Even though my family loves veggies all year long, February seems like the perfect time to show them a little more affection! With American Heart Month and Valentine’s Day happening this month, sharing our top five veggie loves seems quite appropriate:
Jim’s Top Five Veggie Loves:
- Cauliflower! Okay, I have to admit, cauliflower has been an acquired love for me. As a little kid, I regularly turned my nose up at these fantastic florets — no matter how my mother prepared them. But love can be slow to mature sometimes, right? And today, cauliflower is one of my go-to veggies. It’s easy to make into a side dish, and tastes incredible when prepared in surprising ways like in soups or mock mashed potatoes. But one of my family’s newest favorites is Confetti Cauliflower Popcorn. Give it a try, and snack time will never be the same!
- Sugar Snap Peas! These were one of my mother’s favorites, and my family got to enjoy them often. For me, the best part of sugar snap peas was being a part of the prep work. Sitting on the back porch with a brown grocery bag on the ground, my job was the most important: snapping off the stem and removing the string from each pod. A simple task, but one that still warms my heart.
- Tomatoes! All right, I know that tomatoes are technically a fruit, but we love them as a veggie, too. It’s funny, as a child, I absolutely devoured ketchup. I gladly used it on nearly everything, including pasta! But you couldn’t pay me to eat a tomato in those younger years. Today, you’ll always find an assortment of tomatoes in my kitchen, both for cooking and snacking (cherry tomatoes and a little ranch dressing — yum!). But, during winter, I’m a soup guy, and there’s nothing I love more than a bowl of homemade tomato soup – like this winter’s top choice, Sunny’s Creamy Ranch Tomato Soup!
- Corn on the cob! These three words melt my heart and they take me back to incredible memories of my childhood living in a tiny town in Nebraska, just a few blocks from the countryside. There was a farmer down the street who gladly let the neighborhood children play in his cornfield, and when we wanted to earn a little money, he’d let us fill our red wagons to the brim with cobs of corn to sell door-to-door. There’s not a sweeter veggie memory in my heart.
- Carrots! I love everything about carrots: I love the color, I love the shape, I love peeling them. In my book, they’re on the top of the veggie list. They’re also one of my children’s favorite vegetables and I’ve been making them for years. My go-to recipe has always been preparing them with a little butter and brown sugar, but lately, I’ve upped my game with Hidden Valley Glazed Baby Carrots. Just a simple twist on my old standard, and my kids give it a major thumbs-up!
Happy Heart Month and (belated) Valentine’s Day everyone. Now go show those veggies the love!
About Jim: Jim Higley is an award-winning author, blogger at Bobblehead Dad, host of weekly radio podcast, Bobblehead Dad Parenting, and a national advocate for fatherhood and men’s health issues.