You hear me say it over, over, and over again: vegetables are absolutely essential if you’re interested in losing weight and keeping it off.
Why is that? Two reasons. First, vegetables supply much-needed fiber (it provides bulk, makes you feel full, and decreases the blood sugar spike that leads to weight gain). And second, while you eat vegetables, you’re not eating nightmare foods like mashed potatoes or white rice.
It’s not always easy. Some people are just not veggie-oriented. If you have kids, or a “meat-and-potatoes” spouse, you know it’s a daily struggle.
I know what I’m talking about and I have the scars to prove it. My wife Carissa and I have five kids. One, Julian (12), eats stuff like raw oysters, escargot, sushi, and tripe; a real gourmet boy! Our other boy, Bradley (8), is also a great eater and just eats whatever is on his plate, including vegetables. The baby girl, Scarlett (3), picks and chooses, but is a good eater too.
Now, our two girls, Brune (8) and Brooke (11), are the pickiest. Aside from broccoli, they’d prefer to eat French fries and chips every day if we’d let them. But we don’t. And that’s where the scars come in!
To make sure you and your family eat enough vegetables (or any vegetables for that matter!) I have compiled the ultimate fat-burning list of veggies you MUST try.
In fact, they will please even the pickiest of veggie critics. Because of their look, taste, or texture, I’ve had a lot of success sneaking them past my two reluctant kids, Brune and Brooke.
So if you are one of my readers or clients lamenting that the loved ones you cook for are meat-and-potatoes people, then you must give these vegetables a try — they’ll keep your family healthy and well-fed!
Now, one secret [chef tip alert]: it’s not the vegetable itself that closes the deal; it’s the way you prepare it. That’s the key.
Nobody wants to eat overdone, brownish, smelly asparagus that looks like it came out of a grave. But bright green, pretty, well-seasoned, fresh, and lightly charred on the grill? Now we’re talking!
Uncooked vegetables just don’t have much taste. So that’s your first chance to introduce them into the reluctant eater’s diet. My family’s favorites: radishes, cucumbers, baby tomatoes, grated carrots and lettuce of any kind.
Roasted root vegetables
See my Rainbow Roost Vegetable Roast recipe on page 191 of Eat More, Burn More. That recipe, my friend, got my in-laws to eat vegetables on our first Thanksgiving together — and trust me, that is no small victory!
Maybe it’s the colors, or the delicious smell, or the familiar texture (halfway between a French fry and mashed potato), but everybody loves roasted root vegetables once they give them a try.
Grilled Mediterranean vegetables
I grew up in the South of France by the Mediterranean Sea. In the summertime there, zucchini, eggplant, and sweet peppers are just too abundant to pass up. So we toss them in a drizzle of extra-virgin of olive oil, salt and pepper, load them up with minced garlic (a ton of it!) and chopped fresh herbs (think basil, thyme, or even parsley), and then grill them to a delicious char. Awesome!
Duck tape the kiddos to a chair because you’re in for a fight! (That’s a joke; Don’t really do that! J) Brussels sprouts have a bad rep. But with my Caramelized Brussels Sprouts recipe (page 201 of Eat, More Burn More), you have a chance. Just trust me and try it!
That’s a tough one. But again, the way you prepare them is the secret. With leafy greens (spinach, kale, chard, etc.) you need to quick-cook them in a pan, with just a bit of extra-virgin olive oil, salt and pepper, and a bit of minced garlic. Just wilt them and they’re done. We’re talking seconds, here; not minutes. Keep them bright green.
Bonus trick: For some reason, wilted greens go great with coconut. So you can sprinkle on a bit of dried (unsweetened!) coconut flakes when they’re done.
Remember something — and this is important: don’t just try a vegetable once. Familiarity is the key. You won’t succeed on the first try. But make serving vegetables a regular occurrence (Broccoli Tuesday?).
Finally, make sure you offer other menu items with the vegetables so that they’re not overwhelming. But make a rule that everyone tries what you give them.
I can’t wait to hear your stories of success. Please let me know how it goes on my Eat More, Burn More Facebook page. I love hearing from you!
To your great success,