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Irene Field

The one word that can strike fear into a child’s heart. Well not only a child’s heart, but my heart as well. I believe there are some of shorter stature than me that like vegetables. I bow to those in homage. That they can not only eat, but also enjoy a humble vegetable, is worthy of a medal. Or at least a certificate on a wall.

I don’t know when my aversion to plain green matter commenced. I know my childhood years were marred by the fact I did not like vegetables. Most children grow out of this aversion and find they enjoy the odd brussel sprout, an asparagus or two, or at the least, a green salad.

My thoughts? If God had wanted me to eat those dry looking salad greens, I would have been blessed with two large front buck teeth. But he didn’t and I won’t.

For someone that supposedly enjoys food, I know this is not healthy. I enjoy cabbage, red particularly and green cabbage slightly wilted in butter is nice. Peas, served with mashed potato or at the very least a gravy. Cauliflower – hidden under a cheese sauce. Stir Fry I can live with.

This year, now that I am older and into my cough cough…***ties, I thought ok. This can’t go on. If I carry on this way, my gravestone will carry the epitath: ‘Here lies Irene, she did not eat her Vegetables’. So I hope you will join me on my vegetable journey.

My first attempt was the dreaded Brussel Sprouts. I chopped them finely, lightly steamed and then sautéed in butter. My verdict? ‘Bleurgh’ I did down the equivalent of maybe four sprouts, and George enjoyed the rest. You will catch me in Brussels, before you spot me buying sprouts again!

This week, I was determined to enjoy cauliflower that was not swimming in a fat inducing, hip swelling cheese sauce. A googling I went and with some modifications, I found a recipe.

If you have other vegetable aversion people sharing your homestead, I suggest this way of serving cauliflower.

Take a head of cauliflower, and place florets into a dish. Juice a small lemon. I then took 3 cloves of garlic (that is a vegetable isn’t it?) and chopped finely. I left the chopped garlic to ‘marinate’ in the lemon juice for a few hours. Drizzle olive oil over the cauliflower and then the garlic/lemon juice mixture. Crack black pepper over. Place into a hot oven and roast until the florets are softened – approximately 45 minutes. I then took out of the oven. I had crumbed a ¼ loaf of stale bread in the processor, and lightly toasted that in olive oil. I sprinkled these crumbs over the cauliflower, and then some Pecorino cheese.

The verdict: I am rushing out to buy another cauliflower.

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8 thoughts on “Vegetables

  1. Am going to try that recipe…it sounds delicious. Have you tried growing and eating your own veg? They taste completely different to bought ones, especially brocolli



    • Debbie, our garden is handkerchief sized. We have attempted zucchini and then tried ‘bag gardening’ , but now stick to tomatoes, parsley, chilli and capsicum, as that is all we can fit. I try and buy from market gardens as often as possible.I agree the veg do taste different. I will get there one day – possibly – but I look at these veg eaters, who eat copious amounts, and i think why not me. So the guilt attacks and I keep persisting.

  2. I love my vegetables. I prefer them to meat some days.

    Cauliflower has to be one of my favourites, I love it raw sometimes. I make a nice raw cauli salad too.

    I must say I wont eat sprouts or mushrooms (unless its not alot and pulversed into something).

    I will try your way of doing cauli Irene, sounds really delish.

  3. I am on a new journey myself…not just about vegetables though. Over the past 5 years (maybe even beforehand) I have gotten to a point of eating for the sake of eating – read same old, same old. Because of the lifestyle was under.

    Now for a few months I have more time to indulge a bit of relearning cooking. For fun I told someone I was doing COOKING 201. I already do know how to cook but I needed to give my tastebuds and my general overall being a boost.

    Last night I made white sauce for my leeks – gave the leeks a huge boost! I can see that by adding cheese and other things to the sauce it will be even better but I can’t recall in the last decade or more ever making white sauce :-)

  4. I am a vegetable lover and there are virtually no vegetables that I just won’t eat. However it has not always been like this. I did not like pumpkin and kumara as a child but even though my mother was a good cook I think there were not the recipes back then to inspire cooks. Later on while doing my nursing training it was quite a joke that pumkin and silver beet were probably the cheapest veges at the local market but overall we had good food. I would eat salad at home and loved tomatoes but I have a horror story when at a friends home. A salad was made for lunch then drenched in that dressing made with condensed milk often called highlander mayonnaise and not only that it was actually thinned down with ordinary milk. The result was quite disgusting and I almost gagged on it.

    I would put pumpkin and kumara high on the list as loved veges these days. With regard to cauliflower, well most of us do not like soggy overcooked cauli but I have found that cauli offerings in restaurants often mean almost raw , undercooked cauli, not nice. Tender crisp veges do have there place especially in stir fries. In our two person household we certainly eat more than 5 plus a day of veges and fruit.

  5. That is one hellava elongated way to cook a delightful cauliflower,a lot of work to avoid scurvey and Iam cough cough probably your age, one does not have it swimming in fatty cheese sauce, but crisp with broccali, with a tad of low fat homemade cheese based sauce, get a grip, veges are great including brussel sprouts if cooked right, this is coming from a huge meat eater, and a great respector of vege accompients, but might add not the greatest speller
    Cheers Carole

  6. I admire your tenacity in regards to making yourself “try” a variety of vegetables, Irene.
    I share your aversion to most vegetables (especially those dreaded leafy greens), but will eat salad veges no trouble. I think it’s the texture of cooked veges that turns me off…especially where cauliflower and Broccoli are concerned!
    However, I have decided to take your advice and give cauli a go following the roasting method you describe – hopefully the garlic will disguise the flavour of the dreaded cauliflower and I won’t even know I’m eating it…wonder if it would work with broccoli?

    • Love the thought of trying this with broccoli Gail. I will do that as my next big attempt. I think just as we go through cycles in life, likewise we do with eating patterns.

      I absolutely love mushrooms. Raw, sauteed, in a sauce – anyway is the best way for mushrooms. So I am not totally a lost cause :)