Gluten Free Fitness

What do you Mean You Don’t Like Veggies?

What do you Mean You Don’t Like Veggies?


What do you mean it’s too hard to make them taste good? It’s really not hard if you keep an open mind and take advantage of what is available.

I am very lucky to have a nearby market where they feature locally grown and mostly organic produce.  I stop by there on the weekend and pick up whatever looks and smells good to me.

Last weekend, there was a bunch of beautiful bright orange carrots and some zucchini (aka summer squash-as I understand it summer squash can be either yellow or green, and the green variety is zucchini.)

It’s in season now, and was very reasonably priced.  I loaded up my basket with those and some other goodies.  Had I a clue of how I was going to prepare them?  Nope.  But, I knew I could figure something out.

In my opinion, that’s a key to preparing your own gluten free and healthful food.

Keep your options open if you are at a market such as this.

See what looks good and is reasonably priced.  When you start with fresh, local ingredients, generally you will have a much more flavorful start to your meal than if you are starting with something that has been shipped and/or processed.  You won’t need fancy sauces or preparation methods to make them taste good.

So here I am with my zucchini and carrots.  My Dad is in town for Fathers’ Day, and Jeff is at work, so it’s dinner for me and Dad.  It was Sunday, so it’s my cook ahead for the week day.

I had been marinating chicken breasts in lemon juice, fresh garlic, and lemon pepper seasoning (this is my favorite) for most of the day.  That would be our protein source.

I remembered seeing an idea to make pasta-ish ribbons from zucchini using a vegetable peeler.  I thought that sounded good, so I scrubbed my veggies with water and a veggie brush and pulled out the peeler.  2 peels into it I decided that would take far too long.  I am definitely not that patient.

I do have a mack daddy food processor which I love.  I pulled it out and gave myself a quick tutorial on how to use the shredding blade.  It worked fantastically.

I had a beautiful big pile of shredded zucchini and carrot.

Now what to do?

My theory is you can never go wrong with some fresh garlic.  Not in the amount that would protect you from vampires, but just a touch for some flavor.

Dinner is almost served…

I poured a tablespoon of coconut oil into my pan, and let it warm up over medium high heat.  Then I used my garlic press on 1 medium clove of fresh garlic and added that to the pan, stirring frequently as not to burn, just get that toasty garlic aroma floating through the house.

This is when my Dad was drawn into the kitchen by the smell of garlic, and I chased him off.

The chicken was in the oven cooking away while I was doing all this, and some sweet potatoes were keeping the chicken company in the oven.  Especially in Florida in the summertime, if you’re heating up the oven, you may as well make the most of it.

Add the shredded zucchini and carrots to the pan, and stir.  They cook quickly, about 5 minutes or so is all you need.  I added a couple shakes of sea salt and grinds of black pepper, and that was it.

We had a lovely meal of chicken, the shredded veggies, and sweet potato.  All naturally gluten free.  All wonderfully full of flavor, and easy to prepare.

You can see in the photo the eggy breakfast casserole in the background, and the pot in which I was cooking rice.  You can do this also, and get a bunch of good food prepared ahead of time.

What’s your favorite way to prepare vegetables?  If you have tricks, please share!

10 comments on “What do you Mean You Don’t Like Veggies?

  1. I love your shredded carrot and zucchini idea. My hubby *might* try a bite of zucchini that way. He’s one of those that really doesn’t like veggies. Which is hard for me to patient with, as I naturally LOVE them. I have found a few ways to “disguise” them in sauces, etc. where he finds them tasty, but I tend to try to just up our consumption of husband-friendly produce (which is little more than carrots or broccoli!) and come up with creative ways to eat them!

    • Hi Alta!
      I share your frustration. My taller half (Jeff is 6’5″) also is very particular about his vegetable consumption. In fact, he eats them first to “get them out of the way so I can enjoy my meal.” I’m not even kidding. And I can’t try to disguise them, he’s been very specific that the attempt would be a very bad idea. I’m limited to broccoli, green beans and asparagus for him.
      I really need a VitaMix so I can do green smoothies for him. I keep telling Heidi (Adventures of a Gluten Free Mom) how much I covet hers.

