There was a tremendous response to Monday’s guest post by Cheryl-Ann Roberge about how a fateful afternoon and some grilled veggies changed her life forever. Several of you reached out on Facebook/Twitter and mentioned you had your own gateway veggie stories.
Mine was eggplant. Once I realized eggplant didn’t have to be a slimy pile of mush, I figured there was hope for any vegetable. Since then I’ve learned to love all my childhood nemeses including beets, lima beans and brussels sprouts.
Every story like this is inspirational, and I’d love to hear yours. Please tell the story of your gateway vegetable in the comments below, and throughout the day I’ll update this post with my favorites.
What is your gateway vegetable?
“My gateway veggie was most definitely broccoli. Not because I never liked broccoli before (because I did, sort of), but because the first day I tried roasting it to a slight char with some olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper my eyes widened and my tastebuds exploded and my life has never been the same. That day, I ate two entire heads of roasted broccoli in one sitting, shoveling it into my mouth like I would french fries. Now I want to grill or roast any and every type of vegetable and they turn out delicious every time.” ~Kaylan
“I grew up with parents who HATE any veggie other than corn and green beans, so I always thought I hated them too. My last year of college I spent Thanksgiving with my favorite professor’s family (it was too expensive to fly home for the weekend) and to be polite, I took some of the asparagus dish he spent all morning making–and it was amazing! I think I ate half of the dish by the time dinner was over, and I’ve never turned down a new vegetable dish since.” ~Keisha
“I am horrified to admit mine involved the salad at Olive Garden. UGH! Wow that was a long time ago (I think its been over 10 years since I have even BEEN one of those), but prior to that salad dressing my veggies of choice were corn and carrots.Then after making the move to ovo-lacto vegetarian, a number of years later, I love trying new fruits and veggies. Just this last weekend I had a Lychee for the first time.” ~IPBrian
“Growing up, my only experience with leafy greens was the frozen brick of spinach my mother would defrost in the sink, causing the paper packaging to warp and weaken. Thank goodness for my brother Francis who taught me about fresh spinach. I can recall my first taste of freshly sauteed spinach; the richness of the olive oil, the familiarity of the chopped garlic, the epiphany of shallot, the salt and pepper marrying everything together in a savory balance. This basic preparation has become a staple in my diet while inspiring me to approach any and all vegetables with an open mind. Simplicity and quality can take you far.” ~Maggie via Facebook
“Hibachi onions assembled to be a smoking volcano- as if the grilled butter wasn’t enough, I learned to have fun with my food!” ~@CarlyChamber via Twitter
“I still remember the dish: a roasted asparagus and red pepper salad at a fancy Italian restaurant 11 years ago. I was a poor college student, treated to an incredible meal while on spring break with my aunt and uncle. I never knew veggies could be so delicious. My college roommates teased me about how much I talked about that asparagus.” ~Christina
“Mine was Butternut Squash! It was at the start of the period when I became obsessed with being healthy (but also determined to still have fun ie. continue bar hopping at the weekend, but eat broccoli during the week). Anyways I got this health magazine and it said squash and sweet potatoes were rich in beta carotenes, which protect against skin cancer. So I was like ‘awesome – if eat this weird thing lots, I can sunbathe without guilt – get skinny and have a tan’. Oh to be 24 again! Obviously I dont think like that anymore (most of the time…) but I did fall in love with roasted butternut squash, baked in the oven and topped tomatoes, red onion and toasted almonds or raw cream cheese. SO GOOD. I even busted my husband having some the other week for dinner, when he thought I was staying out.
I also love roasted brussels sprouts so much that once I snuck them into the cinema in tupperware and nearly got divorced as a result…” ~Emmy
“Although I did not, therefore, have a “gateway” vegetable, I was obsessed with spinach as a child. I once had to go home sick from school when I ate 9 or 10 servings of it at lunch — spinach was the only food that other kids would give away without asking for anything in return, and I loved it…..” ~Ranier Wolfcastle