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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Eat"><br><br>
I grew up in a very basic meat and potatoes family. We did steaks, roasts, hams, potatoes, and veggies to me were peas, carrots, beans and corn. Fruit entails apples, oranges and bananas, and on special occasions, things like strawberries, kiwi, pears. Hubby was much the same way.<br><br>
And now we're older, and we're trying to eat healthier, but I'm having such a hard time getting use to the different flavors/textures. Ever since I was little I've had a really hard time with textures of foods. I don't eat oatmeal because as soon as I put it in my mouth, I feel like gagging. Same with yogurt. Pudding is great if it's absolutely smooth.<br><br>
I see everyone writing up mealplans with things like beans and lentils and chickpeas... and I want to try them, but I'm also wary of buying something and then making it and throwing it out. So I would love to know how you would ease someone into these things!<br><br>
I don't need to cut out meat or dairy or anything, but I would like to descrease our dependance on meat in order to cut our grocery bills. I'm a huge fan of eggs and cheese... so anything with those is usually a hit. It's just him and I, no kids, but we do both work shiftwork, so we pack lunch/dinner five days a week and often are cooking for only one person at a time, instead of a family. I hate it.<br><br>
I desperately want to learn to cook/eat healthier before we have kids, but I keep getting discourage.
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> good for you. Deciding to change your diet for the better is the biggest step in doing so.<br><br>
I don't have a lot of experience with food/texture sensitivity, but one thing I have found is this. Have you read about how with kids you have to introduce a new food a ton before they'll consider eating and liking it? They have to get exposed to it first? I've found it's like that with adults too. You have to keep trying little bites, and then eventually you might like it. It might take 20-30 times of taking a bite before you'll consider adding it to the foods that are ok, not great, and longer to like it outright.<br><br>
Maybe pick one or two new foods/textures, and try to cook small amounts often? So say, you make refried beans (a small amount, or even open a can and put it in a tupperware, though canned ones aren't very good), and microwave a few bites every day/every other day, and just eat a spoonful or less if you feel like gagging. Chase it with something you do like. I wouldn't REALLY suggust using canned beans, cause they kinda suck, but you could cook a batch of beans and freeze a bunch of them (they freeze pretty well.) Or just make a little bit. There's no rule that says you can't make a 1/4 c. of beans to eat over several days. Try just a spoonful of yogurt a day (start with a small spoonful)<br><br>
Also probably learning how to cook things properly will help. For instance, beans need lots of salt (way more than you expect), and a good bit of something acidic, either citrus juice or vinegar to make them bright and flavorful. Chickpeas really ought to be peeled, though I never do.<br><br>
You could buy something like hummus at the store (a chickpea dip) to get used to a new taste and texture. It's easy to make, but might be easier to start with buying new foods to try than make them for now.<br><br>
I also know that a lot of mom's here have kids with SPI that have issues with food textures, you might ask here or on special needs for their advice on textures.<br><br>
HTH, and I'm happy to answer any other questions you have.
 

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We're very meat and potatoes. Dh and both grew up that way and it's pretty much how we still eat. But we do try new veggies all the time and try different ways of cooking them. Like asparagus. I hated it growing up because the only way it was ever prepared was boiled to death. Now I roast it and love it. I try to buy veggies in season and then experiment. It's a great way to expose yourself to new things.<br><br>
I can't help you with the beans though. I hate beans and every way I've tried cooking them (my kids love them) has been awful.
 

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I don't know if this recipe would have a texture you would enjoy but it was my very first real foray into lentils. Now they are a weekly staple and I still make this soup at least once a month.<br><br>
Easy, cheap, and so good! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Eat"> <-- this guy needs a spoon actually<br><br><a href="http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Lentil-Soup/Detail.aspx" target="_blank">http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Lentil-Soup/Detail.aspx</a><br><br><br>
Also, if you like tuna salad (like as a sandwich) chickpeas make an awesome subsitute for the tuna. Just throw a few into the food processor with anything else you would put in tuna salad--mayo, pickles, onions, celery, etc--and mash it all up for a few seconds. It is so good, it tastes pretty much identical to the real thing. And no mercury poisoning to worry about. Plus it is really inexpensive.<br><br>
And good for you for working toward healthy changes. We have been doing the same thing over the past few years and I just take it one recipe at a time.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Do you think it ruins the attempt if I put bacon in that soup? lol. It sounds doable though, I think I'll try to make some next some I go grocery shopping, but minus the stewed tomatoes. That's another thing that just gives me the heebie jeebies.<br><br>
For things like kale and.... umm... other green veggies... where's a good place to start, and what's the most appetizing way to eat them? I'm a romaine lettuce girl *hides head* lol
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>jeninejessica</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15421910"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Do you think it ruins the attempt if I put bacon in that soup? lol.</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> I don't think it would ruin the attempt. My mom makes a similar concoction and then plunks a big old sausage in the pot to simmer with everything else. Moderation, right? Also, when I make that soup sometimes I add about half a jar of marinara instead of the canned tomatoes. So if marinara doesn't give you the heebie jeebies maybe that would work.<br><br>
I wish I could help you with the kale. I'm a romaine girl too I guess. Actually since I have a harder time getting my greens this is what I do. Every week I buy a big box of organic and pre-washed mixed baby lettuces and then I make sure to finish the box by the end of the week. Maybe not as nutritionally dense as kale and spinach, but MUCH better than I was doing. I just put big handfuls of the lettuce on sandwiches and eat it in salads. I love cooked greens at other people's houses but I've never really made them before. My husband loves to drink a smoothie of banana, yogurt, blueberries, and spinach. You really don't see or taste the spinach when its all blended up together. But on second thought if the yogurt texture makes you gag that's probably not a good recipe, LOL. And we also put spinach in soup and on pizza. But the majority of the leafy greens that I eat come from that box of lettuce.
 

