picky eater needs help! - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 06-07-2009, 03:37 PM
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i am considering becoming a vegetarian for health reasons more than animal cruelty reasons.



giving up red meat isn't much of a problem, but i do like my chicken. i have never tried nor care to try seafood. i love all kinds of beans and many vegetables and fruits. however, i have vegetables that i just don't like or won't try.



eggplant, peppers, onions, brussel sprouts, cabbage, collard greens are the biggest that come to mind that i won't eat or don't like. i've only tried tofu uncooked and didn't like that.



i'd love any suggestions to follow for picky eaters trying to eat a vegetarian diet. i love cheese and other dairy products, but will not eat eggs (i do egg beaters). i will not be cutting these items from my diet.



my husband isn't going to cut meats from his diet as he's born and raised by a family of farmers who think i'm nuts for cutting meat out. i'd love to raise my children without meat too, but one doesn't care much for it anyway and the other just crams anything she can in her mouth!



thanks in advance!!!
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#2 Old 06-07-2009, 04:01 PM
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Well you still have lots of options. I am a picky eater myself. I havent got eggplant in my diet, but I am working my way around too it. recipes with onions you can just leave out, and there are many other vegetables out there. Not wanting these things is not a big problem or challenge, especially since you like beans.



I do want to add that as you eat vegetarian your taste buds may change so dont give up on some of these things completely.



I like recipezarr for recipes because you can put an ingredient in the recipe finder (such as black beans) and then narrow by category and I check vegetarian.



Many of us have families that eat meat. You can work it out.
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#3 Old 06-07-2009, 04:13 PM
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Hi, mgunderson, welcome to VeggieBoards!



I can understand not eating vegetables that you don't like, but why would you not want to at least try a vegetable before you decide you don't like it?



Oh and uncooked tofu is DISGUSTING. But there are many, many ways to prepare it where it tastes very good. And not just cubed and thrown in a stir fry. Tofu meatballs are the first thing that come to mind, they are very good (even my omnivore husband loves them), and you can serve a vegetarian gravy on top. Or sliced thin, marinated and grilled then put in a toasted sandwich with lettuce, other vegetables and condiments. YUM! You can find many tofu recipes in the recipe subforum. Don't let your experience with uncooked tofu scare you off it. It can be VERY good when prepared right!



Even with the limitations of vegetables you don't eat, it shouldn't be very hard to eat vegetarian: all you have to do is pick a recipe and substitute the vegetables you don't like with vegetables you do like. For example, I like Thai curries a lot, and most Thai curry recipes call for things like eggplant and mushrooms, which I don't like. So I just leave out the eggplant and mushroom and put in vegetables that I do like, such as carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, peas, bamboo shoots, etc. I recently made a Moroccan couscous dish that called for almost a pound (!) of mushrooms, as well as some carrots, red peppers, and onions. But since I don't like mushrooms, I left them out and added a little more carrots and red peppers, and threw in some cauliflower and fiddleheads as well, and it was great!



So just play around with recipes, and you'll probably find you won't have much trouble at all coming up with things you and your family will like. Good luck!
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#4 Old 06-07-2009, 04:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgunderson View Post

i've only tried tofu uncooked and didn't like that.



That must have been pretty gross.
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#5 Old 06-07-2009, 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by RoboMonkey View Post

That must have been pretty gross.



exactly...I cant stand it cooked so this must have been awful!!
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#6 Old 06-07-2009, 11:19 PM
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There are no bad foods, just bad recipes.



Find great recipes and being veg is a joy.



If you are trying to appease a family of picky eaters, you might start off on dessert recipes. It's easy to make people happy with dessert. Then move on to snacks, side dishes, soups, and eventually main courses. That way you can ease into it. The main dishes can be tough for people used to having meat be the focal point of meals.

