vegetable adjective: of, relating to, constituting, or growing like plants
Three weeks ago, I attended a lecture that changed my life (dramatic, but true). The speaker mentioned as a side note that him and his wife challenged themselves to cook and eat each and every vegetable known to mankind. I loved the idea the second I heard it. At that moment, I vowed to commit to the same challenge for the rest of my life. In other words, I married vegetables that day.
My quest began immediately. I started making a list of the vegetables I already had a relationship with. Green beans, spinach, corn, broccoli, cauliflower…the list went on. I thought of close to a hundred and figured there must be hundreds more I haven’t tried. Sure enough, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Wikipedia gave me a few different counts in the 200-400 range. That’s a lot of veggies and a lot of cooking – but nobody said a marriage would be easy, right? I’d need to set some boundaries.
Rules of Engagement:
1. Any vegetables that I have eaten, but NOT cooked myself, do not count.
2. All vegetables must be purchased raw/fresh (no canned, dried, etc.).
3. Veggies only available in areas of the world that I can’t travel to, can be tried in the canned/dried form, if that’s the only way to get ahold of them.
4. I have my whole life to cook and try as many new types of veggies as possible.
5. I vow not to waste any of the vegetables I cook – even if I don’t like them – I have to pawn them off on someone that does, or suck it up and eat them.
- Seriously increase my veggie vocabulary.
- Create some fun memories in the kitchen with my fellow friends and “chefs”.
- Add variety to my nutrient intake.
- Try more types of vegetables than anyone I know (including the speaker at that lecture).
There you have it folks, it’s official. Anyone who has read this post is hereby witness to my lifelong commitment to vegetables. It’s been three weeks since the challenge commenced, and I’ve added three new varieties to my ongoing list: artichoke, rutabaga, and beetroot. I ate every last bit of all three (refer to Rule #5) and thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. My trips to the grocery store in search of an unfamiliar root, leaf, or legume are quickly becoming the highlight of my week - I’ve already decided on yucca root for my next veggie, any recipe ideas?
I challenge all brave individuals out there to join me on this journey. It’s going to be a long, fun, and tasty ride, and not to mention, a little motivation to get you cookin’ in the kitchen. Make your own rules, set your own goals, and dive into a lifelong contract with yourself and hundreds of vegetables – consider them your better half!
“Learn how to cook – try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless, and above all have fun.” – Julia Child
Keep your eyes peeled for raw rutabaga at the market!
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
- Rinse, peel, and cut into 1-inch cubes.
- Toss the cubes in olive oil, garlic, and Italian seasoning.
- Spread evenly on a baking tray and roast for 45 minutes (until golden brown and soft).
- Chow down and add rutabaga to your list!