Friday, November 27, 2009

The Veggie Queen Brings Color to Thanksgiving Table

I should have gotten a hint about my husband's eating habits when the first salad that he made me contained iceberg lettuce, a rock hard tomato, cucumber and green pepper. He probably thought that he'd done fine but not in my world. Over the years, I've helped my husband upgrade what's in the salad bowl (see What's Up Doc, a sidebar story in my cookbook, The Veggie Queen: Vegetables Get the Royal Treatment). Rick still avoids "the weeds" (all the bitter things that I really like) but will eat almost any dark green lettuce put in front of him, in copious quantities now, even asking for salad nightly.

While I've done wonders with Rick, of his own volition, of course, the same is not true for the family wherein he grew up. My mother-in-law, whom I love dearly, informed me that everything was OK for Thanksgiving because she got the rolls that everyone loves (store bought white, bake and serve dinner rolls), the boiling onions and the celery and radishes. I've come to learn that my husband's family is all about the "white stuff": white bread, mashed potatoes, stuffing and turkey. I am, of course, all about the vegetables, especially since I am a vegetarian.

My incredibly sweet MIL told me that she bought me some (frozen, I am sure) fettuccine Alfredo to eat for Thanksgiving. She somehow cannot grasp the concept that I am vegan. She used to buy me frozen lasagna but I told her that I didn't like it. She also does not understand that while I am not specifically gluten-free, I eat few gluten-containing foods because I feel better eating this way.

Since I joined the family, I have been infiltrating Thanksgiving with color. I am not sure which is harder for them to take: the actual colorful vegetables or me and how I am "different". I've been trying for years to get my niece and nephew to eat my roasted root vegetables, which often contain pink and purple potatoes. They think that I am a bit odd. And while that may be true, I am not going to give up on offering them vegetables.

I made my usual Curried Squash and Pear Soup, roasted root vegetables and Fruited Wild Rice, all of which are in my cookbook, The Veggie Queen: Vegetables Get the Royal Treatment.

This year I also included a Match Meat vegan holiday roast that I made with the "chicken" flavor stuffed with cooked wild rice and "sausage" Match, made almost according to the recipe with some tweaking. Tasted good but not a preferred every day food for me.

I was able to get Brussels sprouts on the stalk so roasted a nice batch of those. Luckily my son also likes them, which drives Rick, my husband, crazy as he likes to say that he "hates" them.
I've turned more than one B.s. hater into a tolerater but...
I don't have high vegetable hopes for my husband's family but I am still going to bring the color to Thanksgiving. I just can't help myself.

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