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What is the One Veggie You Couldn't Live Without

Jacey Jan 20, 2008 12:13 PM

onions and garlic for cooking don't count!

I think for me it would be lettuce (because I love my salads) and broccoli. I feel like broccoli goes with anything (eggs, meats, salads, straight up on its own) and with just about every cuisine. Plus it's a great source of calcium, among other nutrients, something most women don't get enough of on an everyday basis.

What about you?

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  1. sirregular RE: Jacey Jan 20, 2008 12:25 PM

    Coming from someone who has tasted practically every cuisine known to man, I'm sure it sounds strange that the one vegetable that I couldn't live without is sweet corn. Just plain, ol' fashioned corn on the cob with a dab of butter just has no equal. It may not be the most diverse vegetable in the world (although, if you take corn as a whole for the example, it's pretty diverse!), but there's no replacement for it.

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    2 Replies
    1. re: sirregular
      TampaAurora RE: sirregular Jan 20, 2008 03:58 PM

      If I knew that a world without corn existed, I might wonder the worth of it! I am a huge produce person, and will leave pieces of meat on the plate when full but will hunt down every last delicious kernel of corn!

      1. re: sirregular
        Lucia RE: sirregular Jan 21, 2008 08:29 AM

        I'm with you on the corn. I can't wait until it comes back in season.

      2. rainbowbrown RE: Jacey Jan 20, 2008 01:33 PM

        Mushrooms don't count right? Good... And the tomato is a fruit, hurray! Artichokes... or potatoes. Probably potatoes.

        1 Reply
        1. re: rainbowbrown
          John Manzo RE: rainbowbrown Jan 20, 2008 01:59 PM

          "fruit" is a botanical term. "Vegetable" us a culinary term. A tomato is a fruit AND a vegetable.

          I couldn't live without potatoes.

        2. ArikaDawn RE: Jacey Jan 20, 2008 01:52 PM

          Carrots - I am a bit of a produce junkie in general, but I snack on carrots more than any other veggie. They're yummy plain, roasted, dipped in PB, hummus, cream cheese etc. and they also travel well. I really love sweet potatoes too though and the idea of being without them makes me sad. I think I must have a thing for orange veggies...

          1 Reply
          1. re: ArikaDawn
            piccola RE: ArikaDawn Jan 21, 2008 05:01 PM

            I'm with you on the carrots - I can eat a whole bag of baby carrots in one sitting if I'm not careful.

            I'd add a green veggie - probably broccoli - to that, and tomatoes, if only for the cooking versatility.

            But really, I love all veggies, so thank God we don't really have to choose.

          2. jeni1002 RE: Jacey Jan 20, 2008 01:53 PM

            Since tomatoes, onions, and garlic don't count, I would say spinach - for the same reasons you listed above: versatility and flexibility.

            Broccoli, eggplant, various kinds of squash also make my list. Sigh, that's more than one vegetable....

            1. Will Owen RE: Jacey Jan 20, 2008 01:57 PM

              If I were stuck in a world with only one vegetable, it'd have to be cabbage. Not that it's my favorite by a long shot, but in terms both of nutrition and versatility you can't beat it. It goes with any diet; it's good raw, boiled, braised, steamed, and godnose how many varieties of pickled. Diabetics can eat it, people with gout can eat it, nursing mothers and toothless grannies on their deathbeds can eat it - and all of those kinds of people SHOULD eat it. Not to mention it grows easily in damn near any soil or climate. It is not by accident that it's a mainstay of more cuisines than any other food item I can think of, and in many parts of the world (Northern and Central Europe especially) there were long periods when if people hadn't had cabbage they would not have eaten regularly.

              4 Replies
              1. re: Will Owen
                Sharuf RE: Will Owen Jan 22, 2008 02:08 AM

                Also it's there for you in the wintertime.

                1. re: Will Owen
                  julesrules RE: Will Owen Jan 22, 2008 06:51 AM

                  Cabbage commonly appears on of lists of foods nursing mothers should eliminate if their babies are experiencing painful gas and/or colic symptoms. But I see it is also a traditional nursing food in some cultures.

                  1. re: Will Owen
                    howboy RE: Will Owen Jan 22, 2008 09:30 AM

                    Cabbage for me, too. But it IS my favorite, lightly sauteed with EVOO and garlic, salt and cracked papper.

