Mom, where are my vegetables?
Ever wondered what happened to our vegetables? Where are they in our plates? Why do we pay less attention to our eating habits? Well, we will have time to ponder on this and other questions. But to our most important one… ever wondered?
I have given some thought and here are some of my answers: In a kitchen long time ago I would see my Granny cooking our family meal with a lot of care. The result was a balanced meal with a protein, a starch and last but not least a good portion of several vegetable. Then for years I have traveled to different places in México and the U.S. and realized that vegetables have lost the main stage. They have become a secondary or absent actor. Especially in the last five years, I have realized that very few times we get vegetables in our plate.
And why is that? Funny thing advertisement does: we used to see the farmers selling their products everywhere. Then a few years after came the magnificent use of microwave where the “jolly green giant” was the king of the veggies. Frozen as they were, at least they were present. Then he lost the throne and came the age of the lost veggies as they weren’t anywhere to be found. At the end they resurfaced as Organic Produce in Farmers’ Market and special or fancy supermarkets. Here I have to ask, did we actually realize the price they were charging? The prices were outrageous! But hey, we are eating organic!
So, now what? What if we can’t buy organic? Just because it says organic it doesn´t necessarily means it is great. All vegetables are great: frozen, fresh, organic… ALL ARE GREAT! We just need to be mindful of their preparation. Yes, I did say frozen! I´m talking about the ones that are just the plain vegetables. The only thing they need is to be cooked, and not overcooked! Veggies should be crispy, not over handled, not over seasoned, and especially not overcooked!
Believe it or not, reading the preparation instructions of our product helps a lot. It ensures we use the most percentage of vitamins and minerals. And believe me when I say this: handling your vegetables properly will guarantee an excellent end result product. It won’t matter if it’s frozen, fresh or organic.
Oh, but why did I mention our eating habits? Let’s be honest: we are all lovers of protein. By being lovers of protein, we make our children lovers also. We forget that the healthiest option in every kitchen or restaurant should be vegetables. Nowadays, there are a lot of kids and teenagers who have the idea that eating vegetables is bad. They push them to the side, cry about them and deny them. Seriously, it is our responsibility as fathers, chefs, and food lovers to create an awareness in our kids, grandsons and ourselves about eating vegetables instead of just disliking them. We need to explore the healthiest option all the time.
Yes, getting on a diet helps. But maintaining a healthy body also requires that we take care of our inside as well of our outside. And by having a healthy diet we can ensure that.
And remember, being green is being lean.