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Do you feel guilty when dinner doesn't include a vegetable?

I feel really guilty, but sometimes it's hard to get the whole thing pulled together. I think my default is sliced tomatoes, and I use my default far too often!

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  1. I try to stay away from a "default" but mine is usually roasted veggies. I just pick up random root veggies, possibly a squash, or mushrooms, whatever...and throw them on a solid baking sheet. I only feel guilty when I haven't prepared enough meat!

    1. absolutely not...........
      Growing up, my mother frequently served a slab of meat on a plate accompanied by a starch, NO vegetables.

      For me, a good steak or chop accompanied by a baked potato doesn't require a vegetable. OTOH, an all vegetable meal is fine too.

      1 Reply
      1. Guilty how? The food "whatever" says "per day". Are you feeling guilty because each choice all day you say no?

        I just figure the per day thing. It is a guideline for healthful living...your life. Will the stroke you suffer 23.037 years from today be because of that single only meal? Does a "cleansing fast" undo all? Think not.

        I just go with the idea, I chose guidelines. If I follow them and all seems well. good. If not, look at how I am following guidelines.

        Adelle Davis, pioneer, of healthful diets and how foods can harm. died of cancer. She said it was because of foods she ate as a child. I see this as maybe she was wrong cancer has many causes or fate or can one undo what was done before?
        This can paralyze.
        One thing I know ; we all die.

        1. I do feel a bit guilty when that happens, but not enough to slow the works.

          It happens less often than it might otherwise, because I keep some bags of frozen mixed veggies (peas/carrots/baby limas) on hand, and I can generally find time to toss some into a saucepan and simmer in a bit of water while I'm doing other things.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Bada Bing

            Almost never happens, b/c I'm a salad fanatic. So most dinners I prepare at least include a side salad.

            Guilty? Nope. But I start feeling antsy and crave veggies and/or salad if I haven't had any in 2 or 3 days or so.

            1. re: linguafood

              I know that feeling. I always cook a variety of fresh veggies with only very rare exceptions. Whenever we would spend time at the Maryland shore, a week of crab cake takeout dinners that only come with fries, with only corn on the cob available in some places, would have me dying to go pick up a pre made salad at the grocery store.

          2. Oh well, i do feel bad as well. With all that eat healthy bla bla yadda its hard to evade that feeling. I shouldn't though as in grand total there is nuff veggies and nutritions in my food.

            On the bright side: you start pondering about WHY you eat what you eat, and eventually say goodbye to the old scheme of "1 x meat, 1 x staple food and 1 x alibi veggies". Makes you more open minded to use whats in your crisper.

            1. I have V8 with my breakfast every day. So if I end up eating just macaroni and cheese for dinner, or peanut butter on toast, I feel okay about it.

              1. Nope. But I usually feel pretty empty when it doesn't include a meat.

                1 Reply
                1. "Guilty" isn't exactly the right word. If I go more than a few days without a green, leafy veg, I begin to feel something is "missing." Easily rectified by a green salad.

                  I also feel something is missing if there's no starch (even if that means wanting to have at least something bready along with the meat).

                  But I'm not cooking for kids, so that may have something to do with the lack of feeling a sense of guilt.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: racer x

                    I agree with you, racer x, except that I don't go more than a day without vegetables, and even that is rare. Some consider corn to be more of a starch than a vegetable but it sure has plenty of roughage and in canned form is perfectly acceptable to me, unlike just about every other canned vegetable. So if I'm out of everything else, there's always canned corn.

                    I definitely want a starch or bread with lunch or dinner. Even if I'm having something like a chef's salad as a meal, it will include croutons. Most of the cooking shows I watch (Martha, Julia, ATK, etc.) will finish an entree, plate it up alongside a vegetable, and unless it is something where4 the sauce is a star, like pot roast, present this as the main course, without even a mention of bread or rolls. I always wonder if they REALLY eat that way or assume that the starch goes without saying. Growing up, bread was not served with dinner but there was always potato, rice, or noodles in some form.

                    1. re: greygarious

                      Myself and lots of people I know seldom eat potatoes, rice, noodles, pasta, bread, etc.

                      If it is on the plate I'm served, I just don't eat it. People have lots of reasons, diabetes, low carb, etc.

                      Veggies of all sorts at lunch and dinner as much as possible. Protein is the side dish.

