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Nullo's avatar

How do I make vegetables more palatable?

Asked by Nullo (21916points) April 12th, 2011

After much deliberation, I concluded that my constitution would benefit from a deliberate (as opposed to accidental or incidental) intake of rabbit food. I’m taking these vegetables medicinally – I have no great love for the things – so I’m looking for the corresponding spoonful of sugar to help them go down.
So far, salad laced with sandwich-like quantities of tuna and cheese have shown the most promise. I suspect that a bacon/cheese combination, with dangerous levels of bacon (and cheese), might better serve to mask the underlying vegetality of a given salad; I also suspect that such a combination would be counterproductive.

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26 Answers

everephebe's avatar

Since you like bacon you can cook up a couple slices, and use the rendered fat for stir frying veggies, mushrooms done right can take on the umami of the bacon. Chop that bacon up, throw into the salad, throw in the mushrooms and veggies. Salt/pepper/olive oil/lemon juice dressing made from scratch is great. Various nuts can give a robust flavor to salad (especially if you roast them), throw in some fruit you like too, and a salad is not longer insipid. I’m a huge fan of raw or sauteed broccoli personally. And the greens you use for the base or foundation of your salad is very important, don’t just iceberg or romaine it. Use a spicy arugula, or a bold baby spinach!

jerv's avatar

I think that the biggest obstacle is the mental one. If you think about there being vegetables in whatever you eat, you won’t eat it. just as a child will eat moldy shrunken monkey brains but not broccoli. So don’t think about the vegetables.

I know that I have also eaten many “stealth health” foods that had vegetables in them in an undetectable way. The Sneaky Chef offers some suggestions, as does the corresponding cookbook. Check your library.

Smoothies also work, and the blender can also help other things. Tomato sauce is another way to get your veggies in, though you may consider that “incidental”.

Also, you probably want a balanced diet anyways, so don’t go too crazy with it. Ease into it. Take it slowly and gradually increase your vegetable intake.

everephebe's avatar

I am completely remiss for neglecting to mention cheese earlier… but truthfully I don’t even know where to begin… Feta, goat, Parmigiano-Reggiano… all good.

woodcutter's avatar

Butter or what goes for it if you want the heart healthy kind it will work, maybe lightly dust some garlic powder and or ground flax seeds.

nikipedia's avatar

Pretty much every vegetable tastes good with salt and lemon juice on it. Tomatoes, cucumbers, and lettuces if raw; broccoli and asparagus once cooked. If you really need help, add cheese. I’m partial to hard Italian cheeses (like Parmesan).

Also if you buy your vegetables fresh and local its pretty hard to fuck them up.

YARNLADY's avatar

Puree them in a blender with some water and a little salt and apple juice.

Steam them in a microwave steam bag and eat them ah natural or with a sprig of mint.

BarnacleBill's avatar

Spices help with cooked vegetables. So does not over cooking them. I’ve started using a spray butter called Bestlife Butter Spray on vegetables, and it’s quite tasty.

With salads, I find that making your own dressing makes them taste much better than using bottled dressing. Some recipes. I live salads with different types of greens, fruit and nuts mixed in. A caprese salad of tomatoes, fresh basil and goat cheese is easy to fix.

You can also get in veggies by drinking virgin bloody marys made with spicy V-8 juice. Stick a stalk of celery in it, and you’re good to go. Also homemade vegetable soup makes for a good lunch at work or a quick supper.

rooeytoo's avatar

The best way to make veggies palatable is stir fry. Pour some olive or whatever oil in a frying pan, I like to add a splash of sesame oil but it is not a necessity, smash a clove of garlic in the oil, chop a chili, some onion and grate some ginger in, let it soften but not burn, then throw in whatever veg you have, broccoli, carrots, red capsicum is always good, cabbage, truly whatever you have. Mix it around in the oil. Throw in some soy sauce or kepjak mantis. If you like them crunchy eat now, if you like your veg softer, add just a couple of tablespoons of chicken broth and put a lid on the pan and let the veg steam and simmer a few minutes. Honest to goodness if you don’t find that tasty, you are beyond hope and will have to ingest your vitamins via a feeding tube or enema.

Cruiser's avatar

Steam your veggies coated with garlic and pepper infused olive oil, pinch of salt and lemon pepper. Yum! If that doesn’t cut it for you, then dip them in chocolate.

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CaptainHarley's avatar

Hollandaise sauce makes brocolli taste wonderful, and would be good on lots of other veggies. Just a little is enough to change the taste. : )

GracieT's avatar

Be careful, though! What you add to vegetables could start to defeat the purpose! ;0). I know, when I was little I used to add lots of things- I could tell myself that I was still eating
my vegetables! I agree about using some of the vegetable sprays, though. In small amounts they can help!

Seelix's avatar

Veggies in soups also tend to kind of lose their flavour, or, rather, absorb the flavour of the stock and sort of blend the flavours together. There are some vegetables (broccoli and cauliflower, for example) that I don’t like on their own, but put ‘em in a soup and I’ll eat them with no problems.

Provati un bel minestrone pien pieno di verdura!

chocolatechip's avatar

I suddenly have a craving for some fresh lettuce…

I second Seelix’s suggestion for soup.

What vegetables in particular do you have an aversion to? What vegetables do you normally eat?

6rant6's avatar

Veggies in soup are absolutely the easiest way. I recommend getting a stock that you like (Tom Gar Yum, from the Thai store is big at our place.) Put in anything green, carrots, onions, parsnips, cabbage turnip… and a bit of meat.