  2. Your shredded veggies look absolutely delicious. And garlic adds that “perfect something” to everything (almost). YES, yes on the VitaMix. I held off for years because they’re so expensive, but you can make the most wonderful smoothies and no one would ever know you had lettuce, spinach, broccoli, cabbage, beets or whatever other veggie you can throw in there. And the soups — oh my gosh, you can blitz up the creamiest soups (sans cream) with a VitaMix. I got mine online with a 20% coupon from Bed, Bath and Beyond. Still expensive, but 20% of a gazillion dollars is pretty good.

    Great post, Erin! Next time, let me know when dinner is served. =)

    • Thanks Melissa! They were awfully tasty, and I’ve made it again since. Just a little garlic makes almost everything better, the same way I feel about grilling.
      Re-Vitamix-I KNOW! Especially after I saw your swamp scum smoothie!

  3. That looks tasty. I’m not the biggest zucchini fan in the world, but I think I might try that next time we get them in our CSA box. I just keep making bread and muffins. Although, they turn out great.

    I am a disguiser, too. But I am determined to eat all my veggies. I don’t like to throw away anything I get from the CSA. So, I have been doing a lot of crockpot stews. They turn out great. I can taste the veggies, but it disguises the ones I’m not fond of enough. Nothing gets wasted, and we all get nutrition. I ‘disguised’ some cauliflower and beets tonight. It was very tasty.


    • Hey Tia!
      Seriously though, this is a great way to use up a large quantity of zucchini. With the shredding, it cooks down more than you would expect.

  4. Recently, I grated 3 korean squash (kinda like zucchini, mild and sweet like yellow squash), 1 yam, and 1 apple. In the food processor I chopped some shallots and garlic. I mixed this all up with 2 eggs and about 2 cups of gluten-free flour, thereby making a “pancake” batter, and tried to fry latkes with them (I only had olive oil). This didn’t work 1) because I’m not a great cook; and 2) because my batter wasn’t firm enough, but I think it’s possible, and I am on the lookout for gluten-free pancake mix. You probably get the gist of what I was trying to do. Eventually, it became a pie that I baked in the oven until brown on the top, and it tasted great, which is the important part. But I am going to try to make gluten-free squash latkes! (I found out potatoes are not that healthy and mega-caloric, so I prefer yams).

    • That’s a fantastic idea!
      Have no doubt in your cooking ability-you can totally do it. I can’t personally recommend a pancake mix, but I know many people like Pamela’s pancake mix. You could go whichever way you prefer as far as yams vs white potato.
      Per 100 grams of yams = 116 calories, 0 fat, 27 grams carb (4 fiber) and 1 gram protein.
      100 grams of white potato= 94 calories, 0 fat, 21 grams carb (2 fiber) and 2 grams protein.
      So feel free to choose whichever you prefer or mix it up!
      Definitely please share when you perfect the latkes-yum! And your oven baked pie sounds fabulous…

  5. Love the shredded zucchini and carrots, aren’t those food processor blades great?! 😀

    I was once a veggie hater and I believe this was due to the way my mom cooked them when I was growing up (boiled, ick!) and also because I consumed a lot of highly processed, sugar laden foods that altered my taste buds (and made many veggies taste bitter). Since weaning off of those “foods” (I use that term loosely), I cannot get enough veggies. I am even beginning to like beets, OYE!

    A tip for veggie haters, Balsamic Vinegar can do wonders with hiding the taste of certain veggies (except Brussels sprouts) until you develop a taste for them on their own. 😉

    • Hey Heidi!
      Ugh-you are so right. I fortunately only have a few bad veggie childhood memories-creamed corn (blech!) and stewed tomatoes (blech-blech!)
      Not boiling a vegetable into oblivion does wonders for it’s texture!
      I absolutely love balsamic, as you know-and believe it can hide a multitude of sins 🙂
      There is a very funny photo of me with red beets smashed all over my face when I was a baby. The beginning of the veggie love? Who knows?!

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