                      1. re: laliz

                        i never design my meals with starches in mind. now, if i'm serving others, i often think twice, depending upon my audience. personally, i'd rather have more veggies, and if i want a "starch" like pasta, i usually use spaghetti squash.

                  2. I don't think i've ever served my family a meal without vegetables ( or fruit, in the case of breakfast). Even if we're having comfort food like mac and cheese, i'll bake it with some briefly cooked broccoli or asparagus or peas in it. A meal without vegetables is not a meal.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: LukesBride

                      Agree -- to me, getting your vegetables in is half the point of eating meals. Otherwise, I would just snack all day. Starches and meats and the other things on the plate may taste good, but I feel like it's not a meal without vegetables. (And I like them, too.)

                    2. I'd feel guilty, but it just never happens. The veg. is usually my favorite part of the meal. As mentioned earlier, it is so easy to roast most vegetables that it's hard to figure out why you *wouldn't* be able to find a way to add a veg. to the plate.
                      that said, the meat often forgets to show up ...

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: LulusMom

                        For me, it's often a question of getting something on the table fast. I have a 14 year-old son who is an athlete, thus often at practices until I bring him home, and then the I'm hungry, I'm hungry starts! Right now, I am in Egypt and if you felt how hot my kitchen is, you'd think twice about roasting anything in the oven. I can't bear to turn it on! Today it was over 100 degrees, and the little air conditioning we have in the other rooms never makes it to the kitchen that faces the boiling setting sun. That's why! lol!

                        1. re: roxlet

                          I know, I know, I feel your pain. It can get mighty hot in the summer in NC (although I'm sure nothing like Egypt), and we have 3 skylights in our kitchen which doesn't help. I think my husband sometimes wants to kill me because of the roasted vegetables!

                          1. re: LulusMom

                            lol! The other day I left the windows in the kitchen open after dinner to try to cool it down, and when we got home later there was a pigeon in our kitchen! Windows don't ever have screens here -- don't ask me why, I don't know. But I made Ottolenghi's caponata the other day and it was stove top and delicious and good for a couple of meals.

                            1. re: roxlet

                              Gotta love a big batch of something!

                          2. re: roxlet

                            I rely, far too often, on steamed broccoli. It takes all of three mins. to steam and then toss with butter s&p and there ya go. Same with green beans. In the summer, sliced tomatoes are my quick choice w/ some crumbled blue cheese and vinaigrette.

                            But to answer your question, I do feel guilty if there is no veggie. Rarely do I serve a meal without one because of the guilt factor - and because it just doesn't seem like a meal without one.

                          3. re: LulusMom

                            disgustingly enough, i'm the same way. i don't think i would know what to do with a dinner without veggies... they're the bulk of my diet... always have salad and some combo of veggies, be it cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, tomatoes, chayote, etc. and i was even this way before the allergies reared their ugly faces...

                          4. I don't think I could have dinner without a vegetable.

                            Even when my dinner is cereal with diet coke, I always chomp on a tomato or some carrots.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: ipsedixit

                              I read that as you put your diet coke in your cereal instead of milk! ;)

                            2. Yes, I do feel guilty. Today we're having ribs and corn on the cob and I don't consider that a great vegetable so I'm making a green salad, if only to make myself feel better.

                              11 Replies
                              1. re: Babyducks

                                So funny! I served corn on the cob last week and felt like I was somehow not really serving a veg. And there was potato salad on the side. And trust me, here in the south, both of those are def. considered vegetable sides. But to me, it was iffy.

                                1. re: LulusMom

                                  LM, I eat too much meat, and my dinner cooking this very moment is 5 ears of Florida corn, and you are saying it doesn't count as a vegetable? Please let me purge my guilt by answering this simple multiple-choice question:
                                  Is corn an:
                                  1) animal
                                  2) vegetable
                                  3) mineral

                                  1. re: Veggo

                                    My son's pediatrician was quite definite that corn doesn't count. It's a starch.

                                    1. re: Glencora

                                      In which case I'll save 3 ears for corn/cilantro salad tomorrow and throw a cheeseburger on the grill. If I must be guilty I want to feel good for it.

                                      1. re: Veggo

                                        Hey, lots of things wouldn't be half as much fun without the guilt, remember that.

                                        1. re: Veggo

                                          I have frequently declared cilantro as the "leafy green vegetable." Go in peace,my child.