Vegan Cookbooks Illustrated

http://vegan-cookbooks-illustrated.blogspot.com/

http://pinterest.com/VeganCookbooks/

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#7 Old 06-08-2009, 05:02 AM
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A change in attitude should be the first step in transitioning. Refusing to eat something for no reason is childish. I'd start by trying the foods you "won't eat" in a variety of ways because you might actually like them. Then start re-trying the ones that you "don't like." When I met my bf he didn't like eggplant, zucchini, greens, mushrooms, tomatoes in pieces, and olives. Four years later, he likes eggplant, zucchini and ADORES greens (he can pack away kale like nobody's business) and will eat cooked tomatoes in pieces. He doesn't mind the flavor of mushrooms but doesn't like the texture, and still doesn't like olives (the vinegar tang bothers him) or raw tomatoes (texture again). With the first three, it turned out he'd just never had them prepared well, and once he tried them prepared fresh and in interesting ways, it turned out he did like them. I can't really do much about the texture of mushrooms and raw tomatoes, but he will still re-try them periodically, just in case.



As far as tofu goes -- would you take a bite out of a raw chicken breast (harmful bacteria notwithstanding)?? Probably not, it would be pretty gross (as would an unseasoned boiled chicken broth). So why in the world would you eat a chunk of plain uncooked tofu?!

http://megatarian.blogspot.com
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#8 Old 06-08-2009, 06:35 AM
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I have always been a picky eater as well. Since I became vegetarian I have tried foods that I had tried previously and did not like but had not attempted to eat them again for several years. You know what I found.... I like a lot of them now. Granted they are part of a receipe... if someone put a pile of raw red onions in front of me I would not be able to eat it, but diced in pasta salad or something else I like their flavor. So don't write off foods that you did not like in the past... try them in different dishes. You never know when your tastes may grow and change.
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#9 Old 06-08-2009, 06:36 AM
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Try different cooking methods, sometimes you'll discover you like a veggie when it's cooked a different way. I hated brussels sprouts till I roasted them, now they are one of my faves. Don't worry about the tofu, it isn't necessary to eat it in order to be a vegetarian. Start with things you know you like, such as beans- they make great soups, chilis, sloppy joes. Then gradually branch out to trying different methods with foods you are unsure of. I also went vegetarian for health reasons and am married to a meateater and he now loves eggplant sandwiches, my recipe is here-

http://meatlessmama.blogspot.com/200...ch-recipe.html

sweet potato quesadillas, mexican lasagna, recipe here-

http://meatlessmama.blogspot.com/200...n-lasagna.html

and adzuki bean paprikash, recipe here-

http://meatlessmama.blogspot.com/200...sh-recipe.html

good luck!
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#10 Old 06-08-2009, 08:56 AM
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Yeah I'm picky too, in fact I don't really like the taste of most vegetables :/ Luckily I love broccoli But I don't really like carrots or parsnips One thing I can't stand is onions, I don't want them anywhere near my food! yuck!



I didn't like eggplant when I first had it, but I think my mum didn't really know how to cook it and so (typical british cook) she just boiled it and it was horrible. When I've cooked it myself though, It's great in curries, moussaka, kebabs, loads of things. Just try eating things you like, but adding a bit of something different instead of meat.



I agree with other coments here though, your tastes will change the longer you're away from meat, especially if you decide to eat less processed foods too. I'll eat things now that I would have spat out if my mum had boiled them for me!



Apart from onions, they have no place in a modern Britain.
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#11 Old 06-08-2009, 09:32 AM
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I'm a picky eater and I manage very well. If you love chicken, Quorn brand is probably the best substitute you'll find (check site for places that sell it). The chick'n nuggets cooked in the oven are amazing and the unbreaded chik'n tenders are PERFECT for cooking with. My meat eating family loves them. They're soy free too.



Honestly, I don't like peppers or brussel sprouts either. I can only eat onion that's been cooked (hate raw) and eggplant in the parmesan recipe. Collard Greens have to be cooked a certain way too. I was honestly a lot more picky when I was a meat eater, I would never try half of the vegetables I eat today, I didn't know what I was missing.



I'm honestly so glad to hear that you're trying to make a change, it will be a benefit to you both short and long term. It's great to hear that you want your kids to be healthy. I used to work at a restaurant and people used to let their kids eat stuff I would NEVER put in my own mouth, let alone my child. They would feed them chicken fingers, fries, and soda, then wonder why their kids were so active and grumpy. I noticed a HUGE difference in the behavior of the kids who got the healthier options (PB&J, fruit, and water). Seriously, like night and day. Think about all the toxins in meat too, hormones, antibiotics, cholesterol, high amounts of calories and saturated fat... and that's just in the chicken, not the breading/toppings/rest of dish. I used to live off chicken fingers in my meat eating days (with fries and BBQ sauce). No wonder I was so tired all the time and carrying around an extra 8 pounds.