                    1. re: Will Owen
                      Angela Roberta RE: Will Owen Jan 22, 2008 03:26 PM

                      Cabbage is so underrated!

                    2. LindaWhit RE: Jacey Jan 20, 2008 02:34 PM

                      Hands down - potatoes. South Beach be damned. :-)

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: LindaWhit
                        Will Owen RE: LindaWhit Jan 20, 2008 02:40 PM

                        I will admit I was taking the OP's proposition literally - like, you might think, "Oh, if I couldn't have potatoes I'd just DIE!", but if potatoes were the only vegetable left to you, you really would. Of scurvy.

                        On the emotional level, though, I'm with you.

                        1. re: Will Owen
                          im_nomad RE: Will Owen Jan 20, 2008 03:23 PM

                          i once had a frieind tell me that if we had another potato famine...i wouldn't survive.......i'm much better now, hehe.

                          1. re: Will Owen
                            LindaWhit RE: Will Owen Jan 20, 2008 05:27 PM

                            Yes, but wouldn't lemons, limes and oranges and other citrus help take care of scurvy? Not vegetables, and the assumption is there are plenty of fruits available. :-)

                            1. re: Will Owen
                              Karl S RE: Will Owen Jan 21, 2008 04:54 AM

                              Actually, potatoes are the one solid foodstuff you can live longest on. It even has vitamin C. You only need milk to complete it.

                          2. k
                            Kelli2006 RE: Jacey Jan 20, 2008 02:46 PM

                            As I am of German ancestry, my choice would have to be either potatoes or cabbage.

                            1. k
                              KevinB RE: Jacey Jan 20, 2008 02:48 PM

                              Gotta be the tomato. You can make juice to drink, sauce for all sorts of things, a good Insalata Caprese, fried when green, ketchup (of course!), and just eat them out of your hand. Way more versatile than cabbage or potatoes, IMHO.

                              And my three favourite sandwiches: toasted tomato (whole wheat bread, slathered with mayo and lots of fresh ground pepper), the traditional club (turkey, bacon, and tomato), and my Toronto fave "the Hollywood" from the Vesta Lunch - tomato, bacon, and chicken salad.

                              1. Miss Needle RE: Jacey Jan 20, 2008 03:02 PM

                                Funny seeing all the answers for potato. Though it may be technically a vegetable, I don't consider it one.

                                My vote is for water spinach. I love it.

                                1. alkapal RE: Jacey Jan 20, 2008 05:33 PM

                                  i immediately knew it was spinach -- i love spinach everything. then i saw the pro=potato posts, and i wavered. then the tomato post. eggplant. english peas.....sugar snapa. sweet summer corn.....and how could i forget artichokes?

                                  shoot, i give up!

                                  1. Emme RE: Jacey Jan 20, 2008 09:45 PM

                                    sooo hard... cauliflower, eggplant, hearts of palm, mushrooms, artichoke would be my tops... then a second tier would be green beans, broccoli, asparagus, greens

                                    however, the point about lettuce was a good one, though i can do a salad of just veggies without lettuce... i do at salad bars!

                                    5 Replies
                                    1. re: Emme
                                      goodhealthgourmet RE: Emme Jan 20, 2008 10:23 PM

                                      i'm with emme & alk...i could never choose, and i'd have to add zucchini, carrots and celery to the list. i'm hopeless with these types of questions because i love too many things. i'd rather just be thankful that - at least at this moment - i don't have to imagine a life with such restrictions :)

                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                        ArikaDawn RE: goodhealthgourmet Jan 21, 2008 05:00 AM

                                        I think it's a good thing that most of us on here struggle with this question. There are WAY too many people, I am close to several, who will really only eat one or two vegetables even with access to them all. Loving all vegetables is a good problem to have. It still shocks me, and this happened again the other night, when I am out to dinner with a friend and I hear, "I hate salad."
                                        Oh, I also do not think I could live without tomatoes. So now it is carrots, sweet potatoes, and tomatoes.

                                        1. re: ArikaDawn
                                          goodhealthgourmet RE: ArikaDawn Jan 21, 2008 09:25 AM

                                          we ruled out tomatoes because botanically they're considered to be fruit.

                                          in fact, so are eggplant, peppers, squash, bean & pea pods, avocado and okra.