                                          1. re: c oliver

                                            I like the concept of going in peace, but my concern about being under-vegetabled has less to do with guilt and more to do with reading the New York Times in its entirety as I go in peace.

                                            1. re: Veggo

                                              That's not healthy. Ask your doctor. Go, and read the Times afterwards.

                                              1. re: Veggo

                                                Corn is a grain and more on par with wheat, rice and barley.


                                                Of course, it really depends on your concerns. If you are concern about lack of fiber and the high fat in meat, then the corn will balance your diet intake. However, if you are concern about high calories intake, then consuming corn isn't going to help you.

                                                1. re: Veggo

                                                  I'm afraid I have mixed my Biblical metaphors. It should be "Be fruitful, and multiply." That fits the thread even better.

                                    2. Not as much as I used to. I've realized that lifetime sometimes gets in the way, so I'm afraid that sometimes I'll just grab some frozen dumplings and make do. However, I do like to keep some kind of vegetable soup on hand for an easy veggie fix. Even if I can't seem to pull together the time or energy to pull together a "vegetable" per se, I can always nuke a vegetable-heavy minestrone or pull some gazpacho out of the refrigerator.

                                      1. No I don't, but then on the whole I eat plenty vegetables, I think.

                                        1. Might be something of a trend.
                                          On a recent cruise my mother commented to the waiter the sparse amount of veggies served with the main course.
                                          The waiter said they've cut back because people weren't eating them.
                                          From that night on he brought her more veggies than she could eat every meal.

                                          1. I don't feel guilty, but a meal without veggies is just odd and incomplete.
                                            I cooked lunch at my dad's yesterday and he showed me the recipe he wanted - a Thai fish curry. I added peas, peppers and cherry tomatoes to the recipe and he was surprised it was so much nicer than when he usually made it himself (just fish in a rich coconut based sauce served with rice). To me plain fish curry with rice did not seem like a complete meal, though he would have happily eaten it.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: Peg

                                              We were invited to a cookout a while back by a cousin of Mrs. O's and her fiance, both college kids. The young man is a budding grillmeister, nowhere near that yet but seriously working on it, and he served us a meal of burgers, sausages and steak. Except for the buns, condiments and drinks, that was it! I was more amused than dismayed, but it seemed so odd to be offered no greenery - not even lettuce or tomato.

                                              As we've both aged and widened, we have learned to enjoy meals made up simply of vegetation and protein. Fish and salad are more often than not what we have for supper, or sometimes chicken or a pork chop or some flatiron steak. Indulgence for us is pilaf, pasta or potatoes...

                                            2. Wasn't President Reagan notorious once for suggesting that ketchup counts as a school-lunch vegetable?

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: Bada Bing

                                                Sorta of. Reagan never said that as far as I know. The USDA at his time classified ketchup as one serving of vegetable. I think there is some truths and some misleadings in that statement. First, a tomato is a fruit and not a vegetable from a scientific point. Nonetheless, it is often used a vegetable from the culinary angle and a fresh tomato does provides many health benefits like most vegetables. The problem is that ketchup is altered/processed from tomatoe and is not the same. On top of that, people do not usually consume more than 1-2 tablespoon of ketchup in one sitting, so having a very tiny amount of ketchup is simply not the same as having one serving of vegetable like a fresh whole tomatoe.

                                                That being said and all. Ketchup is not unhealthy compared to many things. It really is no where as outrageous as classifying French fries as vegetables. In that case, we are classifying a relative unhealthy thing (French fries) as vegetables.


                                              2. Nope! But sometimes dinner is just delicious plate of roasted broccoli!

                                                1. No never guilty. But everyone lin my family loves to eat just about everything and I don't automatically follow any rule. I do make sure the little guy eats well, and he does. I pretty much make a salad daily because we all love salad. I love steamed carrots, broccoli and baby green beans, and they're so easy to put together.

                                                  The one food I do feel guilty about is fish. I don't plan near enough menus for the family that involve fish, I should work at least two meals with fish into the week.

                                                  4 Replies
                                                  1. re: chef chicklet

                                                    Well, you sound just like me - I could've written this myself. Broccoli, green beans and sometimes carrots are in regular rotation as is salad. All are easy, especially the steamed veggies. And I don't serve nearly as much fish as I feel like I should. Good thing though, my kids consider it a special treat to eat shrimp, mussels, clams, crab & lobster. They like fish but aren't exposed to it nearly as often as i think they should be. Nor was I - which probably explains why I don't have it in regular rotation.

