Vegetable Literacy is a thing.
From a very early age, we intuitively turn our noses up at the sight of something green on our plate. And for a good reason.
Greens register as bitter on our palates, and in our early days, humans discovered that bitter often equates poisonous.
While it may seem like an act of defiance, it turns out that my 19 month old is totally normal when they toss their fifth leaf of arugula to the ground.
But like the Huffington Post article describes, "vegetables are safe, which is why it's so important for kids and adult veggie haters to try them again, and again."
Keywords, again, and again. In times like these it helps to have a secret weapon: sauces.
There is absolutely no shame in dressing up greens with a well-balanced sauce. In fact, many sauces contain good-for-you ingredients, such as herbs and healthy fats.
What's more, most folks already have all of the necessary ingredients to make amazing sauces.
This is by far the easiest way to boost your culinary prowess. An immersion blender is a fancy cheat, but you can make do with regular blender and/or a jar with a tight-fitting lid and a bit of elbow grease.
Finally, sauces are a great addition to a meal plan. We make our sauces in advance (most will keep for 2 weeks or more) so that we have them on hand when we need to make our greens sing.
Here are a few staples to get your feet wet:
Get The Most Out Of Your Veggies
A few summers ago, during an especially hectic week, our friend Mike teased us about how often we ate nachos.
It went a little something like this:
"Nachos again, eh guys?"
Us, "Um, yeah, I guess so."
"My farmer friends from Thunder Bay also ate nachos all the time, must be a thing."
Here we were, with a bounty of produce, filling our bellies with organic corn mashed into a chip, all because we were under the impression that we didn't have the time to prepare healthy food.
When we became parents, we realized that time is relative, as in, there is never enough of it to complete all the tasks that need to be completed in one day, and that one needs to take the time for the really important things in life.
Spending time with each other, and staying healthy.
In order to juggle these things, we've learned to make our farm and household more efficient through the use of tools such as meal planning.
With dozens of online templates and blog tips available, meal planning couldn't be easier.
Every Sunday morning I sit down with a pen and paper and jot down the meals that I want to prepare, focusing on:
Since our tiny house has equally tiny cupboards, we try to only keep the staples on hand. All else gets added to the weekly grocery list which is created at the same time as the meal planning.
I purposely keep the weekend open for a few reasons: impromptu visits from folks we love, leftovers, and because I am a foodie, and sometimes I just want to fulfill a craving. Variety is the spice of life, and having your entire week planned out can actually lead to abandoning a meal plan altogether.
Once my meal plan is complete, I post it on the fridge at eye level, so that when my love asks: "What are we having tonight?", I point to the list.
The items that need advance prep the night before are highlighted in pink (yes, we pre-soak our rolled oats!)
Not only does this save us from feeding nacho chips to our toddler, it ensures that we use up perishable items that would normally head straight from the crisper drawer to the compost.