People have all sorts of dietary issues when transitioning to vegetarianism. Some of them can't stand the taste of vegetables and want to avoid them as much as possible. However, vegetables form the basis of your vegetarian lifestyle, and ditching them, unfortunately, is not an option.
Instead, you can make them taste better using some tips & techniques. In this article we discuss how to become vegetarian when you don’t like vegetables, and we explain how you can make your veggies more palatable and delicious.
Salt your Veggies
For starters, Salt has always been a condiment known for neutralizing bitter taste. People sometimes can't stand the taste of leafy green vegetables, but salt can handle the bitterness well.
Osmosis is the basis for this change in taste caused by salt. It is a process in which water moves through the cell wall, and its concentration becomes equal inside and outside the cell.
When salt is added to the plant, the water comes out of the cell to dilute it. As a result, the salt spreads throughout the plant, giving you a more salty taste and less bitterness overall. For instance, eggplant is notorious for its bitterness.
It has a lot of water content, too, so you can counteract the bitterness by salting it before cooking or frying it. However, you wouldn't want it to be soggy, so cutting it thin, salting, and then microwaving it gets rid of most of the water.
Add Spices & Herbs
Using spices and herbs in your vegetables can transform their taste and make them desirable. Luckily, you also have a wide variety of herbs for your veggie dishes. You have oregano, parsley, rosemary, coriander, garlic, cinnamon, cloves, etc. You can use multiple vegetables and enjoy delicious recipes.
For instance, using coriander, cumin, ginger, etc., in vegetable curry can dampen the taste of the vegetable as you will be tasting more of the herbs and spices.
Therefore, you should experiment with different combinations and choose what you prefer. Here are some of the most delicious combinations of vegetables with herbs & spices, which you can tweak based on your preferences.
Herbs can be used with all vegetables to prepare mouthwatering side dishes. You can use both fresh and dried herbs, depending upon their availability. However, it is crucial to note that dried herbs have a stronger taste, so using too much of them can put you off.
Sauces can ignite your interest in vegetables. Fortunately, you can put many simple sauces in your veggies to make them taste much better.
Tahini Garlic Sauce
The tahini garlic sauce with lemon is a treat that you should try. It is tasty and proves to be a good source of healthy nutrients. All you need to do is blend 1/2 cup tahini, some lemon juice, and 3 garlic cloves, and your sauce is ready.
Olive Oil & Balsamic Vinegar Sauce
The combination of olive oil and balsamic vinegar turns out to be delicious and nutritious. It is an Italian-inspired treat that you can drizzle on different vegetables. To prepare it, mix up two tablespoons of olive oil, balsamic, and red wine vinegar.
You can also sprinkle some black pepper to make it taste even better. Vinegar is an often overlooked nutritional source that has many health benefits. It has both antioxidants and probiotics and doesn't contain any sugars. Vinegar is good for gut health and strengthens the immune system.
Peanut Butter & Ginger Sauce
Combining peanut butter with ginger and coconut aminos can give you a delicious sauce that can transform the taste of your vegetables. Mix half a peanut butter cup with 2-4 tablespoons of coconut aminos and some peeled ginger. You can add some water to it if the paste is too thick.
It is nutty, delicious, and can be your favorite dip for crunchy vegetables. Ginger comes with a range of health benefits, such as anti-inflammatory properties. Similarly, peanut butter contains healthy fats to help control your blood sugar levels while giving you much-needed calories.
Roasted Pepper & Almond Sauce
The roasted red pepper, almonds, and lemon sauce are another delight you can enjoy with different vegetables. The good fats, protein, and fiber coming from the ingredients pack some much needed nutrition.
In addition to that, the antioxidants in peppers have several health benefits too. Just blend half a cup of almonds, roasted red peppers, and the juice from one or two lemons to have your simple and nutritious sauce.
Stuff them Creatively
Stuffed vegetables have never gone out of people's meals for good reasons. They provide excellent nutrition and unleash the creative cook inside you. It is crucial to note that the stuffed vegetable should be reasonably sized with enough space.
In addition to that, its texture should stay the same throughout cooking. You can stuff different vegetables such as squash, eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms, etc.
Stuffing should foremost be about making the vegetable taste as delicious as possible. So, you should go for ingredients that come with a strong taste and can make a difference with even smaller amounts, such as garlic, herbs, spices, cheese, etc.
Similarly, you should opt for the ingredients that blend and enhance each other's taste. For instance, onions can be stuffed with complimenting ingredients such as parmesan and breadcrumbs. Similarly, stuffed peppers taste best when you use olives, oregano, etc.
Starch such as rice, bread, potato, etc., should be on your list for binding the stuffing. However, don't use a lot of binders because it might alter the taste of the vegetable. Always go for vegetables with enough room for the stuffing, which you can always make bigger by scraping and scooping.