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You will most likely get a million different responses as to what constitutes "healthy" eating. But here's my input:<br><br>
Some simple changes:<br><br>
pp mentioned romaine: romaine is good, always opt for some type of lettuce other than iceberg. Cabbage is good in salads, purple cabbage shredded in your regular salad. mmm<br><br>
eat and drink less from packages. Make more food yourself.<br><br>
Cook and eat w/good fats. No margarine at all. Use olive oil, coconut oil, real butter.<br><br>
Get organic and/or wild/free range/pastured meat, seafood, and eggs. They are better for you.<br><br>
I just made for lunch for dd and I: organic eggs sauteed in organic butter w/parmesan cheese and organic spinach. She's 3 and she eats it. I love it. I'm emphasizing organic because I think it's important to limit exposure to pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, organophosphates, chemicals in general, and added hormones. Esp, if you going to ttc, you want to lower your bodyload of chemicals.<br><br>
You could try green smoothies but they take some getting used to.<br><br>
What about sauteed collard greens? Saute them in butter or bacon grease (nitrate free <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> ), add some freshly crushed garlic and salt. mmmmmmmm<br><br>
Try some sweet potato fries. Slice sweet potatoes lengthwise, preheat oven to 400ish, spray olive oil or rub butter on sheet, put sweet potatoes in it and put some more butter or olive oil on top, sprinkle w/salt and black pepper, cook till soft. Eat w/ketchup (without high fructose corn syrup <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> ). Yum.<br><br>
Make some fresh guacamole. Avocado, lemon juice, salt, dash of cumin, garlic.<br><br>
Make some fresh salsa while your at it and then cook up some meat w/onions and have fajitas w/out the tortillas. Healthy and delish..
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>jeninejessica</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15421910"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">For things like kale and.... umm... other green veggies... where's a good place to start, and what's the most appetizing way to eat them? I'm a romaine lettuce girl *hides head* lol</div>
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I don't think putting bacon in the soup is a bad thing at all. Your trying to get used to new tastes and textures. besides which, bacon is actually a pretty healthy food imo, because it's got lots of healthy fat, which is good for you in itself, and helps you absorb nutrients from plant foods.<br><br><br>
For kale and other greens, (I presume you mean greens, and not broccoli, cabbage etc?), there are a few ways I like to cook them. (I cook collards, kale, and chard the same way. Spinach is a lighter veggie, and I use it differently. I either just barely wilt it in some fat, usually with lots of golden crispy fried minced garlic in the fat first, and serve with cheese or nuts, or pop it in very very very last second in soup, so it just wilts.) I cook them most often by sauteing them. First I wash them really well (because they have crevacies to hide dirt), then I don't dry them, just cut them into thin ribbons (maybe a cm or a half cm). I'll slice the stems so they are transparent. Then I heat up plenty of olive oil or butter, and add them to the pan, (sometimes I saute some onions first then add the greens, or garlic), with some salt. I stir them as they shrink down, and then at the very end add a splash of white wine vinegar. They do lose some of their color to it, but it adds a wonderful flavor. If I could buy it and/or had it in the house, I would prefer to use some white wine to cook it in, after sauteing it in the fat for a little bit. Greens with just garlic, salt, and white wine are heavenly.<br><br>
I'll also slice them the same way, and drop them in soup, cook em til they're tender (only a few minutes usualy).
 

