After almost two days of eating only fruits and vegetables (oh – and rice cakes – you can eat rice cakes “if needed” – it’s been needed), I have re-realized that the most probable reason why more people (including myself) don’t eat a healthier diet is because it’s hard!
Meaning – it takes a lot of time. There’s a lot of washing and peeling and roasting involved. It’s so much easier to make a peanut butter, jelly, egg & cheese sandwich (which isn’t necessarily un-healthy, but it’s not vegetables). Or worse, grab a pre-packaged conglomeration of heavily processed and fabricated ingredients (half of which you can’t pronounce) from the pantry or the freezer.
I don’t think our culture is designed to accommodate real cooking. With all the work and soccer games and committee meetings and time spent on social media (and writing blog posts!), where do you fit it in?
On Sunday, I prepared a wonderful recipe I received from a local chef at the latest DCSD Wellness Committee family event. It involved turning on the oven to 400 degrees F, peeling and cutting a ginormous parsnip, a yam, a rutabaga, and a handful of little potatoes, coating the chopped-up vegetables with olive oil and salt, peppar, and fresh rosemary. Then in the oven for 20 minutes, turn heat down to 350 degrees F, stir, and wait another 20 minutes (stirring every now and then to make sure nothing’s burning).
I topped a generous serving of this roasted goodness with avocado slices and went straight to heaven. It was so delicious!
It was actually pretty easy to make root vegetables taste amazing! But it took time… Fortunately, that batch of roasted veggies lasted for three meals. Tomorrow, I’m going to have to do it again (because I’m in love with this recipe) – in the middle of a work day. That will be interesting.
Here’s my dream cooking class: Easy, healthy recipes that taste great and don’t seem scary to “non-adventurous” eaters. In fact, why aren’t we teaching this in the schools? And having the kids eat the results… (Some schools are… But very few.)
It would be so wonderful if the next generation didn’t find healthy cooking and eating hard. Imagine if it was in their DNA – something they couldn’t live without. Like french fries and soft drinks. I believe it’s possible. However…
Palates must be changed. Skills must be taught. And time must be made.
If you want to make a difference in this area, join your school’s wellness committee. Every school district is required to have one. It’s not just about food, but food is an important component of school wellness.
Be vocal. Make it happen! And may the force be with you…
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