My sister did the vegetarian thing for a while, her hubby is a Meat and Potatoes guy. It was a battle for a while, but he actually changed his diet a bit, started eating healthier. When my sister took her 2 year old to visit her Hubbys family, she noticed a HUGE change in his behavior when he ate the food they served (they even put SODA in his sippy cup, she does not allow that). He was a totally different kid, so grumpy. She's not a vegetarian anymore, but she said she'd like to do it again
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#12 Old 06-08-2009, 09:43 AM
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Here are some of my favorite recipes, very omni friendly:



Heather Marzetti - http://shippersx.com/blog/2008/01/24/heather-marzetti/



Taco Soup - http://shippersx.com/blog/2007/10/12/vegan-taco-soup/ (I suggest cooking the onions until soft first, then adding them to the recipe, it will offer a nice mellow flavor, but won't be strong like raw)



Strawberry Spinach Salad - http://shippersx.com/blog/2007/08/22...-spinach-salad



Asparagus Cashew Rice Pilaf - http://shippersx.com/blog/2007/05/10...ew-rice-pilaf/



Mock Tuna Salad - http://shippersx.com/blog/2007/05/09/mock-tuna-salad/



Mom's "Meat"loaf - http://shippersx.com/blog/2007/04/05/moms-loaf/



Oven Roasted Potatoes - http://shippersx.com/blog/2007/04/05...sted-potatoes/



Firecracker Chik'n Salad - http://shippersx.com/blog/2007/03/29...r-chikn-salad/



Spaghetti Sauce - http://shippersx.com/blog/2007/02/16/spaghetti-sauce/ (Definitely a favorite, be careful though, newer crock pots will burn it if left on low for too long. )





Also, another favorite vegetarian faux meat product is Smart BBQ by Lightlife. It's like pulled pork, tastes almost exactly the same.
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#13 Old 06-09-2009, 07:56 AM
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Everyone here is so right. Tastes change, yours will too. Try tofu cooked, it's not bad. And if you have it in a stif-fry with some kind of sauce, you'll probably like it.



I used to hate brussels sprouts, mushrooms, and eggplant. Now I love brussels sprouts, and like the other two as well. It just takes some willingness to experiment. Don't think of foods you "won't eat". Think of them as foods you'll have to try again.



I have never liked olives, and I don't now, but every time someone puts olives in front me I have one. So far I have never liked it, but I'm holding out, hoping that one day I will like them. Ditto for beets, can't stand them, but always try a bite when they're served. Maybe I'll never like them, but if I discover that I do one day then that's one more food I can add to my repertoire.
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#14 Old 06-16-2009, 01:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rabid_child View Post

A change in attitude should be the first step in transitioning. Refusing to eat something for no reason is childish. I'd start by trying the foods you "won't eat" in a variety of ways because you might actually like them. Then start re-trying the ones that you "don't like." When I met my bf he didn't like eggplant, zucchini, greens, mushrooms, tomatoes in pieces, and olives. Four years later, he likes eggplant, zucchini and ADORES greens (he can pack away kale like nobody's business) and will eat cooked tomatoes in pieces. He doesn't mind the flavor of mushrooms but doesn't like the texture, and still doesn't like olives (the vinegar tang bothers him) or raw tomatoes (texture again). With the first three, it turned out he'd just never had them prepared well, and once he tried them prepared fresh and in interesting ways, it turned out he did like them. I can't really do much about the texture of mushrooms and raw tomatoes, but he will still re-try them periodically, just in case.



As far as tofu goes -- would you take a bite out of a raw chicken breast (harmful bacteria notwithstanding)?? Probably not, it would be pretty gross (as would an unseasoned boiled chicken broth). So why in the world would you eat a chunk of plain uncooked tofu?!



What she said.
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