36 thoughts on “Cherry Saturday 5-28-2016

  1. You’re always so good to us! Thanks!!

    Happy Saturday & Memorial weekend to all. Be certain to give a moment to remember past friends & relatives.

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  2. potato salad
    curried chicken salad with mango chutney
    pesto pasta salad
    rice salad with cherry tomatoes
    tabouli
    chickpea salad with feta cheese

    just thinking of salad options that are not cold, wet leaves….

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  3. The preference for kale and other vegetables in things that were supposed to be enjoyable and not actively good for you (smoothies are just vegged up versions of ice cream frappes, right?) makes me think that mind control is possible. I never paid attention to the vegetable/clean food phenomenon as it was happening because I thought it was ridiculous and wouldn’t stick (I am often wrong). For me, the vegetable component of the food pyramid is to be avoided unless absolutely necessary for health purposes, much in the way one takes medicine (and then with salt and butter).

    So I am asking the Argh world, is it possible for people who say they “love” vegetables to be actually stating the truth, without other considerations predominating (i.e., desire for immortality and clear skin, saving the planet, or putative ethical considerations)? Is it possible for humans to prefer vegetables in the presence/abundance of other food groups (and let’s not forget that chocolate is its own necessary food group). We eat vegetables because it is considered a “good thing to do” and it provides (with sufficient butter and salt) a nice contrast to the other items on the plate, but can there be an objectively genuine love of vegetables? I am asking what is for me, unfortunately, a serious question. My perceived world is being turned upside down–the presidential election for one–but I can focus on investigating whether people can actively like vegetables, the-words-coming-out-of-their-mouths notwithstanding.

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    1. I actually wrote my comment before you’d posted yours. I do really love salads. Doesn’t mean I’m automatically slim and healthy; I also love many other foods, including chocolate and wine. I grew up with salads that always included hard-boiled eggs and sugar-sprinkled tomatoes, but I evolved my herby salad, which I much prefer. I usually add fresh lime or lemon juice when offering it to friends, plus a jar of mayonnaise if they like it.

      I think it’s not an either/or question, but rather how many different things you like.

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    2. I do not love all vegetables, but I love the vast majority. I’m not vegetarian, committed carnivore here, but I have loved since I was a small girl the following:

      any green vegetable with butter, black pepper and parmesan, especially peas, broccoli, spinach and runner beans.

      all salad – lettuce, tomato, peppers, cucumber, endive, rocket/arugula, spinach based salads and ideally with avocado. My preferred dressing is my own vinaigrette: 3 parts olive oil to one of white wine vinegar, quarter teaspoon honey, half teaspoon dijon mustard, 1 good sized clove of garlic with a pinch of salt and good grinding of pepper

      corn on the cob, especially barbecued in foil with butter and black pepper

      sweet potato, squash and pumpkin roasted in the oven

      middle eastern cooking with aubergines

      all pulses and beans, but especially hummus.

      For me, eating vegetables has never been about the ‘good for you’ but always about taste, zing and just sheer yumminess.

      That said, I am not a big kale eater.

      Vegetables are one of the glories of Mediterranean cooking and that is my favourite – bring on the Greek, Italian and North African cuisines. Rough and tumble, a bit peasant, no faffing with presentation, just good fresh ingredients and loads of garlic. Bring it on.

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    3. I do not have time (at lunch on a busy day) to say as much as I want about my love for vegetables. I was the only client the nutritionist I went to when my allergies changed drastically had ever had who wanted vegetables at breakfast, but if I’m eating protein, I want vegetables with it. I do not want them buttered, I want my butter on my biscuits where it belongs, but lightly salted and not mixed together. (I hate salads. I love Bibb lettuce, and like some other leaf lettuces, but by themselves on a plate with no dressing.) This has nothing to do with eating “healthy” since I can eat a 13 ounce bag of potato chips at one sitting and have ice cream with almost every meal; I just love them. Not more than chocolate, but about as much.