                                                    1. re: lynnlato

                                                      Well I think you're doing well with getting them to eat it on special occassions and that they don't turn their noses up at it. Impressive!

                                                    2. re: chef chicklet

                                                      Salad and steamed broccoli probably account for at least 50% of the vegetables that we eat with dinner at home in any given week. Green beans not as often, as they take longer to trim (and also to buy, as I tend to pick through them fairly carefully at the store to discard those that are blemished or too thin). We also eat steamed asparagus at least once/week as it too is easy to trim and then prepare. Less frequent in the rotation are spinach (raw in salads, creamed, or just wilted & chopped) and cabbage (generally made into cole slaw, but sometimes boiled). DH doesn't like cooked carrots, so they only appear raw, in salads.

                                                      1. re: masha

                                                        Zuchinni for us tonight with salmon. I love zuchini sauteed with garlic, and butter. Gosh and sauteed spinach with lemon and olive oil, minced fresh garlic. Oh my goodness. Cabbage! So glad you mentioned it, WHY do I forget it? I love cabbeage! Boiled with a tad of bacon fat, onions, and butter. We just love it. There are some veggies that I do really really love cooked and cooked, the Southern way. YUM!

                                                    3. I'm in the "feel very guilty" camp. I'm also in the camp that serves a "traditional" meal most of the time--protein, starch, vegetable. Before my son went away to college, I cooked almost every night he ate at home with me, and it was almost always a traditional meal. Since he went away to school, I cook 3-4 different veggies (or more,depending on my haul from the Saturday farmer's market) on Sunday, enough to last me a whole week sometimes. I'm also eating less meat and chicken since he left, and eat more meals that are strictly vegetarian or include fish (usually salmon).

                                                      In a nutshell--the more veggies on my plate, the better, and the less guilty I feel.

                                                      1. "Guilty" is the wrong word but I do feel that I haven't done my best work. From a purely aesthetic viewpoint, I like to have something green enliven our plates even if it's a simply basil chiffonade or parsley dice topping a lamb braise. An all-brown (or worse, an all-white!) plate looks less appetizing to my eye than one punctuated with color -- from the bright green of well-cooked asparagus or peas to a bright orange butternut squash saute, my spirit brightens with a colorful, nicely composed plate awaiting my fork.

                                                        We routinely eat several vegetarian meals weekly, so I am not concerned from any Nervous Nellie Nutritionist perspective. I plan and choose our meals based on what is best at our local Farmers' Market as well as the supermarket. Our fruit-vegetable consumption is routinely high. Likely this is due to great flavor because, I promise, I'm not out in the kitchen dissecting the vitamin/mineral content of our meals.

                                                        The household consists of just two and I no longer have the time crunch of work and childrens' outside activities vying for mealtime attention. This luxury was a long time coming and I relish it. I've put in my time with all the other business; this is better.

                                                        1. Yes. Our menu planning tends to take the traditional approach of a protein entree, starch, and green vegetable -- although sometimes those will be combined (e.g, an entree salad or a pasta dish). If we are too tired or it's too late to cook, we might make grilled cheese sandwiches or scrounge left-overs, in which case we typically add some carrot sticks to the meal so it seems complete (and healthier).

                                                          9 Replies
                                                          1. re: masha

                                                            Or cream of tomato soup! Goes great with grilled cheese and hey, it's a vegetable! :-)

                                                            1. re: pdxgastro

                                                              My meals are pretty veggie-centric, but that's an interesting tangent...I (my stomach or mouth) would not feel quite satisfied if I didn't also have a salad to go with my soup. I guess I need that "crunch." I love V-8 as well, but still need to chew my veggies not drink them in order to feel like I ate them :) I wonder how others feel.

                                                              1. re: enbell

                                                                Drinking your vegetables is better than nothing, but certainly comes in second to eating them whole, so you get the fiber that juices lack. Not to mention the amount of sodium in even reduced-sodium vegetable juices.

                                                                1. re: greygarious

                                                                  Yes, drinking is better than nothing, and you're right about the sodium - didn't even think about that. I'd much rather chomp on a carrot.

