Can I make myself enjoy vegetables?

I like corn and un-cooked carrots every so often, but they are not high on my list of favorites. Most other healthy (non-starchy) vegetables are just plain nasty to me. Broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, etc. turn my stomach. Is there anyway I can make myself like them?

I want to like vegetables, I really do. I’m 31 years old. I should like vegetables, right? And I should be setting an example for my kids.

I can handle green beans and peas, but most of the time I’d rather not eat them. When my wife makes them for dinner, I try not to think about it and eat them really fast. I’m trying to eat healthier, but it’s hard when vegetables just don’t taste good.

I’ve tried forcing myself to eat broccoli and cauliflower to see if I could just aquire a taste for it. It didn’t work. Any ideas?

I don’t care too much for vegetables either. But if I do eat them I prefer them grilled with some seasoning.
Or chopped up with some pasta or rice.

Try different ways of preparing them. Vegetables, in my experience, vary greatly when cooked in different manners. Badly cooked vegetables are the worst. Second worst is bland vegetables, which is what most people think of when they think of veggies.

How do you prepare the ones you’re eating now and not liking? Maybe we can give you some healthy-cooking pointers to make them taste better.

Cauliflower needs cream cheese sauce to be eaten and I think broccolli is best when not cooked too long, still slightly hard in the middle of the stalk.

Thinking about it I am quite strange, I LOVE vegetables, I’m not a vegan but I could eat veggies all day, I even have the large stalk of a broccolli as a snake before dinner.

“broccolli as a snake” ???

I meant snack.

First of all, there are many different vegetables. You say that you don’t like broccoli and cauliflour; fair enough. Not everything is for everyone. But what do you think of spinach? Cabbage? Squash? Okra? Asparagus? Mushrooms? Tomatoes, or peppers? The thing is, there’s a wide variety of vegetables, with completely different flavors. Not liking some of them does not imply that you’ll not like all of them. And you don’t need to eat all of them. Along this line, I’ll also mention that broccoli, cauliflour, and Brussel sprouts are all closely related, so just not liking those doesn’t really indicate much (that’s really only one sort of veggie you don’t like).

Second, it’s very easy to overcook vegetables. This will not only strip them of most of their flavor and texture, it’ll also often break down the very nutrients that make them good for you in the first place. If you’re used to bland, mushy vegetables, it’s just as well that you don’t like them, because really, what’s the point? Most vegetables are best raw or only slightly cooked: Steamed or stir-fried generally work pretty well. But whatever you do, don’t ever boil veggies, unless you intend to make soup. When you boil them, whatever good stuff might happen to survive the cooking will just end up poured down the drain.

I was just reading on the Weight Watchers site, and it was discussing how some people may be more sensitive to the bitter flavors in a lot of vegetables. I like them personally, but you might want to start with milder, sweeter choices. Skip the brussels sprouts and try regular cabbage, either as cole slaw or steamed until tender and served with butter.

My kids, who are also sensitive to strong flavors, will eat more vegetables raw than cooked. My son would rather eat his peas frozen, right out of the bag, for example. You may be the same way.

Finally, don’t be shy about adding flavorings to vegetables. I think we often don’t like them because they are served bland, unadorned and overcooked. Try butter, lemon juice, honey, cheese, or whatever sounds tasty.

No snakes before dinner, though. You only get snakes if you eat all your vegetables.

I was exactly like you until I discovered this book, recommended by a friend:

The Roasted Vegetable

I never liked vegetables until I needed to lose some weight and decided to eat half a pound before every meal. I bought prepared vegetables from the local Whole Foods and soon discovered that I actually like them.

Like others have said, the difference is in the preparation. All my life I’d been served cooked frozen vegetables and hated them for being icky and mushy. The only way I coud stand them was if they were slathered with cheese or butter. I still don’t like frozen vegetables but it turns out that I like fresh vegetables, steamed or roasted, with a little olive oil, salt, and garlic.