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    4. I love vegetables, especially roasted or sautéed with a little olive oil, garlic salt, and pepper. That includes Brussels sprouts. 🙂

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    5. I’m mostly in this camp: “We eat vegetables because it is considered a “good thing to do” and it provides (with sufficient butter and salt) a nice contrast to the other items on the plate, …” But within that category of things I should eat, there are some that I “love” compared to others (and I don’t need the butter/salt except on corn on the cob).

      For me, at least, it was transformative to acknowledge that, when given the choice between chocolate – ice cream – potato chips – other artificial food creations, all on the one hand and vegetables or even fruits on the other hand, I’d always choose the first category. It’s just the way our taste buds (and the manipulation thereof by big food companies) work. But if I remember that the non-nutritive stuff is supposed to come after the nutritive stuff, and I commit to eating a certain amount of fruit/veg in a given day BEFORE I can eat the other stuff, then it’s true that I “love” apples and pears and sweet peppers and home-grown tomatoes and asparagus and winter squash. Even though I’d trade them in a heartbeat for nachos. Although, actually, once I’ve had my quota of healthy stuff, I’m less likely to crave the other stuff.

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    6. Yes, it really is. My eight year old eats her veges first on her plate (except mushrooms, or kale), and not just because otherwise there’s no pudding. Last season, her and her six year old brother scoffed more broad beans and peas from the garden than I could harvest, cook, and put in their dinners. And they don’t care about their hair/health/skin.

      It’s winter here. Our veges are all about soup, salads can wait a while. Unless it’s a warm roast veg salad, what a good idea, thanks.

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    7. I have to say, it really depends on the context. Well-seasoned veggies are definitely preferrable to crappy ice cream made with artificial cream that sticks on your lips.

      Right now, I’m feeling a tiny bit queasy and under the weather. A nice salad sprinkled with bacon and cheese sounds preferrable to a good brownie with decent ice cream, even.

      A lot of sugary food sometimes brings on “hangovers” — I can get pretty buzzed with a good sugary pig-out, but I pay for it the next day with a headache and brain fuzz.

      I could really go for some oven-roasted asparagus (properly done with salt, pepper, olive oil and balsamic) right now.

      But if you compare that crappy ice cream I mentioned earlier with wilted lettuce and three-day-old supermarket broccoli that has been boiled to mush, then yeah. The ice milk product wins.

      (Also, tastes do change with age. When I was younger, sugar-coated fried anything would win all the food sweepstakes. But my body just doesn’t work that way anymore. I understand that some people take the opposite journey — can’t eat sweets when young, but start craving them when they get older. My MIL says she was like this.)

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    8. I actually do love vegetables, not all of them, but certain select ones. Asparagus, Swiss Chard, and broccoli top the list along with mushrooms. And I do like salads as well. However, I must admit, chocolate, dark chocolate in particular, will win every time.

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  4. I’m a freak. I love salads, without dressing preferably. My French penfriend’s mother couldn’t believe it: ‘Just like a rabbit!’ There are good cherry tomatoes around now – it’ll be a couple of months before my plants produce – and I go out every evening to pick chives, parsley, marjoram, sorrel and rocket to jazz up my bought cos lettuce and sweet peppers.

    I’m sitting in the garden on the lounger (no rain forecast for a few days, so worth unearthing it from the shed). I’m just going to take cuttings of some favourite plants to add to my portable garden. We’ve had a couple of offers for more than the asking price for the house, so I’m enjoying it while I’ve got it.

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  5. I think a lot of it depends on how you were raised. We were blue collar, meat-and-potatoes people, so salads just weren’t part of my growing up. We had five vegetables–potatoes, carrots, onions, green beans, and corn–and one salad–potato. Even macaroni salad was beyond our imagining.

    My favorite salad right now is a saute of round steak and onions dumped hot over a cold bag of 50/50 greens and sliced red peppers and tossed with some balsamic vinaigrette. It’s basically a steak sandwich without bread or cheese and it’s lovely.

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    1. I went out to eat a few years ago at a restaurant that is now closed and the salad served was so delicious that I have tried to duplicate it ever since. On a bed of mixed greens and sweet onions was added hot, fried mushrooms and a creamy dressing. I don’t know what it was but have substituted a creamy Parmesan peppercorn dressing.