Cook veggies with beans – carrots are especially good. Beans, by the way, are a good substitute for meat and there are so many different kinds.

If sweetness helps here are two ideas: Microwave acorn squash and put butter and brown sugar on it. Make cole slaw from red or green cabbage and then put in stuff you like – including sugar. We like sushi vinegar, olive oil and sesame oil. But sometimes we add pineapple or shredded green mango.

creative1's avatar

I find that carmelizing vegetables makes vegetables bring out the natural sweetness in the vegetables. My neice actually told me auntie how come I like the vegetables at your house when I don’t like them at mine. All carmelizing really is, is browning the vegetable. I do this either on the in a frying pan or in the oven roasting them, or on the grill after marinating them in my favorite dressing. Aways comes out great! If you grill them I would suggest after they are browned to put them in the oven wrapped in tin foil to cook a little longer so they get cooked all the way through. But I have grilled just about every type of vegetable I find and its yummy.

deni's avatar

I’ve been making a lot of smoothies lately. Huge, fruity smoothies. I’ll use fresh fruit when it becomes more readily available and in season but for the time being I use organic frozen fruit, and fresh fruit if I have it, and flax and chia seeds, and some juice. But then I realized….I don’t enjoy eating vegetables THAT MUCH, either. So now I just put them in the smoothie. You can’t taste them, unless the ratio of veggies to fruit is too high. Spinach and carrots are both really easy to throw in, especially spinach, and honestly I have felt the difference in my body since I started. Just an idea. But a damn good one if I say so myself. :)

FluffyChicken's avatar

How tasty your veggies totally depends on how they were grown. I find that organic, local veggies are the tastiest. They have more flavor, and you can often get heirloom varieties that taste the way veggies are SUPPOSED to taste. Also, try to buy in season. Things taste better if you eat them in season. Think about it: Butternut squash soup in autumn, Watermelon in the summer…

If you’ve only had a tomato from the supermarket, but you’ve never had a vine ripened tomato from the farmer’s market on a warm summer day at the height of tomato season, then you’ve never had a tomato.

Also, if you have a spot for a garden box, or even a place in a yard, or a community garden, try growing your own veggies. Nothing is more satisfying that eating something you planted, grew, harvested,and prepared yourself, except maybe sharing it with loved ones.

SamIAm's avatar

I love roasted veggies with some olive oil and spices… whatever you like and add a nice amount of healthy EVOO. What about a baked potato with veggies on top and sour cream, hot sauce, cheese?

CaptainHarley's avatar


Stoppit, damnit! Yer makin’ me hungry! : D

SpatzieLover's avatar

@Nullo I was a picky eater as a child. For me, as an adult, I found these to be the best options for me:

*Green Juice
*Green Smoothies

I regularly consume things I’d never dreamed I could, including: Beets and beet greens, Swiss chard, all types of kale, and various roots (burdock, ginger, daikon). If I add pineapple, carrot, apple, blueberry and/or strawberry to the above, my 5yr old son will drink the juice of any of the above.

I often blend them up for myself and chug them down…and I feel much better for doing so.

Haleth's avatar

I grew up eating overcooked, flavorless vegetables and I hated them. (Like those frozen boil-in-a-bag veggies.) If you start with fresh vegetables and meddle with them as little as possible, they’ll be delicious. I mostly just saute things in a little olive oil on medium-high heat until they’re just tender. Squash, mushrooms, zucchini, and spinach are delicious this way- the key is high temperature and fast cooking time. Cooking vegetables to death makes them lose all their flavor. Balsamic vinaigrette, lemon juice, and pine nuts are great add-ins.

Kardamom's avatar

Let soup become your friend. I’ll try to find some that are super-flavorful that you might like.


Seven Bean with Ham

Roasted Butternut Squash

Vegetable Beef

Spicy Black Bean

Hot and Sour

Tom Yum with Shrimp

Carrot Ginger

And I just found a great site called The Joy of Soup that has tons of recipes for you to peruse.

You should also try roasting all kinds of vegetables. Makes them taste awesome! Good luck.

Kardamom's avatar

Here’s a site that explains how to roast vegetables.

Some of my favorites are butternut squash, rutabagas, beets, sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, carrots and onions (make sure the onions are only quartered and not smaller or else they’ll burn)

You can also layer vegetables in with any lasagne recipe you make. Good choices are mushrooms, artichoke hearts or bottoms (canned in water, not marinated) broccoli, spinach, kale and swiss chard. Here’s a recipe for Sausage and Root Vegetable Lasagna

Same deal with enchiladas, just throw in some vegetables with your meat, cheese or chicken.

Of course there’s always chicken pot pie like this or this one

And here’s an easy recipe for pickled vegetables that doesn’t require the traditional cannin procedure.

You also might enjoy fresh spring rolls.

Pasta Salad is another good option for getting your veggies. You can use all sorts of vegetables, beans, cheeses and herbs. I often make good old American macaroni salad, but I add edamame and carrots and broccoli. Same with potato salad, you can throw in red or green bell peppers, carrots, celery, mushrooms, fresh herbs, cherry or grape tomatoes and bits of radish and turnips.

And last, but not least, you can always make a good low fat dip to eat with any kind of raw veggies. Here are a bunch of Yogurt Dip recipes. You can make them virtually fat free by using fat free plain yogurt. You can also make good dips by mixing and matching non fat yogurt with mayonaise and using the herbs and spices of your choice.

SamIAm's avatar

noodleless veggie lasagna – PM me if you want my recipe :-)

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