When I read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle years ago I was galvanized. It made so much sense. Yes, we should be eating locally-grown and seasonal produce. And while I wasn't religious about it, this philosophy really did shape how we ate to a large degree -- especially when it came to fruit.
Fresh strawberries didn't cross my threshold until I bought a pint at the Greenmarket in May or June. Same with blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, melons, peaches, and nectarines. Come fall I'd buy apples, pears or grapes at the farmer's market or grocery store. I'd ditch the apples around February and bring home citrus and tropical fruits. By March and April we were living on kiwi and bananas until strawberries rolled around again.
This meant that summers were UH-MAZ-ING when it came to fruit, fall was nice, winter so-so, and spring ... not so much.
A veggie side dish or two are always on the dinner menu at our house, but some days it's a race to the finish, and occasionally my green veg just falls off the menu altogether. But, after years of family dinners I've finally realized a foolproof way to make veggies appear on the table. Hint: it's not about the cooking; it's about the prep.
How long does it take to put broccoli in a steamer and turn on the stove? Or toss brussels sprouts with olive oil, salt, and pepper and then slide them into the oven? Or dress shredded kale with olive oil, lemon juice, and a sprinkle of Parm? The answer, in all cases: not long. What takes active time is washing, drying, and prepping the vegetables -- cutting the broccoli into florets, trimming and halving the brussels sprouts, de-ribbing and then shredding the kale.
Good question. I am one of those people who believes (like Mark Bittman) that soda is the new cigarettes. When a relative told me that he regularly drinks soda I was aghast. Soda is just such…junk. There is absolutely nothing redeeming about it.
But, despite all...