Give peas a chance

Think you don’t like vegetables? Think again. I’m of the mindset that you can take almost any veggie, drizzle it with a little olive oil, sprinkle on some s&p and roast it into a state of crispy deliciousness. Carrots, parsnips, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, asparagus… even if you hated them with a passion as a child, it might behoove you to give them another shot.

The only vegetables I can remember growing up with were canned corn and iceberg lettuce salad with a few cucumber slices. Tomatoes? No way. Green beans. Uh uh. I turned up my nose at anything and everything of the fresh-picked persuasion. My veggie phase began in college, when one day, I added some frozen broccoli to my beefy Ramen noodles just for kicks. It was a real revelation, let me tell you.  I’ve come a long way since then, baby. These days, I eat the heck out of some fresh produce, and the more colorful, the better. My salads are things of beauty. I love going to farmers markets and browsing the booths to see what’s fresh and in season, and am trying my darnedest to get my little guys on board with veggie appreciation as well.

Take kale, for instance. I don’t know much about kale. I can’t recall ever eating kale. But when I saw beautiful bunches of it at the opening weekend of the Indy Winter Farmers Market on Saturday, I couldn’t resist picking up some to experiment with. Lo and behold, I quickly located recipes online for kale “chips,” and I was off and running.

Basically, all you do is wash the leaves and use the above-mentioned technique to bake them off. After about 15 minutes in the oven at 350 degrees, they dehydrate into paper-thin crisps. They actually shrunk so much, I really could have afforded to do another baking sheet full, but then again, they only had to serve myself, a friend and the toddler as part of a bigger-picture dinner. So for a trial run, they worked out just fine.

crispy kale chips just out of the oven

I thought the chips were tasty, but they did have a very strong, earthy flavor that some people may not dig. The little guy was curious enough to eat one, but that was it. I was glad that, at the very least, he was willing to try it. There may be hope for him to become a veggie connoisseur after all…

an adventurous eater in the making?