                                                                  1. re: greygarious

                                                                    I so agree with you, I've been watching the sodium content and it is out of control. I love spicy v-8 or tomato juice that I add hot sauce to. Lemon,& pepper its a very good drink. I always wondered though how healthy was it to drink?
                                                                    But the news out there on lypocene is pretty interesting and enough that more people should really get into their red veggies.

                                                                    1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                      Not sure if you are aware but there is a low sodium version

                                                                      regular v8 has 481 mg Na
                                                                      low sodium v8 has 140 mg Na

                                                                      1. re: enbell

                                                                        I drink a glass of the low sodium V8 just about every night after dinner. One of my few concessions to health piety.

                                                                        1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                          Low sodium is the key here. Regular V8 is tasty, but high in salt.

                                                                    2. re: greygarious

                                                                      gragerious, true but nothing a couple spoons of non-flavored benefiber doesn't fix right up. ;)

                                                                      I actually have trouble with roughage and fiber because of medical issues, but still need fiber so I have to take suplements and eat well cooked veggies. I will eat a few bites of the raw stuff because I LURRRRRRVE it but I pay, a high price later on. Still there is no sin in putting loads more veggies into one pot meals, like gumbo, coq au vin or pasta sauces and cooking the veggies pretty well, and nutrients that leach out are still in the sauce and the fiber and cellulose are more broken down.

                                                              2. Yes, and I even feel a little guilty when I do have vegetables but none of them are green. - Just can't get over all the years of mom saying, "You have to have something green."

                                                                1. "Guilty?"...never

                                                                  jfood is one of the few Jews that does not suffer from guilt-syndrome. he thinks it is because the line to receive the guilty-gene was too long before he was born and jfood is somewhat impatient and impulsive,

                                                                  But he does have ketchup on his baconcheeseburgers or some sweet green relish on his hot dogs. Last night was a strip steak with onion rings and ketchup, so that was two veggies.

                                                                  Now with the mesclun in full bloom he has a frsh, i.e. 10 minute old, mesclun salad every night, hard to believe how good fresh lettuces make a salad. And with his garden starting to take off, by mid-summer he should have more veggies than he can ever eat. That's a time he is looking forward to.

                                                                  1. Considering that mankind did pretty well for thousands of years without eating grains and vegetables except when there was nothing else available I think this guilt is wholly misplaced. Meat, fat and eggs comprise about 90% of my diet. Sometimes I'll have sauteed spinach or a lettuce and tomato salad along with that, and occasionally I'll go nuts and have roasted broccoli or cauliflower. But mostly it's some eggs and sausage or a chicken leg or a steak. It's great not having to nibble throughout the day too.

                                                                    12 Replies
                                                                    1. re: MandalayVA

                                                                      That is an interesting point, but I think human have started eating grains for thousands of years (if not longer) which leads to the human population expansion and therefore civilization. If you think about it, all great ancient civilizations were based on great agriculture technology. The Egyptians, the Indians.... . Agriculture started about 7000BC if not earlier.

                                                                      Before agriculture, our ancestors were omnivores and ate a lot of fruits, look at our relatives, many apes, the gorilla and chimpanzee.

                                                                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                        And I imagine our bodies have changed significantly and their needs are different now.

                                                                        1. re: c oliver

                                                                          Maybe a bit, but I won't say our bodies have yet adapted to eating a lot of meats. Most of us anyway.

                                                                        2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                          Aren't all those civilizations dead? ;) With the arrival of agriculture also came the arrival of "diseases of civilization"--cancer, heart disease, diabetes, tooth decay, etc. The ancient Egyptians ate what would be considered an optimal diet today--lots of whole grains, mostly vegetarian fare, not a lot of protein--and like modern American society they were fat and sick. I wouldn't consider that "great." Yes, our ancestors were omnivores, but you better believe they exhausted every meat source they could find before they would turn to something else. As for apes and chimpanzees, apes have to eat pretty much all day and chimps are not at all opposed to eating their own--there's several highly disturbing videos on YouTube showing chimps hunting babies and smaller monkeys, literally ripping them apart and chowing down.

                                                                          1. re: MandalayVA


                                                                            Yes, I have seen videos of chimps hunting monkeys at the tree top. :) They also wage wars and murder, which overturned the original concept that only humans can do those things. :P Still, apes are ominvores. The fact that ominvores can eat meat is not surprising. They are "ominvores" afterall.

