did, however, enjoy fried green tomatoes. But that was it.
I still don’t eat turnip greens, but I’ve come to learn that if prepared the right way, I actually like broccoli and green beans pretty well (as well as few other non-green vegetables — squash, peppers, carrots to name a few).
I think my disdain for green beans originates with a bad experience as a preschooler. The babysitter I stayed with while my mom worked had made green beans for lunch. I refused to eat them in a not-so-nice way. I said a “dirty” word and MeMe washed my mouth out with soap (basically put a wet cloth with a bar of soap in it in my mouth) and then had me eat green beans. The combination of soap taste + yucky green bean taste didn’t help my feelings towards green beans one bit.
Also, my mom cooked green beans on the stove top with a beef bullion cube. My sister loves them this way and can eat a whole can all to herself. Not me.
A few years ago, while out at a restaurant, green beans were served to me (not of my own choosing) but these looked different. They were longer and held their shape instead of a soft mush like the stove-top ones always looked. They were topped with almonds. This “new” kind of green bean intrigued me so I tried it. Yum. They were actually really good. I started making them at home with just a little butter and almond slices on top.
Since then I’ve tried (and love!) both the spicy green beans and the fried green beans at PF Changs, and any number of restaurant green beans. A few weeks ago a buffet we were at had almandine green beans that just happened to be near a bowl of parmesan. Hmm? Green beans + parmesan? I tried it. Delicious! I went back for seconds.
Learning to like broccoli has been about the same. Broccoli with a Velveeta or cheddar is OK but never really did it for me. Broccoli with Parmesan? Mmm. Broccoli with black pepper or other spicy seasoning? Mmm mmm. At a work lunch last week my steak came with broccoli and I asked the server if I could have my broccoli topped with Parmesan. My co-worker beside me said that sounded good to her as well and she wanted the same. That was the first time ever where I’ve special ordered my dish by adding something to it and having someone at the table want to eat food more like me. Usually I’m telling the server to hold the mushrooms, hold the onions, etc.
The difference is how the foods are prepared and seasoned. David’s been learning that with how different meats are prepared and he’s been trying out different spices and seasonings on burgers, steaks and vegetables on the grill. The end products taste wonderful and so much more flavorful. If done right, good-for-you food can actually taste pretty good, good enough to eat and good enough to enjoy! So good, that one might actually finish all their vegetables and ask for seconds.