Raw talk - I like my veggies with a little something extra
June 13th, 2011
08:00 AM ET
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Linda Petty is an editor at CNN Living. She took issue with last Thursday's 5@5 on the appeal of raw vegetables.

A good friend of mine moans with delight when she bites into the perfect raw red pepper or green bean. She talks about the flavors of fresh vegetables the same way some women talk about good sex.

But not me. I like my veggies the same way I like my congressmen – with a little something on them.

This month I discovered the joy of asparagus fries at Marlow’s Tavern in Tucker, Georgia. They take young, thin stalks of not-my-favorite veggie, dip them into tempura batter and flash fry them just enough to crisp the batter. Add a little salt and they are ready to be dipped into the citrus aioli that accompanies them.

I was introduced to this treat by my friends Jim and Maureen. “Mo” has a difficult time getting her husband to eat vegetables. He likes tomato sauce, but doesn’t like the texture of raw tomatoes. He wants her to chop up most of the vegetables into tiny little pieces like the microscopic carrot bits in stir-fried rice.

However, he was also won over by asparagus fries and we raced to finish the vegetable goodness.

It's not always about the almighty fry for me, either. When I found that smoky goodness of grilled broccoli, it was the first time I voluntarily ate the green florets without burying them under cheese. Carrots take to the flame as well, or you can pickle them - or cucumbers with flavored vinegar.

I also love roasted vegetables. A deli near my house makes a killer veggie muffuletta with grilled portabella mushrooms, organic spinach, tomatoes, red and yellow bell peppers, onions, cheese and chopped olives.

And who doesn’t like caramelized onions? I could probably eat those as an ice cream topping. Now isn't that a fresh idea?

Got a favorite way to get your daily serving of vegetables, or is raw always where it's at? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Read - Vegetables. Eat them. Here's how.

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Filed under: Dishes • Obsessions • Vegetables


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soundoff (160 Responses)
  1. sissy

    It's complicated, but I'll explain the "we" in my previous post. People were discussing how some people communicate using bitter, rude, name calling language. I realized that possibly it's because they are suffering some sort of hurt. In response to the pain of such abuse, people sometimes lash out at others. So I thought I would apologize on the behalf of them. There is a scientific term for this, and it is helpful to a few wounded souls. Apologizing by proxy is my attempt at applying balm to their cyber-souls and not anything else. I do sincerely care about others. I don't need any credit, just pay it forward. I've always liked the philosophy of where there is hatred, let me sow love,ect.

    June 15, 2011 at 12:37 am |
  2. Jorge

    Granted, Some vegetables are pretty hard or even impossible to eat raw, but if you can't appreciate a proper raw vegetable salad (with maybe just a little EVO, vinegar, herbs and salt) you're depriving yourself of maybe the best single-meal source of antioxidants, enzymes, metabolytes and vitamins money can buy. When I was a powerlifter I had one before every main course for lunch and dinner, by then I was full enough to eat very little cooked starch and concentrate on the protein part of the meal. This kept me in my weight class yet gave me enough energy for two heavy sessions a week (aka, lean & mean) without having to run my behind off, which was hurting my totals. Now, I eat raw vegetables whenever I can. Raw fruits & vegetables will do wonders for your general condition & health.

    June 14, 2011 at 9:16 am |
  3. CR

    I'm a mostly raw vegan, but my family isn't – and I see the appeal of eating veggies in a variety of ways. One way isn't necessarily better than another. That being said, the question was about my favorite way – and it's in a juice. Making a fresh green vegetable juice tastes great and makes me feel wonderful.

    June 14, 2011 at 8:22 am |
    • Jeff

      I love to batter up and deep fry raw vegans.

      June 14, 2011 at 8:27 am |
    • Peanut@Jeff

      You can feed a family of 8 with just one if you slice 'em real thin.

      June 14, 2011 at 8:29 am |
  4. yv

    stir-fry – a tad of oil, high heat till wok is smoking .... and let them sweat.

    June 14, 2011 at 7:48 am |
  5. silas

    Nah, its not just obese sheople that love their veggies battered and deep fried; but guys who say "I eat MEAT!" My response, woman eat meat, me I love fish...har har.

    June 14, 2011 at 4:09 am |
    • Slim

      Smar har har har! Good one!

      June 14, 2011 at 7:53 am |
  6. Kristi

    I picked "other" because I like veggies in every state as long as they're fresh and not all mushy – raw, steamed, nuked, cheesy, buttery, wrapped in bacon, grilled, roasted, deep fried....yum!