                                                                            Humans becomes of humans because of our desire to eat meat and therefore to hunt. We didn't move down from the African trees and brushes to the open plains to compete with zebra to eat grass. We came out to the open plains to hunt meat and therefore developed stone age weapons. No need to develop stone spears for eating fruits.

                                                                            I know how hunting comes into play in our evolution, but agriculture and grains come into the picture too. Without grains, there won't be civilization as we know it. The discovery/invention of agriculture dramatically expand human population and allows the births of great civilizations. So I won't say mankind did pretty well for thousands of years without eating grains.

                                                                            I am unsure how you get the idea that most anicent Egyptians are fat. My understanding is that populations of all ancient civilizations are thin because starvation is very common. The whole idea that foods are cheap that poor people are getting fat did not come about until the last 20-30 years in United States.

                                                                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                              Yeah, but was that a good thing? An oldie but a goodie, and food for thought:


                                                                              Although I won't deny it's much easier hunting at the supermarket. :D

                                                                              1. re: MandalayVA

                                                                                What was a good thing? The fact that chimpanzee can murder? Well, I suppose. It does give more insights to ourselves. I didn't read through the entire article (it is long). I only read some. Agricultural life style in ancient time was not necessary better than hunters, but it did free up more resources for invention, which is why agricultural civilizations like Egypt, India, China were ahead of the Mongol, Turk and Eskimo. The argument of that article is the same as of what I heard of computer invention. Yes, agriculture has yielded more foods, but then human population expanded, so food per person is not better. This is the same argument of computer. Yes, computers have made our productivity increases, but the expectation of our work also increased so much so that our work hours did not decrease at all. These are all good points. (How the heck the conversation of eating vegetables turn into this?)

                                                                                Anyway, hunting in supermarket is only easy if you have money. If you don't, it is actually much harder. I like to see you hunt and gather three turkeys out of a supermarket without paying for it. It will be very tough I think.


                                                                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                  Somehow this reminds me of younger days in singles' bars in Orange County...

                                                                                  1. re: Veggo

                                                                                    People in singles' bars talk about chimpanzee warfare and the origin of agriculture civilization? I thought we talk about how attractive we look and how much we earn. Orange County must be unqiue.

                                                                                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                      Unique, yes, bridging a span of history by bringing a new meaning to the phrase "eating their young".

                                                                          2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                            That's why heart disease and diabetes are referred to as "diseases of civilization."

                                                                          3. re: MandalayVA

                                                                            considering how mankind did not sit in front of computers or televisions, or drive automobiles for thousands of years, their physical exertion vs dietary norms have changed nearly 100%.

                                                                          4. If I don't serve a vegetable with meals I don't feel guilty but I certainly do miss it. There are times though that I serve and eat a simple plate of pasta with a marinara sauce. In it's simple form of course: garlic, tomatoes, basil & oregano. Many times it's a slew of vegetables as in giambotta. My favorite thing to eat (other than eggplant parm) is salad, from a mixed leafy green to an "every-thing-but- the-kitchen-sink" type. I sometimes think I could easily become a vegetarian except I like game and poultry too much. And seafood. And dairy....

                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                            1. re: Gio

                                                                              Wow, that word 'giambotta.' Is that an actual Italian word? My mother used to make a giambott all the time, but I just never connected it with anything else!

                                                                              1. re: roxlet

                                                                                Yup. Giambotta. An actual Italian word. Google says so.

                                                                                Anyway, my family called the Italian version of ratatouille "Giambotta". And didn't drop the last vowel. LOL And then there's Puttanesca.

                                                                                1. re: Gio

                                                                                  Well, sure. As a kid, I thought it was Jam bought, and I found it very confusing since it was a mess of vegetables. Since my parents and grandmother were American born, I always assumed that this was some sort of remnant of a dialect word, and I have to admit that I never saw it written before you wrote it. It just never occurred to me even though my sister will sometimes say that she is making a giambotta. I have never seen it on the menu in any restaurant I've ever been to either in the US or in Italy.

                                                                                  1. re: roxlet

                                                                                    To tell the truth it's what's called la cucina povera. Simple, humble home cooked meals with ingredients already at hand and those which are seasonal and relatively inexpensive. i've never seen it in a restaurant either but recently I've noticed that with the advent of the Slow Food Movement some chefs have returned to basic ingredients used in creative ways to make delicious food.

                                                                                    1. re: Gio

                                                                                      And I had somehow forgotten that it often has potatoes in it as well as whatever vegetables are at hand. Yes, la cucina povera, exactly right!