One thing that really got me to like broccoli and brusels sprouts was this sauce, one I slightly adapted from a Weight Watches cookbook a long time ago:

1 Tblsp Vegetable oiil
2 Tblsp White vinegar
1 Tblsp Soy Sauce
1 Tbsp Regular yellow prepared mustard

Whip them together with a fork and serve over the veggies. I know it sounds rather non-tasty, but we really like it.

Have you tried steamed asparagus…not overcooked, served with a little butter & salt? Ambrosia.

There are plenty of veggies that I don’t particularly care for in their natural state. These can be rendered quite awesome if prepared right. Broccoli and Cauliflower for example I’ll make a nice cheese sauce for using milk, freshly grated cheese (in even quantities) and a few tablespoons of flour to thicken. I’ll cook up that cheese sauce, then smother the veggies in it. It’s best to use medium or aged cheddar for the best flavour, but you can use whatever cheese tickles your fancy.

This does not work for brussel sprouts however. No matter what I’ve tried I still can’t bloody stand those.

There are other veggies, like peas, green or yellow beans, corn, spinach or cabbage, which I like just doused in butter or margarine. But then on the whole, I like most veggies. Except the aforementioned brussel sprouts. And cooked carrots. I can only ever eat cooked carrots when they’ve been simmering in a stew overnight and have therefore lost most of the cooked-carroty flavour.

Another way I enjoy veggies is with a good dip. Spinach dip in particular is quite nice. (No, it doesn’t taste like spinach. It actually has a very nice creamy flavour that seem odd on a cracker)

I can eat anything if there is enough cheese on it. But it kinda defetes the point, no? Trying to eat the veggies because they are healthy, then you go an throw cheese sauce all over them.

My wife does the cooking. Though a talented cook when she takes the time, most things get thrown in the microwave a couple minutes before we sit down, so mushy and bland is pretty much the name of the game. But she likes them anyway. I want to be like that. Eat them any old way, and enjoy them still the same.

I’ve tried squash, asparagus and even zuchinni (though that’s a fruit, right?). Don’t like 'em.

In the past(pre-kids, when there was time) we’ve tried to spice up the veggies, but to no avail, obivously.

Are these frozen or fresh vegetables? For me, it makes all the difference in the world.

I’ll gladly eat frozen peas and corn, but any other vegetable I pretty much only eat fresh. If you’re used to rubbery frozen vegetables, it’s no wonder you don’t like them.

Do you like salads? Make a big salad with lots of lettuce and any raw vegetables you like (carrots and bell peppers are both very sweet) and eat that.

Hmmm. Can’t help you there, then. Mushy and bland veggies are icky, and there’s no way around that.

I like vegetables, but won’t eat mushy bland ones.

Maybe you oughta stick with salads. But then again, most salads are more work to make than tasty veggies. So if you don’t have time for one, you won’t have time for the other.

As a kid I wasnt really impressed with vegetables. I am at a point now that I really enjoy, and even crave fruit and vegetables. I try to maintain healthy diet, and eat a lot of fruit and veggies. I think that eating habits are just that, habits. The longer I have eaten well the more I have come to desire to eat well.

Not to say I dont have a desire for fried junk when I am hungry, but that I also now have a strong desire for a good salad. I find vegetables refreshing in a way that can not be matched by meat or fried food.

Some things I enjoy, some things I dont. I love a good tart Manila Mango but dont care for those big extra sweet mexican ones. I will probably never care for sweet potato, but the same could certainly be said for bologna. I dont ever buy either of them.

My advice is to start with things you enjoy (carrots are great I eat a couple with my lunch every day) and branch out to similar things. Dont forget your fruit either, there have got to be some you really enjoy eat those and try similar ones.

Sounds like you dont like brocoli and its relatives. Those things are all quite sulfurous and strong tasteing. If you havent already, try them raw of or mildly cooked; otherwise just forget 'em. Surely there are some green vegetables prepared some way you can enjoy instead? Raw or stir fried snow peas? Peppers? Spring greens? Romaine lettuce?