                                          and if we want to get REALLY technical, even corn is a fruit because each kernel develops from a separate seed-bearing ovary.

                                          the sacrifice suddenly sounds a little less torturous, huh? ;)

                                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                            ArikaDawn RE: goodhealthgourmet Jan 21, 2008 01:28 PM

                                            Less torturous so long as we aren't limited to just one fruit as well ;)

                                      2. re: Emme
                                        alkapal RE: Emme Jan 21, 2008 10:25 AM

                                        yes, hearts of palm! (aka "swamp cabbage," when chopped and cooked with some good smoky bacon!)

                                      3. JMF RE: Jacey Jan 21, 2008 03:15 AM

                                        Why don't onions or garlic count? Sweet onions like vidalias are the only veggie I couldn't live without. I can snack on them like apples and use them cooked or raw in practically every dish.

                                        Otherwise celery and tomatoes are a tie.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: JMF
                                          alkapal RE: JMF Jan 21, 2008 10:28 AM

                                          hmmm, yes, add onions. is garlic a veg? why not, it is like an onion, right?

                                          how could i forget garlic and onions? two of God's best creations, as i say! esp. when sauteeing in olive oil.

                                          okay, since i have named a big portion of the veggie kingdom as "must haves", then here is one i can do without: rhubarb.

                                        2. s
                                          swsidejim RE: Jacey Jan 21, 2008 05:12 AM


                                          runner up: sweet corn

                                          1. k
                                            KellyBelly RE: Jacey Jan 21, 2008 05:26 AM

                                            Another vote for potatoes. They are so versitile. As long as we have onions and garlic to go with them, we're good to go!

                                            1. Veggo RE: Jacey Jan 21, 2008 06:03 AM

                                              When Olathe sweet corn from Colorado, (or equivalents elsewhere) is at its best, I can happily eschew meat with a dinner in favor of a half dozen ears with butter and salt. This from a hard core carnivor; vegetarians have hijacked my real name.

                                              1. amanda3571 RE: Jacey Jan 21, 2008 06:15 AM

                                                Tomatoes, artichokes, haricot verts.

                                                1. vonwotan RE: Jacey Jan 21, 2008 09:15 AM

                                                  That's a really tough question - I'm not certain I can narrow it down to one per season. I love mushrooms, green leafy vegetables, root vegetables, all forms of allium, and the list goes on! It would be a close contest between some of the more flavorful green leafy vegetables and perhaps sweet potatoes?

                                                  4 Replies
                                                  1. re: vonwotan
                                                    maisonbistro RE: vonwotan Jan 21, 2008 10:39 AM

                                                    Doesn't anyone love asparagus as much as me??? Steamed, broiled or roasted, in an omelette etc.... YUM

                                                    1. re: maisonbistro
                                                      goodhealthgourmet RE: maisonbistro Jan 21, 2008 10:59 AM

                                                      i love asparagus too...but if it's the only vegetable you're going to eat for the rest of your life, i'd suggest investing in a pretty powerful bathroom deodorizer ;)

                                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                        maisonbistro RE: goodhealthgourmet Jan 21, 2008 11:31 AM

                                                        True. But I still love the darned stuff.

                                                      2. re: maisonbistro
                                                        vonwotan RE: maisonbistro Jan 21, 2008 11:49 AM

                                                        Absolutely. That's what makes the question so tough. Asparagus (esp. our northern italian white), artichokes, radicchio, etc. I am definitely a carnivore/omnivore but, I would go nuts if I could not indulge in the great variety of farm fresh vegetables, legumes, tubers, etc. Grilled vegetabels, especially asparagus, are simple elegant and delicious.

                                                    2. scuzzo RE: Jacey Jan 21, 2008 10:53 AM

                                                      I was gonna answer before reading other posts, so I wasn't influenced, but broke down. My first thought was maybe broccoli or lettuce, but after reading, I agree on spinach. I have spinach for every meal of the day. With eggs; salads; added to bread; cooked with cream, garlic, nutmeg; in meatloaf; layered in pasta dishes; homemade spinach pasta; and much more!

                                                      1. Veggo RE: Karl S Jan 21, 2008 12:59 PM

                                                        I am too late to edit my plaintive wail above in defense of sweet corn, but a mention about chilies has prompted what would otherwise have been my choice. Life without chilies would be as bland and unfulfilling as life without the 3 tenors, elves, Catherine Zeta Jones, Edgar Allen Poe, and the Ernests Hemingway and Borgnine, combined.