                                                                            2. At home, that really doesn't happen (and I don't count potatoes and corn and tomatoes as veggies). But this easily happens when I eat out. After many longer extended trips where I eat every meal out, I tend to feel physically crappy. I remember coming back from a week-long trip to Mexico just gorging on sauteed greens and rice.

                                                                              1. I *never* eat enough vegetables. A salad a day and then I'm lucky if I get a few mushrooms and onions with my breakfast. I saw this post and ordered steamed vegetable dumplings for my app. tonight... instead of the usual pork.

                                                                                On the fly, when I'm just sick of myself for not eating veggies, I'll go overboard and make a huge pot of old-fashioned chicken or beef vegetable soup... and eat at least a quart of it in one sitting.

                                                                                1. I would if I was serving dinner to my vegan friends.

                                                                                  1. not guilty, but more like my meal is incomplete. I love veggies, and most days eat several servings. I miss them when I run out/forget/don't have time.

                                                                                    1. Forget dinner, I feel guilty if my breakfast didn't have any veggies! (which of course happens all the time, what can you do)
                                                                                      I think it's my Japanese upbringing. We're taught to consider *any* meal incomplete if it didn't contain several different veggies...and we don't consider corn, potato, or legume as vegetables.

                                                                                      6 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: FoodieJaponica

                                                                                        What about fruits? Will you feel happier if you have strawberry in your breakfast?

                                                                                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                          Yes! I do relax the rule for breakfast, so I'm happy with fruits instead of veggies...because, honestly, who has the time during the week??

                                                                                          1. re: FoodieJaponica

                                                                                            :) Just curious. Cooking veggie for breakfast is nearly impossible especially for a person who get up the last minute for work (me). The great thing about fruits is no cooking is required and they can be consume on the run. A few coworkers of mine bring fruits in to work as their breakfast. Maybe I will do that. Best.

                                                                                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                              That's where leftover vegetables from the night before find their way into breakfast. Vegetables and grains are a nice morning start but one of my favorites is a frittata made of mixed vegetables.

                                                                                              1. re: scubadoo97

                                                                                                True. I am cool with that, but there is certain attractiveness in just pikcing a banana and hop in a car and go. I always eat leftover vegetables for lunch (pack my lunch). I am less worry about my vegetable consumption. I think it is good. I am starting to wonder if I need to cut down in grain consumption (rice or flour) because of diabetic possibility. Not that I have any sign of it or that any of my family member has it, but it is good to keep that in mind (for me).

                                                                                              2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                :) I know what you mean... I have to *get to* work around 7am, so no time for cooking! Sometimes I just grab a few cherry tomatoes and throw them in the bag with my breakfast sandwich (made the night before). Better than nothing!

                                                                                        2. Quilty? No, I eat plenty of vegetables through the week so I would never feel quilty if I served a dinner without a vegetable. If it makes you feel better, have a V8

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                                                                                          1. re: scubadoo97

                                                                                            Or you could quilt a veggie quilt instead.

                                                                                              1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                Funny. How about a quilt for my poor spelling/typing ability.

                                                                                            1. If there's no vegetable, it's not really a meal. Something to fill up with until a proper meal can be prepared.

                                                                                              1. Guilty? No.

                                                                                                Feel something is missing from dinner? Yes.

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                                                                                                  1. re: Harters

                                                                                                    Exactly; I don't feel guilty, I just feel deprived if there aren't a lot of colors on my plate.

                                                                                                  2. I don't feel guilty... but I don't feel satisfied either. a) I love vegetables, b) they help to lower the glycemic index of the starches and also fill me up so I eat less of the stuff that's bad for me! and c) they taste great. I don't feel guilty about one meal without veggies or fruit - but I feel kind of guilty when the days pass by and all we've had for veggies for days is store-bought coleslaw! (potatoes and corn are NOT vegetables.) I hate it when we go out to lunch some place and they offer up meat and potatoes/rice/pasta without a vegetable in sight.

                                                                                                    1. I have no such guilt complex. Maybe that's my problem :)

                                                                                                      When I'm confronted with vegetables, I eat it all first to get it out of the way, and leave the bad stuff that I really enjoy for last.

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                                                                                                      1. re: nooyawka

                                                                                                        I did that (saving the food I like) when I were a little kid.