There have to be some foods out there that you wil enjoy as part of your diet, go find them. Cookbooks are a good idea.

My boyfriend **Cagey Drifter ** is not crazy about vegetables either (maybe he’ll pop in here and tell you about how he trained himself to like broccoli), but he has been crazy about stir-fries lately, stir-frying broccolini or snow peas or pea sprouts in a hot wok with lots of garlic, soy sauce, and sometimes some hot pepper. Personally, I think a little drizzle of toasted sesame oil on top of the stir-fry after it has been cooked makes it incredibly delicious.

Could you try integrating them into something else? It’s always harder to deal with something you don’t like when you have to eat it in isolation.

For example, do you like moussaka? It has lots of eggplant and tomatoes, and can be quite healthy if you use crumbled tofu instead of lamb (doesn’t make much of a difference flavor-wise due to the strong spices) and grill the eggplant instead of frying it.

I have a nice recipe for green pea pie–made like a covered fruit pie or pot pie, but filled with frozen green peas and little bits of savoriness (such as herbs, fried onions, tiny bits of bacon, or tiny bits of cracklings) instead of a creamy sauce + meat. It’s always gone over well at potlucks.

You could make a vegetable tart or quiche (using extra egg whites and maybe low-fat milk or cheese to cut down on calories). Or how about loading up a pizza with vegetables and tomato sauce and using only a little bit of cheese?

I also love Bob Blumer’s Carrot and Stick Soup. In college, I had a friend who hated vegetables and would only eat meat–I don’t think he had eaten a green vegetable since moving out of his parents’ house–and he helped himself to seconds of this soup!

All the above listed foods reheat pretty well, so you could make a big batch on the weekend and just reheat in the microwave on weekdays.

I don’t know what kind of access you have to Asian markets, but an easy, fast dinner I used to make all the time back when I was a carnivore was this: pick up some chopped roast duck, fresh rice noodles or udon, and some spinach or bitter Chinese greens like gai lan, and heat up everything in some broth at home. The bitterness of the vegetables cuts the richness of the duck very nicely. Nowadays I use sliced, marinated tofu, which is good for me but may not stimulate your appetite for vegetables as much as duck would.

Also, just keep trying different vegetables you’ve never tried before–maybe something will strike your fancy–have you tried artichokes? Bok choy? Beets?

Maybe try browsing some different and interesting recipes from vegetarian cookbooks. The Savory Way cookbook has always been an inspiration for me when I don’t feel like eating vegetables.

I was at Whole Foods today and they have the BEST salad bar with all kinds of delicious salads containing many different ingredients. Is there someplace like that near you (a natural-food type store that serves homemade vegetable-related dishes)? If so, try some of whatever they’re serving. It will give you some ideas of what you can prepare yourself. And if it’s close enough you could go there regularly and buy some of their things (it’s a lot faster than making them yourself!).

My boyfriend hates veggies and won’t eat them. But he loves my collard greens which are simply shredded and stir fried in garlic and olive oil- a process that takes all of five minutes.

What do you normally cook? What does a meal look like to you? What do you eat for breakfast or at work? What benefits are you trying to get from your veggies? Nobody can make recommendations that work with your eating style without knowing these basics.

Lunch at work can be a great time to get that nutritional boost. If you are an office workers, you are rarely all that hungry and are probably sick of the limited options available to you anyway, so you may as well pick out something healthy every day. The cafe by my work offers a vegetable salad plate (made with real veggies- lettuce is the nutritiounal equivelent of eating water) and so I order that every day. It gets tiresome, but it’s no less tiresome that ordering another sandwhich.

Also, don’t worry too much. The key is to eat either a well-balanced diet or one with a high variety. You can get plenty of nutrition without eating too many vegetables, but you’ll have to be a bit more careful about the other things you eat. Don’t stress out about things.

Mushy, bland, microwaved vegetables are never going to be very tasty, so don’t feel weird about not liking them. Butter, salt, and pepper can help a lot though. Maybe sprinkle some kind of herbs on there.