Carnivores need help to eat healthy/sustainably!

Discussion in 'Egg, Chicken, & Other Favorite Recipes' started by Tam'ra of Rainbow Vortex, Nov 21, 2009.

  1. Tam'ra of Rainbow Vortex

    Tam'ra of Rainbow Vortex Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 30, 2009
    Rogue Valley, S. Oregon
    Here's a little background so you understand our problem.
    I was raised in "The Grass Seed Capitol of the World" Where grass seed and cattle were the only things that were grown on local farms. I grew up on a steak and potatoes diet (oh, do I miss the readily available grass fed beef!) cooked by my dad who has really no desire to eat anything more exotic.
    Dani'el, was raised in a family of excellent bakers who raised their own pigs, but don't give much thought to their health or the environment when it comes to dinner.
    Don was raised by a single mother who didn't feel the need to teach her kids to eat things they didn't like. By the time he was a teen, he was the only one who cooked at all in his household. Meats, starches, and cheeses were about all he ate for years (unless you count Tang as a fruit!)
    The three of us have a dream of living a sustainable, healthy, and self-sufficient lifestyle. We are in the process of buying a home with room for our chickens and lots of garden space. We have pledged that we will eat better and wean ourselves from all the processed foods we so heavily depend on now.

    Now here's our problem. I don't know what to DO with most vegetables. I can grow them, I know how good they are for me, I know that we SHOULD eat them... but... I am delving into unknown territory here. I do not know what's good, how to cook it, what goes together well, even what some veggies LOOK like. I can find recipes for them, sure, but they seem to be recipes from veggie lovers and we are just not ready to eat like that. Does this make sense? I am desperately seeking transitional things... dishes that carnivores will like that contain plant matter so we can get used to it. I have made progress in adapting our diet. Don eats salads now, Dani'el will eat broccoli if its in small pieces in stir fry, I have shifted the proportions on my plate to be more balanced and have attempted several vegetarian dishes (which were too bland and not meaty enough to evoke any enthusiasm) I have pushed this as far as I can. I have run to the ends of my knowledge of eating plants and have no where else to turn for advice!
    I have become enthralled with the Seed Saver's Exchange catalog and want to order absolutely everything in it, but I have never even tasted most of the veggies they offer. The only beets I have ever had were pickled and frozen and microwaved in a TV dinner. Needless to say, I hated them. Same for Lima beans (except for the pickling part!) I don't know what okra even looks like, and it took me growing spinach in my garden to discover I liked it when it wasn't canned slime! I want to like veggies, so do the boys, but we need your advice!
    Here's my plea: if you have any recipes that include healthy veggies that picky, veggie-hating children love please send them my way!
    If you know of a great resource for figuring out what to do with veggies, I would love that. Like I said, I can google recipes, but no guarantee we will like them and I really can have only so many failed attempts before that veggie is banned from the menu.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 22, 2009
  2. KatyTheChickenLady

    KatyTheChickenLady Bird of A Different Feather

    Dec 20, 2008
    Boise, Idaho
    You are so darling! big applause to you, I made those same changes 25 years ago. IT'S HARD. follow my meal planning and budgeting thread and I will address some of those exact issuses tonight!
  3. oberhaslikid

    oberhaslikid Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 5, 2008
    We never ate green beans,If I canned up 14 quarts it could last us a couple of years.Untill I found this recipe.My corn and Mash potato kid even ate it.
    I empty 2 quarts of my greenbeans drained into a crockpot.Or you could use 5 cans of store bought.
    I then place 4-5 cicken breast on top of the green beans.You can wrap the chicken in bacon if you want but ,I sprinkle a package of real bacon bits over the chicken.Then spoon 2 cans condensed of cream of mushroom soup on top of the chicken.Let this bake 6-8 hours on low.
  4. Rosalind

    Rosalind Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 25, 2007
    I used to get my kid cousins and kids I babysat to eat veggies for the first time ever by giving them raw veggies and ranch dressing as a snack. Sugar snap peas and snow peas, broccoli, carrot sticks, bell peppers de-seeded and cut into strips, celery sticks, cherry tomatoes. Once that was accepted, we moved on to pasta primavera--basically a whole bunch of lightly-steamed veggies (carrots, onions, zucchini, broccoli, red pepper strips, peas) mixed with pasta and drenched in Italian seasoning and alfredo sauce. There aren't too many veggies that can't be cooked as stir-fry, in cheese + tomato sauce, or in cream-of-mushroom soup + sour cream. Since you are already carnivorous, about three or four strips of bacon crumbled into any veggie dish is another easy topping.