                                                                                                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                          So did I. I always wanted my favorite taste to be in my mouth last, hoping it'd stay there.

                                                                                                      2. Yes, I do feel guilty. But I've come up with some veggies/fruits that we all like and require no cooking or extensive prep:

                                                                                                        sliced bell peppers - especially the red, orange and yellow ones they don't even need salt or dressing to be yummy.
                                                                                                        sugar snap peas - same but awsome dipped in or tossed with a bottled asian dressing
                                                                                                        broccoli slaw with a light dressing - sweet and sour or blue cheese dressing. (I'd like to experiment with freezing the slaw since even that goes slowly at our house. If it dones stand up for raw eating it would at least be useful for stir fry our soups.

                                                                                                        If there's time and the heat isn't an issue I do a big pan of carmelized onions or mushrooms with a little butter and salt and pepper. They can be frozen and quickly reheat well too.

                                                                                                        All the veggies are long lasting in the frige which is helpful if you are like me and find that many of the leafy greens go south before I have a chance to use them up. Finally, there is a whole lot to be said for keeping the freezer stocked with the steam im the bag already prepped veggies. They are a lot more expensive but if you can afford it, and like them they are great fall backs to give you the green or orange veg you need.

                                                                                                        1. I am constantly worrying that I don't put enough veggies in my meal plans, but I can't be bothered to consult reference materials and weigh everything out to see how I'm doing. Besides, it's summertime, which means I'm gorging myself on fruit!

                                                                                                          Though recently I spent a week in an exurb on a business trip, with nowhere to eat but chains of the Applebees/Fridays type, with nary a vegetable in sight. By the time I got home I had never been to happy to see a fresh zucchini in my life!

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                                                                                                          1. re: mordacity

                                                                                                            Applebees and TGI Fridays have stopped serving salads and vegetables? I don't consult reference materials or measure, I just cook some fresh veggies and make salad.

                                                                                                            1. re: mcf

                                                                                                              Sure, there were several options for overcooked-vegetables-from-cans or iceberg-lettuce-covered-in-various-forms-of-fat, and I ate them, but it just didn't hit that vegetable spot.

                                                                                                              1. re: mordacity

                                                                                                                I've only been to Applebee's once and found it too disgusting for words, but I've often had good salads and veggies at TGI Fridays, though it's been years since. They seem to still have them on the menu. I just don't use their dressing. Supermarket salad bars by the lb are probably a much better bet out of town where those are the only restaurant choices. OTOH, every neighborhood Italian place I go to has some veggies (usually broccoli, zucchini, carrots) to saute with olive oil and garlic, which I get in place of pasta, alternatively. And salads, too. Most places have one such restaurant, I think.

                                                                                                          2. i can probably count on one hand the number of times in the past couple of years that i've eaten dinner without a veg. it's not about guilt, it's the fact that vegetables usually make up the bulk of my meal...so i wouldn't feel guilty so much as hungry!

                                                                                                            my mom definitely deserves some credit for turning me into such a veggie-head. when i was a kid there was at least one non-starchy vegetable or salad on the dinner table EVERY night.

                                                                                                            i think it depends partly on your idea of a "normal" or "complete" dinner. for me, it's typically a huge plate of vegetables (salad or cooked) with a few ounces of protein. i rarely eat starch, and when i do, it's mostly at breakfast. so if i'm cooking, there are definitely plenty of vegetables. and if i'm eating out, i order at least one whole vegetable side unless i'm having a salad as my main course...the one exception is when i'm out for sushi - depending on the restaurant, i may not have an option beyond plain lettuce because of the gluten issue. (those are the aforementioned instances i can count on one hand.)

                                                                                                            it's also a lifestyle issue. i live alone and don't have to worry about feeding anyone other than myself unless i'm entertaining, so i'm not at the mercy of other people's schedules or preferences, and i make whatever i'm in the mood to have. i also stop at the farmers' market or grocery store at least every other day, so there's always fresh produce in the house...and i keep several types of frozen veggies on hand for "emergencies." if i'm sick or just so dog-tired that i can't bear the thought of really cooking or cutting up a whole salad, i'll steam some broccoli, leafy greens or zucchini to get my veg fix.

                                                                                                            1. If I skip a veggie in one meal, I make sure the next one has plenty. Which usually means an Asian restaurant if I am eating out, they are the only ones locally who provide lots of veggies at an affordable price.