Vegetables That Deserve a Second Chance!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

If you’re anything like me, your taste buds have changed throughout your life. For example, as a kid, I didn’t like mushrooms, and now they are among my favorite foods, especially when grilled. Since summer is in full swing and fresh food is readily available, I wanted to talk about foods that have a certain “stigma” about them and have possibly given you a bad taste for them. It’s always good to re-try foods as our tastes mature and we can develop a new fondness for flavor.

I asked around to see what some common food aversions are and came up with these: Brussel sprouts, mushrooms, peppers, radishes, beets, eggplant, and asparagus. Personally, I like all these foods except radishes, but my aunt recommended roasting them compared to eating them raw, so I’d like to try that and see if I enjoy them. One thing I have learned is that there are many ways to cook something which can vastly change the taste and texture of a food. A common reason folks don’t like a food is the texture. If you’ve watched any cooking shows, they frequently talk about whether an ingredient is cooked right or not. While one item can be overdone, another can be under-cooked and not appealing.

When I asked around for ideas for this article, peppers was one food that came up as an undesirable vegetable, and some of the common reasons why was because people didn’t like them raw. One thing my husband does frequently, especially in the summer, is grill them. He chops up a couple peppers of various colors along with onions, garlic, mushrooms, and potatoes. He lets them marinade in olive oil, a little balsamic dressing, salt, pepper, and Cavender’s Greek seasoning. We have a special grill basket we use so the ingredients don’t all fall through the grate. He grills them at about 400 degrees until the veggies are slightly soft with a bit of char.

Another one of the foods was Brussel sprouts. Personally, these are one of my favorites and I’ve enjoyed them raw as well as roasted. Here’s a recipe we use often and love!

Garlic Lemon and Parmesan Roasted Brussel Sprouts (recipe via

Garlic Lemon Parmesan Roasted Brussel Sprouts Ingredients:

1 lb Brussel sprouts that are rinsed, dried and ends trimmed (slice in half lengthwise)
2-3 garlic cloves
2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Tsp fresh lemon juice, plus extra for serving
½ Tsp fine sea salt
¼ Tsp ground black pepper
¼ c fresh grated parmesan cheese


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Add Brussel sprouts and garlic to a large mixing bowl, drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice and mix. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, mix. Spread onto a cookie sheet in an even layer.

Bake in preheated oven, tossing once halfway through baking, until golden brown on edges, about 25-30 minutes. Serve warm, spritzed with more lemon juice and fresh grated parmesan cheese.

If you’re hesitant about any vegetables, I hope this inspires you to branch out and try a new food or way of cooking. I know I was pleasantly surprised!

Cassie Kupsky  Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, Personal Trainer
Greater Green Bay YMCA