Vegetables for Vegetable Haters

My significant other used to hate eating veggies. I’m fairly certain that their diet consists primarily of Red Bull, microwavable burritos, chips and salsa and whatever I chose to cook. Some meals have instant appeal; others have been viewed with suspicion. In short, I’m a pro at feeding vegetables to a person who viewed them with thinly-veiled disgust. Now, my partner loves vegetables. I imagine the following recipe with be successful in converting most any picky eaters, whether they’re children or all grown up.

Now to gather your ingredients.

  • Brussels sprouts, halved or quartered depending on size. Or cauliflower, cut with minimal stalks. This recipe also works for asparagus, broccoli and other similar vegetables.
  • Cooking oil. Make sure it works well for high temperatures, so the vegetables don’t stick.
  • Lemon juice. I usually use the cheap lemon-shaped bottles you find in the fruit section of the grocery store. Fresh lemons will work if you want to be fancy.
  • Salt. I use a sea salt grinder. They aren’t very costly and taste better than table salt.
  • Garlic salt. The kind I use also has parsley in it, but that is optional. You can also use canned crushed garlic or garlic powder. If you do use garlic instead of garlic salt, you will need to add a bit more salt than the recipe specifies.
  • Cavender’s All Purpose Greek Seasoning. This is my favorite all-purpose seasoning. However, any all-purpose seasoning you like should work fine.
  • A cookie sheet.
  • Spatula that can handle high heat.

The process for each recipe is fairly different. A big thing to keep in mind for both is to always season to taste! Try a Brussels sprout from the sheet. It’s a great way to test temperature, texture and flavor — especially since we all like slightly different things.

Directions

  1. After cutting and washing the vegetables, oil a cookie sheet.
  2. Then scatter the veggies evenly across the area.
  3. Preheat your oven to 350-400 degrees. I like to use high temperatures since it results in crispy vegetables. For less crunchy ones, you may want to lower the temperature and cook them for less time.
  4. While your oven preheats, season the vegetables with a quick, small drizzle of oil, a generous drizzle of lemon juice, a couple even dustings of both garlic salt and Cavender’s, and a quick grind of salt. You want these to turn out a bit like chips or popcorn: crisp, salty and addictive. Without the “boiled” or “mushy” flavors, they’ll be a bit more satisfying to those among us that are veggie-intolerant. In this recipe, you can also feel free to add small bits of raw bacon or prosciutto to give it a more meaty flavor. Cheese is also a great addition. I’ve used crumbled blue cheese with Brussels sprouts and shredded cheddar with cauliflower many times.
  5. Check on the progress of the vegetables roughly every 15 minutes. This will ensure that nothing burns. When the edges are tan to brown, they’re ready to eat!
  6. Dust with Cavender’s, garlic salt and salt to taste. If you are using garlic rather than the garlic salt, I recommend roughly a teaspoon.

Either dish goes well with steak, pork or chicken or can liven up a pasta meal. Happy eating, and I hope nothing gets spit out!