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  6. I like salads when the lettuces are crisp and fresh, particularly butter lettuces. But I grew up in a family like Jenny’s so I have to remind myself that I like salad. My husband grew up with a mother who put a green salad on the table every night. And he really loves salad. We never have left over salad. I make a caesar salad with a heart of romaine salad which fills my salad bowl and there is never any left over. I take as much as I want the first pass through because there is no chance I will get seconds.

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  7. Depends on the salad.

    There’s a potato salad side that one of our Japanese restaurants make and it’s more like flavoured mash. I wanted to order some to take away, alas, it was not a standalone.

    A good fresh green salad goes far towards rebalancing me. And red-orange salad with carrots, red and orange peppers, tomatoes and half wedges of peeled seasonal oranges make me so happy.

    My happy-to-admit pleasure is barbecue chicken salad with cucumber, celery, red peppers and a creamy barbecue dressing.

    I don’t do guilty pleasures any more, I am trying to enjoy everything with all my senses.

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  8. Argh. Barbecue chicken pasta salad.

    Sigh.

    I just read the comments and to Queen of the Stone Age- it is like Jenny says, it often dependable your early exposure to food.

    Many people’s experience of vegetables is limited to canned in tins or boiled/steamed and spooned onto your plate.

    I think this is why Asian food is so unusual for people, vegetables
    are intrinsic to those meals, not added on. Also farmimg subsidies made meat and potatoes cheaper so people don’t choose to spend more on veggies.

    As I commented above, I really enjoy salad. My most basic simple meal consists of the green salad with grated carrots added to it, fresh lemon juice and salt as dressing and mash potatoes. Yum.

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  9. Well, my husband’s gone for the weekend which means I’ll have salad every day. And in Germany, that means the leafy stuff which may be accompanied but not outdone by a little cheese or small strips of ham and chicken. Potato or pasta salad is for parties.

    Also, kale is a kind of regional specialty in the winter (it’s best when it is harvested after being frozen for at least one night). We cook it with beef stock until it’s really soft like spinach, then serve it with potatoes and a special sausage called ‘Pinkel’. That’s the way to use it. I’ve never had a kale smoothie yet.

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  10. I loved Chop’t in DC. They have spots in NYC too but none in CA which seems super odd. Ate there everyday. But they’re salad with lots of STUFF in them.

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  11. A vote for deeply loving (some) vegetables here. Whenever we went out to dinner, I’d eat the kale garnish off everyone’s plates. My favorite childhood snack was broccoli. If it was dark green, as far as I was concerned, it was the tastiest thing ever. I was an odd child.

    But QueenofStoneAge, as much as I love kale, I am not attracted to the idea of putting it in smoothies. Does not compute. For me, kale is simple: steam it, balsamic vinegar it, savor it, done. I love smoothies, and I love kale, and the Venn diagram does not overlap.

    I think my attitude toward meat is a little like yours toward vegetables – I’ve always felt a bit the-emperor’s-naked about it. For me, protein was something you were forced to tack on to tasty vegetables and bread because Adults Holding The Serving Spoon Said So.

    I grew up in a mixed household – my dad was meat-and-potatoes, and my mom was a vegetarian. We ate meat, but had at least one or two vegetarian meals a week. Plus we grew lots of our own veggies, and we lived near Amish farms that had roadside stands with stellar produce. (I should clarify: we weren’t super-obsessive health-food eaters. There was plenty of chocolate and ice cream and not-good-for-your-body-but-excellent-for-your-soul snacks around. We just prioritized vegetables.)

    Plus, the veggie world is massive; everyone has their kryptonite. For some it’s salad; I despise lima beans with a deep and fiery passion. I still try to surreptitiously separate my lima beans from the succotash and hide them in a potted plant. There’s a very special pleasure in doing it without getting caught.

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    1. This is the way I feel about meat, too. I actually became vegetarian 14 years ago because I just don’t like the stuff. No ethical considerations, just my tastebuds.