                                                        1. steve h. RE: Jacey Jan 21, 2008 01:56 PM

                                                          potatoes and corn come to mind. you can eat 'em, you can ferment 'em. what's not to like?

                                                          1. steinpilz RE: Jacey Jan 21, 2008 02:13 PM

                                                            My immediate reaction is tomatoes (assuming garlic isn't considered a vegetable). So versatile, and essential to some of my favorite meals. Other than tomatoes I most often buy green beans, eggplant, and asparagus -- I think I'd choose eggplant of these three because it is also quite versatile and can be used for many dishes.

                                                            1. m
                                                              muscianista505 RE: Jacey Jan 21, 2008 04:52 PM

                                                              I can't live without my tomatoes. I know tomatoes are a really a fruit, even though they are used more as a vegetable. But that's the one thing I can't live without. I always have to put in in my salads and it's always on my grocery list. Tomato is definitely the winner.

                                                              1. poptart RE: Jacey Jan 21, 2008 04:58 PM

                                                                I'd have to say spinach, which I am addicted to...also, arugula, roasted brussels sprouts, broccoli, mushrooms. And in season only...tomatoes!!

                                                                1. cayjohan RE: Jacey Jan 21, 2008 05:07 PM

                                                                  Wow. I couldn't live happily without most things mentioned, and many others. I find I don't want to. I wonder about these either/or posts and the "if stranded on a desert island" questions. I want all these wonderful vegetables and fruits around in perpetuity. Because they are wonderful to eat. It's why I try to eat locally in most cases. It's also why i try to eat globally as well.

                                                                  The one thing I cannot live without on my table is the bounty of the Earth. Animal, Vegetable, Mineral...too many to choose from. Taste and tend them all.

                                                                  We can inure ourselves against most things; can we do the same against delicious food?

                                                                  Signed: Can't Live Without The Veggies Except Maybe Rutabagas-That-I-Had-Too-Much-Of-In-My-Youth,

                                                                  1. h
                                                                    homecook1 RE: Jacey Jan 21, 2008 05:40 PM


                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                    1. re: homecook1
                                                                      steinpilz RE: homecook1 Jan 21, 2008 06:30 PM

                                                                      I never considered that mushrooms were veggies (thanks to my biology torture, didn't think garlic was either), yeah, they're essential.

                                                                      1. re: steinpilz
                                                                        alkapal RE: steinpilz Jan 21, 2008 06:36 PM

                                                                        i guess mushroom is a veg IF you only classify the world into animal, vegetable, mineral.

                                                                    2. Honeychan RE: Jacey Jan 21, 2008 06:00 PM

                                                                      Wow, even tho I don't consider myself a great connisour of veggies, I admit life would be sad without them. I love sweet corn, potatoes, mushrooms and asparagus. To eat only ONE? FOREVER? The mind boggles. It probably would end up being sweet corn, as so much can be done with it. Then...asparagus. Or would it be mushrooms?

                                                                      Isn't it wonderful we don't HAVE to eat only one!?

                                                                      1. phofiend RE: Jacey Jan 22, 2008 05:06 AM

                                                                        Sweet baby peas.

                                                                        1. maplesugar RE: Jacey Jan 22, 2008 06:30 AM

                                                                          Potatoes! Is what I thought when I first read your post. They're so versatile. Add me to the group that's very glad we don't have to pick just one.

                                                                          1. scubadoo97 RE: Jacey Jan 22, 2008 06:35 AM

                                                                            Onions get my vote. Not as a stand alone vegetable but since they are an integral part of most dishes I would find it hard to cook without them.

                                                                            1. Barbarella RE: Jacey Jan 22, 2008 07:23 AM

                                                                              I would have to add peas to the list.

                                                                              1. chef chicklet RE: Jacey Jan 22, 2008 08:51 AM

                                                                                This is easy...Potatoes!!

                                                                                1. r
                                                                                  RGC1982 RE: Jacey Jan 22, 2008 04:36 PM

                                                                                  Bell peppers. They turn up in my stews, soups, Italian, Asian and Mexican recipes. In all colors. Broccoli next -- we eat it several times a week.

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