I have a confession to make...I'm a Master's of Nutrition student, and I don't always eat my vegetables. And, if I'm being totally honest, I don't really like vegetables all that much! That's something I can't really admit openly to my fellow classmates. That's scandalous stuff in the studying-to-be-a-dietitian world!
This realization creates some problems for me...on one hand, the future dietitian (I hate that word! More on that in a future post...) in me knows that I should be loading up on veggies because they're good for me. On the other hand, the intuitive eater in me feels like I should be eating the things that are satisfying and enjoyable to me, not forcing myself to eat something that I find unpleasant.
So what's a girl to do?! Well, I try my best...I look for recipes that are really yummy but that have some veggies in them. I try to make side salads (with baby spinach, but also dried cranberries, almond slivers, and goat cheese to make it more palatable) to have with meals at least a couple times a week. And most of all (and this might seem wrong), I try not to think about it too much. I know myself well enough to know that if I think about it too much, that thinking will turn into obsessing, eating will no long be pleasurable, and I'll be right back in that regimented, dieting mindset I was in years before.
One recipe that has worked for me as a source of a lot of vegetables, but that is also very easy and (most importantly) VERY tasty is a veggie pizza. This has become such a staple in my home that my husband has dubbed it "Blondie Pizza", a nod to the nickname he has called me since we first started dating years ago. Here's the recipe for Blondie Pizza:
1 Boboli thin crust pizza shell
1/4 c. (or slightly less) olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced into rings
1 bag of baby spinach (or less, depending on how much you want on there)
1 portabella mushroom, sliced (or a package of button mushrooms, sliced)
a few roasted red pepper slivers (as many as you want)
3-4 oz package of goat cheese (I get the pre-crumbled kind because it's easier)
Preheat oven to 425.
Mix the olive oil and minced garlic together. With a basting/pastry brush, spread the garlic olive oil mixture on the pizza shell (some will be left over-- make sure you save it!). Then layer the baby spinach (as much as you want!), the red onion slices, mushroom, red pepper slices, and, finally, the crumbled goat cheese. Drizzle the remaining garlic olive oil over the pizza, and bake at 425 for 20 minutes. I use a pizza pan with holes in it (seen here: http://www.crateandbarrel.com/kitchen-and-food/pizza-pans/16%22-crisper/s488569), but before we had that, I used to place it right on the oven rack, because if it's on a solid pan, it doesn't come out as crispy.
Recipes like Blondie Pizza satisfy both the future dietitian AND the intuitive eater in me-- I get a couple servings of vegetables, and I actually really enjoy it and WANT to eat it! I will forever be in search of these kinds of recipes, because to me, choking down healthy food just for the sake of my health is so not worth it!