Q #152: Is it better to have fresh vegetables or cooked vegetables… or “who gives a damn, just eat your veggies!”?

I think I’ve figured out why my plans to get lots of veggies in my system (and curb my cravings for quickie carbs and sugars by trying to eat healthier) have backfired so damn much. I typically start the same ways: go to the store and get those bagged salads to try some different flavors and wake up the taste buds.

That lasts about two days and then I have bags of salad sitting around until I eat them as fast as I can the last possible day or I end up just taking the condiments bag out and toss the rest in my compost pile.

And then I’m back to being lazy and having quickie carbs, pasta, and sugary crap that doesn’t help much… until the next few weeks when I restart.

What hit me last night is I have dozens of cookbooks and I’ve wanted to work on cooking something from each over time. I want to learn how to cook (and make a good routine out of cleaning the dreaded dishes).

It occurred to me that I rarely had salads as a kid. I was not in a family that did that, rather, salads only happened when we went out to eat at a sit-down restaurant, and even then it was rare.

So, why the hell would I think starting with salads was the best idea? Perhaps it was my laziness with cooking, which I’ve started to slough off as my burnout is reversing and my depression has lessened it’s grip.

Now I want to cook and learn how to do it.

Most of the veggies I had were sides cooked on the stove, whether canned corn, peas, green beans, etc. or mixed veggies with pasta as I got older (I have bags of that stuff in the freezer–good quickie meal, really). I don’t think I really explored salads as an option til I made a strawberry spinach salad for myself. Yum (I hate canned spinach and it took getting away from the can for me to EVER like spinach). But I was so worried about getting bored, so I tried to do other salad recipes.

And yet, there are plenty of cookbooks that do vegetarian, vegan, and other veggie-heavy side dishes.

Hell, I’m sure there are casseroles galore that aren’t the green bean variety that I could make and enjoy for days.

I found it funny when I read up on southern history and families in the south rarely did salads, it was more of a northern thing (which might make sense since lettuce is largely a cool-weather veggie and would bolt too fast in the southern heat).

But I always wonder at what’s lost in the cooking process. And I haven’t been brave enough to throw some veggies in smoothies yet.

So, how do you guys do your veggies (or how do you prefer them)?  Do you eat ’em the same way as you did growing up? Or do you do the “hide the veggies” in meals because you never grew to like them? I know I used to like some, and it took years for me to try and like them again… my sticking power with good food habits just stinks most of the time, but I’m trying hard to change it.

Floor’s yours…

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