If you don't cover the pan while cooking, the vegetable develops a crunchy and roasted taste which you may like. Braising helps the vegetable absorb all the taste from the liquid around it without losing its tenderness. You can also cook the vegetable partially before stuffing it, as it removes extra moisture. Later, cooking the vegetable fully brings together all the flavors perfectly.
Grill Your Vegetables
Grilling vegetables can make them much more desirable and delicious.
Always use oil lightly when grilling vegetables because a complete absence of oil can dry them up quickly. Apply a light oil coating and keep tossing them to grill evenly. However, make sure that you don't use too much oil as it adds extra calories to the meal and changes the flavor.
Different vegetables take different times to grill. For instance, denser vegetables like potatoes take more time than lighter ones. Similarly, keeping the heat low is also important because high heat can overcook them on the outside but keep the inner side raw.
One way of avoiding this problem is to use high heat initially for a while and then quickly move to lower temperatures. Similarly, you can pre-cook them and then grill them for a short while to further enhance the taste.
Smaller vegetables are difficult to grill as there's always the risk of them falling or rolling around. So, to keep vegetables like mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, etc., intact while grilling, you need to use a grill basket. However, if you don't have a grill basket, you can fold a heavy-duty foil to make a basket that'll prevent your veggies from falling when you grill them.
Cut them into smaller and thinner pieces if you want your vegetables to cook quickly. For instance, onions should be cut thinner in their original round shape for maximum surface area, making them crispier and cooking them quickly.
Similarly, vegetables like eggplants should be cut in thin planks to cook faster. However, if you want the cooking to be slower, you can cut them in half or lower the heat.
Those who don't have the time to look after the grilling can opt for packets, which work best for denser vegetables like potatoes. You can create a packet from a foil and coat it with cooking spray. Leave some space on all sides when placing vegetables and pinch the edges. Place the packet on the grill for 12-15 minutes, enough time to achieve tenderness.
Grilling is the perfect option for those who either want to lose weight or maintain it, as there is a minimal amount of fat used in it.
You don't have to cook vegetables if you don't like them that way. Instead, you can drink them by making delicious smoothies. They have incredible health benefits as well. They'll give you healthy skin, healthy organs, and a stronger immune system. Here's how you can shake up your veggies to make them tastier.
First on our list is the spinach smoothie which tastes fruity and sweet. Add nuts like cashews to the smoothie or fruit to have a sweeter taste. You don't have to put up with bitter spinach anymore as this smoothie neutralizes it perfectly. No sugar is required either if you add enough fruits.
Combining carrots with your favorite fruits such as mango and orange can give you a delicious and nutritious smoothie. Citrus from orange perfectly compliments the sweetness of carrot and gives you a well-balanced drink.
In addition to orange and mango, you can also add bananas, apples, and pineapple to this drink, depending upon your taste. If you want it to have a hint of protein, add some yogurt and almond butter to it.
If you don't like beets, a smoothie can be the best way to include them in your diet. Peeling it and throwing it in the blender with other ingredients makes a delicious and colorful smoothie. Green apples go perfectly with beets, so slice them alongside bananas, giving the drink a creamy texture and making it sweeter.
Frozen pineapple can be the perfect addition if you want some more icy texture. Greek yogurt and butter such as almond butter and peanut butter can add some protein to the smoothie.
If you don't like broccoli cooked or boiled, you can have it in this delicious smoothie that packs several health benefits without the taste you dislike. Mix up broccoli with different fruits and create an amazing cocktail.
Make sure you cut broccoli and green apple into small pieces and add some bananas to give it a creamy texture. You can either add frozen pineapple or frozen mango to give it a frosty texture. To get protein from the smoothie, you can add some Greek yogurt rich in probiotics.
Cucumber smoothie is an all-rounder, as you can blend it in multiple ways with your desired fruits. However, the most suitable options seem to be bananas and pineapple. Whether you need to peel the cucumber or not depends upon its type.
If it's an English cucumber, there's no need to peel. A room temperature banana is enough to add a frothy texture to the drink. If you want the smoothie to be darker green, add some spinach to it. Similarly, add Greek yogurt for protein and lemon juice for some flavor, but it's required.
This pumpkin smoothie is filled with lots of goodies. Its ingredients complement each other perfectly and provide you with a healthy and delicious smoothie. You need pumpkin puree, banana, apple, and Greek yogurt for it.
Banana adds some creaminess, while Greek yogurt contains protein and probiotics. Don't forget to add maple syrup which will sweeten the drink and counter the bitterness of pumpkin.
And That’s A Wrap!
Not liking vegetables shouldn't be an obstacle to becoming a vegetarian. As we have explained in the article, there can be multiple ways of getting around your dislike of vegetables. From grilling to saucing to drinking, you can opt for something you like and gradually build up your diet until you get where you want to be in your journey.