But I do think there’s room in everyone’s lives for more planty goodness. The keys to actually begin to like eating plants are:
- Trying new foods
- Trying new cooking techniques
- Trying stuff you thought you didn’t like prepared in a new way
It’s about starting a relationship with vegetables and whole foods that’s more about experimentation than obligation.
While I strongly believe that we should enjoy pizza, ice cream and wine when we truly want it, I’m also a die hard plant eater. I’m proof that the two don’t have to be mutually exclusive, but you do have to cultivate a love of vegetables somewhere along the way.
We’re trained from a young age to think of vegetables as a chore and something we “have to” eat. We’re set up to resist them from the get-go.
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t always eat my vegetables, my mom did a lot of work and cooking to instill this in me. But today I more than eat them — I truly love them, crave them and express gratitude for them every day.
In order to find your love of eating plants you’ve got to experiment, season, taste and try again. It takes a little bit of work, but change will start to take hold after a while. You might even surprise yourself.
Today, I eat plants because:
- I love the way they taste when prepared well. I think it’s far more interesting when a chef can cook a vegetable amazingly than a piece of meat. Anyone can grill a cut of steak to medium rare. Not everyone has a magic touch with zucchini.
- They make me feel great — I have noticeably more energy and, ahem, regularity when I eat a lot of plants. This is a big deal for me.
- Sweet potatoes. Mashed sweet potatoes, baked sweet potatoes, sweet potato fries, sweet potato burgers…all crave-worthy.
- They fully nourish me for the times when I want to branch out. So when pizza night roles around, I’m eating for pure pleasure.
- I’m cheap and I love experimenting with flavor combinations. It’s less expensive to try (and potentially fail at) something new with vegetables than with meat or seafood. (Think trying out a new vegetable curry.)
- I like surprising people by cooking them satisfying plant-based meals.
- I love a colorful plate — I’m a sucker for good aesthetics.
Some of my favorite online recipe resources to spark some inspiration:
The New Vegetarian by Yotam Ottolenghi
The First Mess
Mind Body Green