Officially A Grown Up

Despite being a vegetarian, there have always been some vegetables that I just never really liked eating. I never liked tomatoes (except when pureed into tomato sauce or ketchup, but I never really liked chunky tomato sauce), zucchini (except when in zucchini breads), eggplant (no exceptions), or mushrooms. I’m sure there are more veggies that made it to my picky eater list, but those were the main ones.

These days, I think that it’s not the being married, or the on-time bill paying, or the dog walking and poop collecting, or the limited consumption of macaroni and cheese by choice that makes me feel like an adult, but the fact that I am now willingly preparing vegetables that I used to hate for major meals, and not only because other grownups are coming over for dinner.

Take tomatoes- I used to pick them off of sandwiches, request salads without them, and generally avoid them at all costs. Then I studied abroad in Chile with a host family that didn’t understand vegetarianism, and when they served me tomato slices, I felt too bad continuing to be even pickier, so I ate them. And they were fine! Now I regularly buy tomatoes and eat them like the badass grownup that I am. Even for breakfast! My favorite weekend breakfast includes diced tomatoes, chopped garlic (that’s why it’s a weekend thing- no meetings to worry about garlic breath), olive oil, and sometimes basil and feta cheese, all on top of this bread- www.101cookbooks.com/archives/easy-little-bread-recipe.html.

(Side note: Rachel knows that I think Heidi from 101 cookbooks is totally over the top, and not just because of what she packs to eat on plane trips, but also because she puts flowers on all of her food, but this bread is seriously amazing, easy and delicious.)

Now, I’m preparing to bring veggie kebabs to a farewell BBQ for a Austrian friend leaving Quito to head back to Europe. These kebabs will feature eggplant, zucchini, AND (cherry) tomatoes, therefore solidifying my grownup status.

I’ve also eaten zucchini pasta (remarkably easy to forget that it’s zucchini), and earlier this week I made a zucchini pesto lasagna- thinly slicing zucchini, roasting it in the oven, then layering it (in oven safe soup bowls for individual portions!) with onions, thinly sliced and roasted carrots, ricotta cheese, mozzarella, and homemade pesto like a lasagna. And earlier I made an eggplant parmesan, which is actually just the same thing, except I roasted the eggplant with a breading and tomato sauce. I don’t have any photos because I forgot to take any- sorry! I’ll try to be better.

I still don’t like mushrooms though, and I’m not sure I’m ready to start. Does anyone have a recipe for frying mushrooms or something that I’m 100% guaranteed to like?

Side note- this is really just a discussion about a few vegetables with no major recipes- my next post will have more recipes! And seriously, try the bread.

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7 thoughts on “Officially A Grown Up

  1. It’s still so weird to think about how old we all are! I have a suggestion for a mushroom dish…it might be a long shot though. What I like to do is use a roasted portobello in place of pizza dough. I remove the stem and scrape out the dark brown ribs and top it with tomato sauce, veggies, sausage and cheese, a sprinkle or oregano and garlic and bake it at about 425 degrees for 15-20 minutes. The mushroom gets soft and juicy and is a great vessel for the pizza-ey flavors. Try it and see?

    1. Turning a mushroom into pizza sounds like one of the most likely ways to get me to eat it. I’ll try it and let you know- my mushroom to cheese ratio will probably be 1:3, but you know- baby steps. Thanks for the idea!

  2. I used to be a somewhat reluctant mushroom eater, though I never hated them. I slowly adapted to them by slicing them thinly and sauteeing them and throwing them in stuff like risotto or pasta primavera. I’ve also made portobello sandwiches with sun dried tomato aioli (and other veggies and cheese). Those were wonderful, but mostly because of the aioli.

    1. I introduced zucchini into my diet by slicing it thinly and sauteéing it with lots of olive oil and garlic, and adding it to pasta, so maybe I should do that with mushrooms- good idea. Aioli also sounds like a good way to disguise mushrooms!

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