    The trick is really not to overcook them; once a veggie is sliced into bite-size pieces, it's not going to require more than a few minutes' cooking unless you're doing something like a big casserole--even then, you only want to heat the casserole for maybe 30 minutes @ 350F at most, else it will all turn to mush.

    Some things, you will just never like. Even the most dedicated vegetarians don't like all veggies. I have always hated brussels sprouts and always will. Lima beans may never improve to your taste. I don't recommend trying a vegetarian cookbook as frankly I have never found one that was remotely acceptable to any carnivore; I think some of them were written by lifelong vegans, who have developed much different tastes in cooking styles than carnivores.

    Another method that may help is learning to eat foods from different cultures. For example, a lot of East Asian and South Asian cooking is either mostly veggie or uses meat very lightly, as a condiment or in small servings. One of my extremely-carnivorous DH's favorite meals is Thai curry with various types of veggies and shrimp--since it all comes out of cans & the freezer, it's easy to make as well. Veggie burritos are another easy thing, as beans & rice with chili powder, tomatoes, lettuce,avocado, cheese in a wrap are simple enough and cheap.

    It's good that you are gardening, that helps a lot, especially with young kids. When you grow your own, it's better even if for no better reason than because you grew it.
  5. Tam'ra of Rainbow Vortex

    Tam'ra of Rainbow Vortex Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 30, 2009
    Rogue Valley, S. Oregon
    Thanks, everyone! I knew I was asking in the right place.
    Pardon my computer ineptness, but how do I find and follow your thread, Katy?
  6. Hippie Chickie

    Hippie Chickie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 24, 2009
    Port Orchard
    Katy has two threads. One is a bean night recipie thread. I have made one of them already and plan on making another bean night soon. THe second one is how to plan, budget, and shop for foods. Here are the links.

    I second the fresh veggies from the garden. Store bought frozen or canned veggies are just not the same. Don't even get me started about store bought carrots. They are nothing like home grown delicious goodness. I second the vegie pasta thing. I make mine slightly different. I saute chopped chicken breast in olive oil and italian seasoning, add the veggies and toss with pasta and more olive oil. Some times I add pine nuts and feta cheese. It is a summertime favorite, quick, easy, uses the veggies from the garden and doesn't heat up the house with the oven.
  7. NurseNettie

    NurseNettie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 13, 2008
    Northern Maine
    Don't you just love seed catalogs? They're dangerous!!!!

    I'd say, for starters, don't go crazy trying to "create" exotic dishes with veggies. Start out getting used to what they taste like on their own ( steamed with a few herbs, salt and pepper, maybe sauted with olive oil) and work from there. Add small amounts to casseroles- increasing each time, changing combinations, etc..
    If your budget allows, and the "facilities" are nearby- go out to eat occasionally ( not often- as I say- as budget allows) and try dishes that you wouldn't otherwise try-- ask the waiters for recommendations.

    OR- an alternative would be to find a friend or two, and set up a pot luck supper. Let them know you're expanding your palates, and you're looking to try new veggies.

    Everyone else's suggestions here are great! I agree-- vegetarian cookbooks aren't great for carnivores/omnivores. If you have access, watch some cooking shows on cable/satellite tv-- or even on the internet on the Food Network site, and others-- you'll find some good recipes for EASY, plain- not too fancy dishes that include veggies= which seems to be your main goal. Don't try to do too much at once, or it will seem like too much work. Incorporate new things into your old meals- and then get creative!

    Start marking your seed catalogs-- see what "looks" like fun- then google the veggie-- see if you can get an idea of what it is used in/ for/ tastes like, etc. Then, order your seeds and grow what you have room for. Most seeds will save for a year or two- so if you run out of room-- no fear-- keep them stored in a dry cool area, and you should be able to get something next year.

    *Extra seeds are great for trading with others- which I hope to do soon with my extras!!*

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by