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 @ dinnertogether.com (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.