I’m just going to start this off by saying that my mom’s a fantastic cook. There, I said it, so now there’s proof that despite what I’m going to say next, I still believe that my mom knows her way around the kitchen. Just not the vegetable side of it.
As a kid I remember many nights spent being stuck at the table for hours after everyone else because I absolutely refused to eat my vegetables; the remaining nights I simply managed to get away with sneaking them into my napkin and then into the trash a lot sooner. Now one could argue that there was nothing wrong with my mother’s cooking and that I just hated vegetables, and if this was a few years ago I would have agreed with that theory. However, since then I’ve actually tried a vegetarian meal, which is not to be mistaken with a meat-eater’s idea of what said meal actually is.
For instance, the only way mom ever cooked vegetables was by steaming or boiling them. Having never tasted nor seen anything different, my meat-eating idea of what a vegetarian meal consisted of was the same soggy and gross vegetables mom made me, just in a larger quantity. This belief only intensified when one of my best friends turned vegetarian and my dinner visits to his house became a lot less tasty, to say the least.
Fast forward a couple of years and I have a boyfriend. He’s cute and funny and fun to hang out with. The only problem is he’s a vegetarian. And he just invited me over to dinner. With his entire family. Which means that I can’t just be rudely stubborn in my refusal to not eat whatever unholy thing he would serve me. Instead, I would just have to politely choke it down.
So when I was handed a plate with a weird egg pie-with-no-top thing (which they called a quiche) and some roasted vegetables on the side, I tried not to look too skeptical even though I absolutely, 100% knew that I didn’t like carrots nor eggs. I poked at the quiche at a bit and found comfort in the fact that they had smothered the top in cheese. Cheese is good. When in doubt, just cover it in cheese.
Knowing that my hesitation was now bordering on the edge of rudeness, I grudgingly took a small bite out of the quiche and quickly brought my glass of water to my lips so I could wash out the delicious and mouthwatering taste of it.
Wait, what? Hold on. How was that not disgusting?
It definitely didn’t taste like the scrambled eggs mom used to force me to eat and was that a mushroom? Holy cow, how did that happen? I hate mushrooms! Just look how gross they are!
This thought process went on for a good thirty seconds before I took my next bite. And another. And another.
But even though the vegetarian quiche was seriously mouthwatering, my previous meat-eater’s skepticism was still firmly in place when it came to the carrots. As I stared at the wretched things, I remembered when I had asked my mom to buy me some many years ago because I wanted to improve my ridiculously poor eyesight. My eyes are so bad that I can barely see six inches in front of me and yet, even the belief that they could be corrected with just a few sticks of orange couldn’t get me to finish even one of those tiny baby carrots. Not a single one.
And so with a reluctant hand, I picked up my glass once more.
And to this day, my partner constantly teases me about my reaction when that carrot finally touched my tongue. In fact, it’s one of his favorite stories about me and he never fails to mention it to every new person we meet. Not a single one.
You see, it was so delicious that I actually refused to believe it was indeed a carrot. Turns out, if you roast them they’re actually pretty darn mouthwatering, even for a ‘person who hates vegetables.’ I couldn’t believe it. My entire life I thought I hated vegetables, but I didn’t. I just hated the way my mom cooked them.
So for all of you meat-eaters out there that want to eat healthy, but find vegetables disgusting, for all of you parents worldwide that want your children to eat their five daily vegetables without fuss, and for all of you folks just that love to cook amazing meals, let me inspire you to try a mouthwatering vegetarian quiche.