All of us are capable of serving great tasting veggies. But first, we have to ditch a few outdated ideas. Forget that:
- Vegetables are supposed to be bland, limp, and yucky.
- Vegetables are a punishment for chubby adults.
- Vegetables are too expensive.
- Vegetables are just for crazy vegetarians.
- Vegetables are necessary suffering before the ice cream comes out.
- Vegetables aren’t kid friendly.
These attitudes may have been acceptable back in the 1980s when I was eating loads of canned green beans. My mom would scuttle over to the microwave (halfway though a family meal) and rescue the lukewarm veggies. I can spot that shade of grey-green anywhere. Most of us grew up with less-than-yummy tasting vegetables. This really impacts what attitudes we have towards veggies. And that translates into the veggies we serve or don’t serve to our kids.
Vegetables are amazing. They are scientifically proven to help our kids perform better in school and have more optimistic attitudes. Eating vegetables every day can help ward off obesity, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, stroke, cancer, chronic inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma, osteoporosis, eye diseases, and dementia. (sources 1, 2)
We all like these benefits. So what’s stopping us? We are tired. We don’t like guilt. We don’t like being told by someone in a white coat with trendy glasses that we aren’t doing our job right. We don’t want a fight. We don’t have the right tools. We feel tired. Oh yeah, I already mentioned that one.
Enter “Don’t Panic Vegetables.” A series addressing each of our outdated, but completely real, excuses about veggies. We are smart mothers. We are capable of learning some quick, tasty vegetable recipes that won’t cause a fight or break the budget.
Here’s the first recipe in honor of spring: Don’t Panic Asparagus. I’ve made this recipe for toddlers, teens, baby boomers, and really old people who still have their teeth. They all loved it. But what they like the most? Asparagus is a finger food! My kids like that they’re called spears. If I had a daughter who was into princesses, I’d call them magic wands. Whatever you call them, they’re good and take less than ten minutes to prepare.
- 1 Bunch Fresh Asparagus (about 1 pound)
- 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
- Parmesan Cheese
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Wash your asparagus and shake it dry.
- Break off the woody ends. (Never done this before? Take a few spears in your hand and apply pressure to the bottom third of the asparagus. It will naturally break where it needs to.)
- Prepare a cookie sheet with foil and place asparagus in a heap on top of foil.
- Drizzle olive oil over the heap and then spread out asparagus to that none are overlapping.
- Shake a bit of salt and a few cranks of pepper over the top. If you have it, freshly grated Parmesan makes it especially satisfying.
- Bake for 5 - 8 minutes or until spears are bright green and the cheese has melted.