      Vegetables, though… They are honestly my favourite thing. I even love kale, but only the Tuscan variety. It’s magical in soups like caldo verde or ribollita. Please don’t ever put it in a smoothie. Bleagh.

      Also: chocolate, wine and pretzels all form indispensable parts of my diet. Vegetarian does not equal health nut.

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  12. I actually enjoy salad. My standard, take-to-work salad is romaine, apples, tomatoes, croutons, red pepper and red or green onion for some bite. Then I dump Italian dressing all over it. Chicken if I get some from the grocery store deli, because I have neither the skill nor the motivation to cook the meat myself. I feel like I should start looking for other ingredients to add some variety. And invest in a salad spinner, because the lettuce always seems to be wet.

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  13. Grilled vegetables – especially asparagus – dressed in olive oil and sea salt, maybe Parmesan are a treat. I do lima beans in sour cream, chopped chilies, garlic, onion and Jack cheese, yum. I grew up on an avocado ranch, so we had culls most nights for dinner. I’ll eat them any way possible. Heck, I’ll even eat limp, overcooked carrots and like them. I declare it: I love vegetables. A pity I’m too tired to go on (butterfly release day), because I have the recipes, many recipes. Tonight we’re having Rancho Gordo anejo red beans in barbecue sauce. They’ve been cooking all day, and the house smells divine.

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  14. Gotta add my favorite way with avocados is mashed on toasted English muffins, dressed with salt and pepper. Exquisite.

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  15. I can’t really eat lettuce since my weight loss surgery. It doesn’t feel good in my stomach. I love raw veggies with or without dressing. Also fruit salad is yummy.

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    1. Thank you all for sharing your thoughts on vegetables, which I will continue to eat only when necessary! 🙂

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      1. LOL, rock on with the diet of choice. To tell the truth, I’m not convinced veggies are the panacea that they are promoted as. I like them very much, and I am neither svelte nor particularly healthy. Whereas I knew a woman who lived on Diet Coke and Cheetos, and she was model thin and never had a cold. And when I go back to the States and live on a diet of burgers, fries and pizza, I’m healthier and happier. (I think a good part of that is vacation effect, though.)

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  16. You’d be surprised what you’ll crave when it’s suddenly not available. I lived in a country for 8 months where it was hard to get fresh produce in general. A salad was a luxury, and even the most basic with watered down mayonnaise for dressing tasted delicious. I walked out, previously not in love with salad the slightest, positively craving it, for months until I got used to, and thus started craving again, processed food. So, you may not think you could love vegetables, but when you suddenly can’t have them, you might change your mind. 🙂

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  17. Vegetable lover, especially salad. My only problem is I end up adding so many things they taste like dessert. Field greens with herbs, cherry tomato, avocado, blue cheese, a handful of trail mix (nuts and dried cranberries) croutons if I have them, and lite pear and champagne dressing.

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  18. I like most veggies as long as they are not overcooked. I like wandering through the garden, munching on what’s ripe. If they must be cooked, a favorite is thick slices of marinated squash cooked on the grill.

    Side note- I hope anyone in the Charleston/Savanah area is high and dry. I know sections of the interstate are closed due to flooding.

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  19. How can you NOT love tomatoes fresh from the garden, corn on the cob, soup beans cooked with ham hock, fried potatoes, baked sweet potatoes, pickled beets, cucumbers, pumpkin, and surely a bunch of others? It’s all in how they’re cooked–vegetables with no seasoning don’t have much appeal. And vegetables bred for shipability instead of taste don’t have any appeal no matter how they’re seasoned!

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    1. Well, of course I have to disagree in part. Most vegetables taste best to me with no seasoning more than a very little salt (and fresh from the garden tomatoes with none at all) even though I sometimes enjoy what other cooks do to them. Nothing pickled tastes anything but disgusting to me. And saying that vegetables without seasoning don’t have much appeal feels to me like saying chocolate with no seasoning has no appeal.
      I just love food. So I find it hard to imagine disliking a whole category, even though I know someone, like Georgia above, who became vegetarian because she just never liked meat.
      All our tastebuds are different, just like our minds.

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