Monday, October 18, 2010

30 Day Tasty Vegetable Challenge

I was disheartened after reading the recent New York Times article, Told to Eat Its Vegetables, America Orders Fries by Kim Severson. Severson reports, “Despite two decades of public health initiatives, stricter government dietary guidelines, record growth of farmers’ markets and the ease of products like salad in a bag, Americans still aren’t eating enough vegetables,” with “enough” being defined by federal health objectives set in 2000.

While the article mentions several factors contributing to the lack of vegetable eating among Americans, including cost and availability, the factors that stood out to me were taste and preparation. I personally feel a little powerless in trying to tackle the social and economic issues involved in making vegetables affordable and available for all Americans. I do, however, feel that I can help people learn how to prepare vegetables so that they taste good. One man is quoted in the article as saying, “Part of it is just that vegetables are a little intimidating. I’m not afraid of zucchinis, but I just don’t know how to cook them.” I believe that many people feel similarly.

I also know that many parents struggle with finding ways to prepare vegetables that are appealing to their children and often resort to hiding veggies in other foods. As I’ve said before, taste matters. So I’m feeling inspired to try to help people learn how to prepare tasty vegetables. I believe that we can all help each other with this. I’m guessing that most people have at least one vegetable dish that they enjoy and are confident in preparing. If not, I'm hoping that you find at least one here in the next 30 days.

So my challenge to you is to 1) share one vegetable recipe with the Dinner Together community and 2) commit to trying one new vegetable preparation in the next 30 days. There are so many ways that we can eat vegetables, and we all have our own personal taste preferences. So let’s share and help each other. Let’s try to get 30 recipes in 30 days! Here are the guidelines for sharing recipes:

  • The recipes can be for appetizers, soups, salads, sandwiches, side dishes, or main dishes (or anything else!).
  • Recipes must include at least one featured vegetable, but can include other ingredients (e.g., pasta, rice, dairy, or proteins).
  • Vegetables should not be “hidden” or “sneaked” in the recipe.
  • If your recipe is from another source, just be sure to acknowledge that source.
  • Recipes should be fairly simple to prepare. We want to make it easy for people to try new things!
  • And please don’t force anyone in your family to eat your creations. Make them available and gently suggest that they be tried.
  • Recipes can be emailed to me at info @ (no spaces), and I will post them on the blog and/or in the Dinner Together newsletter.
  • I will post a veggie recipe daily from October 18, 2010 through November 16, 2010. This is a great time to try to make a change – before the rush of the holiday season is upon us.


  1. Love this! You are so creative in engaging everyone. I will give this a shout out to my followers and give it a try myself! Thankfully my guys are veggie eaters--but that is due to constant exposure from when they were babes.

  2. Thanks CC. I appreciate the encouragement. Please feel free to email me any recipes that are a big hit with your guys.

  3. I get so aggravated by ads that treat vegetables as if they're awful and should be disguised at all costs. The Chef Boyardee mom clanging pots and knocking over cans so her son won't hear that there are vegetables in the ravioli sauce, and that one for--I think it's spaghetti sauce--where the mom is cooking and narrating as if she's the Wicked Witch concocting a poison apple.

    No wonder people won't try vegetables, if they're continually sold as bad-tasting and to be avoided!

    (Hmm. I have a head of cauliflower in the produce drawer. I think I'll try that chili powder recipe tonight!)

  4. Great topic...I posted about it on my blog along with a link to your blog. I'm not a fan of hiding vegetables in food as I think it's important my daughter learn that eating vegetables is part of a healthy diet...and if you know how to cook them, they taste good! It seems to be working as she loves things like artichokes and asparagus. Hope you are getting a lot of great response to your blog!

  5. Little Black Car, I've seen - and been irritated by - that commercial too! And Jenn C, thanks so much for the link and the encouragement. If you'd like to share any artichoke or asparagus recipes here, please feel free! I still have a couple of openings in the 30 day slots. You can email me at info @ Thanks!


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