Most of the time our tastes change as we get older and our palette becomes more sophisticated. My mom swore for the longest time that she hated anything with too much garlic...now...I can tell she's at my house even before I open the door...not really...love you mom (but she does have quite the love affair with garlic and onions these days). I thought I hated cantaloupe. For years and years I avoided it like the plague - until recently. I tried it for the first time again with my kids and you know what? I love it.
The other thing is that there are SO many ways to prepare every fruit and veggie it would make your head spin. Maybe you don't like broccoli steamed - so try it sauteed or even roasted in the oven. Add an asian dressing to it or eat it raw. You would be amazed how different something can taste just by the way it is prepared. My hubby - HATES fresh tomatoes (he's crazy, I know). BUT he LOVES (and when I say loves I mean that he would marry it if he could) salsa and marinara sauce.
If all else fails, you could just take on a new persona and become a Secret Agent. I have a book that is all about this kind of stuff called, "The Sneaky Chef." I bought it to help incorporate more veggies into my family's diet. I have had it for a couple of years now, but got it out the other day for a refresher course. It's great for moms who have picky eaters (kids and husbands alike). It centers around the concept of pureeing certain nutrient packed veggies and fruits and slipping them into comfort food favorites like mac n' cheese, pizza, and spaghetti. It really is a fabulous cookbook. You should check it out!
I was in the mood to make pizza yesterday, but I really wanted to amp it up, so I looked in the book for ideas. Here is what I came up with after some inspiration (don't get nervous when you see the ingredients - this makes a TON of tomato sauce):
Undercover Cheese Pizza
2 cans Hunt's 100% Natural Tomato Sauce
1 can Hunt's Stewed Tomatoes
2 medium zucchini
2 cups of Red, Yellow, or Orange Bell peppers (or all 3!)
1 medium onion
1 jar stage 2 carrot baby food (I like Beech-Nut)
1 jar stage 2 sweet potato baby food
2 T minced garlic (or more if you are my mom)
Italian Seasoning (to taste - I'd say I used 2-3 T)
Basil (to taste - I added about 1-2 T)
Oregano (to taste - I used about 1 T)
1 Whole Wheat Pizza Crust (I used pizza dough from Trader Joe's)
2 c. Italian Blend Cheese (this is important b/c the "blend" has parmesan and asiago cheeses)
Ok, whew, don't panic - it's so easy! Start by roughly chopping your veggies (size shape don't matter in this case b/c it is just going to get pureed later anyway). Add about a tablespoon of good Extra Virgin Olive Oil to a large skillet on medium-high heat. Add your zucchini, peppers, onion, and garlic to the pan and saute until tender. Keep it moving so the garlic doesn't burn. Add the tomato sauce, stewed tomatoes, baby food, and seasonings and simmer for at least 30 minutes. Transfer (in small batches) to a food processor or blender and puree it until smooth...VOILA! No one will ever know! ;)
Heat your oven to 350 and get your pizza dough ready (If you are using a pre-made crust - follow the package directions). Make sure you put a little EVOO on the pan so that it doesn't stick. Add your sauce liberally (probably 1/2 cup or so) and spread out. Add your cheese and bake for 10-12 minutes until bubbly and brown...mmm...I'm having flashbacks!
Seriously - my family will not eat peppers, onions, or zucchini when I make it normally, but they LOVED this pizza. My hubby says it's my best yet. He was pleasantly surprised when I told him there were 6 veggies in it. Don't you dare say, "ew!" If my family will eat it and love it so will you and your family. We are quite the pizza connoisseurs here. You see tomato is a strong flavor and it masks the flavors of the rest of the veggies pretty well. You can taste some of the bell pepper, but it is not over-powering by any means. By the way - I used baby food: a. because I have it around 24/7, and b. because I didn't have time to make my own carrot/sweet potato puree. If you have the veggies around, by all means make your own! :) Oh, and you can add whatever toppings you little heart desires - get creative!!
One more big plug this week to a new find. I am in love with it - maybe slightly obsessed. It is called Eat Cleaner. It is an all-natural fruit and veggie wash/cleaner. I have been looking for something like this and after some research finally found it online. I have ads for it beside and also below this post, but I will also include a link for you to check it out. It is significantly more effective at removing pesticides, wax, and contaminants than just rinsing your f's and v's with plain tap water. It also inhibits browning and helps keep your f's and v's fresher longer. It comes in a spray form, a concentrate, and a convenient wipe. I think it is essential if you are eating a lot of produce. I think I am going to start doing demo videos just for fun for all kinds of things. I will have to make one showing you what fruit looks like with and without the cleaner. The website also shows some pics. Here is the site:
Eat Cleaner All Natural Food Wash
If you decide to buy...make sure you do it through my site so that I get credit! ;)
OK...the results. This week I lost .6 pounds! Yay! That brings my 16-week total to 41.8 pounds!
By the way...when you are trying new fruits and veggies, don't underestimate the power of positive self-talk. It sounds cheesy, but if you remind yourself with every bite (preferably not out loud) just how good that it is for your body and even go as far as saying you LOVE it (even if you don't) your brain will start associating positive thoughts with that fruit or vegetable. I love brussel sprouts, I love brussel sprouts, I LOVE brussel sprouts...