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I just wanted to mention beans DO need acid but don't add the acid until *after* the beans are cooked all the way. If you add acid it makes the beans cook more slowly.<br><br><br>
You can get a mix of beans for soup from the bulk area. I get some of those, soak them and just toss in the crock pot with a ham hock and water. I make corn bread to go with it. That is how I cook black eyed peas as well except I add collards to them. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
I love spinach strawberry salad with walnuts and dried cranberries. I make a dressing out of raspberry jam, rosemary and balsamic vinegar
 

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<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>jeninejessica</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15421910"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">For things like kale and.... umm... other green veggies... where's a good place to start, and what's the most appetizing way to eat them? I'm a romaine lettuce girl *hides head* lol</div>
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Top two, imo, are:<br><br>
1) Raw spinach in smoothies. I fill a 5 cup blender with loosely packed spinach, blend with about a cup of plain yogurt, then add a banana and a couple cups of mixed berries - kids love it, and you can't taste the spinach <i>at all</i>...but the colour's a bit weird.<br><br>
2) Kale chips. Cut kale from the ribs. Tear into bite sized pieces. Massage with 2 Tbsp. olive oil, 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar and a hint of salt. Cook in single layer batches on a cookie sheet at 300F-325F, for about 4 minutes per side. They should be crispy, but not brown (although, honestly, they can even turn kind of brown and still be yummy).
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the awesome tips so far guys. I'm jotting ideas down, and there's a couple that sound good to start with. I can't do smoothies unless they're aaaaaabbbbsssolutely smooth, so generally anything I make at home is a no go... but DH will drink it!<br>
Marinara will work instead of the tomatos. I never would have thought of that!<br>
Keep going! I know I'm going to get discouraged, so the more ideas I have to try, the better. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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We have been getting a CSA box of locally grown, organic veggies for five months now. Coming up with ways to cook veggies we've never even seen before is rather comical and interesting. Our go-to methods for anything unfamiliar:<br><br>
1. Sautee it in a pan with olive oil (or butter) and a bit of bacon grease and garlic and onion. This works best for small quantities when we just want to try it out.<br><br>
2. Make a quiche. I used NINE veggies last week in one quiche and it turned out DELICIOUS! I chop unfamiliar veggies up smaller than usual and add some familiar veggies. I added some cooked bacon for a strong flavor we like.<br><br>
3. Roasted veggies and meat. DH makes a great dish where he grills or pan-fries a meat of some sort (usually chicken or turkey sausage). Then, he cuts up a bunch of veggies, tosses them with olive oil, sea salt, cracked pepper, chopped or minced onion, and fresh or granulated garlic. Spread everything out on a cookie sheet and bake in the oven until soft/crispy. (Certain veggies need longer to cook than others, so he typically prepares two rounds in the same bowl and everything...meat and both batches of veggies...all ends up in a single bowl at the table.)<br><br>
4. Soup. I just make up recipes all the time. When using unfamiliar beans and veggies, I make sure to use familiar versions as well. I gradually increase the quantity of newer varieties. I still tend to cut unfamiliar veggies smaller for soups and leave the well-loved ones bigger chunks. My biggest trick here is to puree certain veggies I know DH and DD do not care for. I cook those specific veggies while they are at school/work (steamed, usually) and then puree them and add them to my homemade bone broth. If they see me cooking the soup, all they see is the broth going in. Works wonders. Try it with your DH and you trading off "hiding" the veggies/beans.<br><br>
Texture is a huge issue for both my DH and DD. Pureeing is handsdown the easiest way to solve that. I even have put all their known "icky" veggies into a smoothie and they've gobbled it down. We have a Vitamix, though, and it really creates a super smooth consistency when I let it. I personally prefer a bit of texture, so I pour out my portion of smoothie (and peanut butter and other concoctions) first and then blend extra time for theirs.
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>jeninejessica</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15421910"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Do you think it ruins the attempt if I put bacon in that soup? lol. It sounds doable though, I think I'll try to make some next some I go grocery shopping, but minus the stewed tomatoes. That's another thing that just gives me the heebie jeebies</div>
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I don't know if you tried this yet or not, but I made it last night. I, personally, don't think this recipe would be very good with bacon in it. It had too strong of a vinegar flavor for me. It was a really yummy recipe, though. I do have to admit, I love all beans/lentils, though.<br><br>
I put the tomatoes into a food processor before adding them (could do sauce as well, but I had canned tomatoes, so taht is what I did). Other than that, I made it just as the recipe called for. After I tried some, I added a can of garbanzo beans (made it thicker instead of being more brothy) and added a couple of big handfuls of extra spinach (I use baby spinach, and didn't think it needed to be chopped). I really liked how it came out after I did that, but think I would add maybe half as much vinegar next time (I am not that big a fan of vinegar)... Anyways, just my suggestions <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"><br><br>
Thanks aprons_and_acorns for posting the link, even dd (3) gobbled it up!!!
 

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Also, for adding veges to your diet... I like to make up a big batch of hummus and cut up a big container of raw veges (I like carrots, celery, and red peppers the best). If I have that in my fridge, I will pull it out and sit it on the counter when I need a snack, or sometimes when I am cooking dinner. Dh, dd (3) and I (ds won't eat em, but he is a thread all in himself, lol) eat so much more veges that way than if I need to cut them before eating.
 
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