    June 14, 2011 at 2:12 am |
  7. UpperSanctum

    Why do we eat healthy? Hmmm...because it's what is good for your body. Vegetables are delicious. So lucky I like them, as so many, many people seem to hate them, including the author. You don't have to like them, you have to eat them. Want to be healthy? Want to feel good? Then eat good vegetables. HINT: Potatoes are NOT vegetables! Asparagus is good just drizzled with butter. YUM. I don't know, why do I have a good body? Let me see, because I eat vegetables, stay away from junk, eat a bit of meat, grilled, not fried, and limit sugar to almost none. The thing is, GMAN was right. The author is most definately obese. All the obese people I know, sound exactly like her and eat like her. It's so childish. Grow up, people, eat your vegetables. Although I stay away from fried food ( yes it is delicious, but it is not good for you), I would seriously try the asparagus fries. Sure, the fried food is bad for you, but it would be a fun treat that I would never get to eat, since I do not deep fry food. Also, Silas is right, most Vegans, if we are honest are actually cheese-atarians and candy holics. They really are. I am a total VEGETABLE eater, I eat fruit and I eat some meat. I think that's why I am the correct weight, still play softball in middle age, and have no health problems. It's all about balance. And another thing: Way too many young females are obese and cranky. Example: I was in the store looking for a bathing suit a few weeks ago and two obese young females , really big girls with bad attitudes were talking loudly about how they don't make XL suits as big as they used to. On the way to the dressing room the bigger of the two of them said that she does not like anyone who is not fat. She said she has a fat bias and only likes fat people. She hates anyone who is not fat. YES, she said that loud enough for nice me to hear it. She then told her friend that if she was not fat, she would not be her friend. So, now I know the skinny on how obese cranky fat young females feel. Apparently she has a lot of hatred and anger directed at anyone who is not obese like her. What a terrible mind set. Oh well, I am sure she got some donuts and cookies and candy right after I heard her yelling about how much she hates the bathing suits in the dressing room. I really don't care what size you are, have some brains, get rid of your hatred and jealousy, and make yourself a bit more disciplined. I learned discipline at a young age, you get some food, you do a lot physically, you study and learn things, you take care of yourself, you give everyone a break and be nice. It's hard, I know, but I think so many Americans take the easy way out. Oh, well, I don't hate them, I can only give them my compassion. Eat your vegetables, they don't need a lot of extra calories and fat, really, they don't. Peace.

    June 14, 2011 at 12:30 am |
  8. Court

    Toss some trimmed asparagus in olive oil, kosher salt and pepper (coarse ground) and wrap the bundle in tin foil, then slap it on the grill. Instant goodness! Pan-cooked zuchini with oil, salt and pepper are wonderful too! Red bell peppers are wonderful raw or cooked with a little sausage, onion, tomatoe sauce and pasta.

    June 13, 2011 at 11:25 pm |
  9. Goat Bottoms

    So basically, you're an idiot is what you're saying...

    June 13, 2011 at 10:14 pm |
  10. silas

    Gman is pretty much correct on his observation on "Americant culture" As I sit in kaiser medical center...hating our healthcare system, reading these posts and overhear "all we have time for is fast food, then we need to go to walmart to go shopping" I look up and see a giant monster. We have a disease as Americants. Fresh, local, organic; in that order. Sure, fast food is fast; sure walmart is cheap and one stop shopping; but in the end you're costing your health, you're damaging your community, you're crippling other nations and helping our neverever ending debt and exponentially create the vast division of wealth. More to the topic I love food. I'll eat almost anything. This existence is to unique to hide from such madness. I was a vegetarian for 7 years. I've had them in several styles. Personally, I prefer raw, fresh from the ground as possible, organic is always better. These sheople and their "fad" diets, and their veganism (while, yeah we need a better way to produce livestalk or husbandry...life feeds on life; prove to me a carrot doesn't have a soul; and let's be honest, most "vegans" eat only or mostly candy...) Eat food that of various types, not just one or a few things. Produce shopping is a highlight of my day (I do this daily as a chef) farmers markets sexy and beautiful. Best fad diet is my favorite diet, eat as much fruit and veg as you can, be a glutton, but don't just eat a few kinds nor prepared just one or two ways. Remember, everything is beautiful, except Americant culture as it stands now.

    June 13, 2011 at 6:48 pm |
    • Jerv

      That's not the America that I live in and I do work in the healthcare industry.

      June 14, 2011 at 7:21 am |
  11. sissy

    Sisst@AleeD I agree that some may behave as you suggest. The root of anger is often hurt, rejection, disappointment or frustration. To all of you hurting people out there: I appologize on behalf of all those who injured you. Please forgive us. We were wrong. We did not understand you worth as a precious and unique human being.Please forgive us for your sake, not ours. No matter what lies anyone has told you, you are a light that deserves to shine brightly and beautifully.

    June 13, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
    • Jerv

      "We were wrong. " Who is "we?"

      June 14, 2011 at 7:20 am |
    • AleeD@Jerv

      *whispers* sissy has a mouse in her pocket.

      June 14, 2011 at 7:54 am |
      • RichardHead@AleeD

        GASP–someone is playing pocket pool?

        June 14, 2011 at 7:56 am |
      • AleeD@RichardHead

        LOL! Yup! Reads like they had a happy ending, too.

        June 14, 2011 at 7:59 am |
  12. Jez

    Asparagus "fries"?! Jeeze lady – just eat french fries! Heating any vegetable, or fruit for that matter, over 120 degrees Fahrenheit effectively kills any vitamins they may have had. Don't act like you're doing your family any favors.

    June 13, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
  13. kittybling

    I'm thinking the wasabi fried string beans are awesome!(drool)

    June 13, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
  14. sissy

    ON POSTNG::
    If all people were classified from the one with the least to the most of everything, we might realize that we all need help with something. I'm guessing the happiest ones feel no need to put others down. They enjoy working and playing with others. They enjoy the benefits that occur. We are all on a different point of our journey through life. Some of us have learned that certain behavior s don't help us. Calling people names, ect. doesn't prove anything. It just means you are a name caller. When you are excellent to others, you are beaing excellent to yourself at the same time. How you post carries on to all your relationships.

    June 13, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
    • AleeD@sissy

      I disagree with your wrap up statement: "How you post carries on to all your relationships."

      Many people use posting comments as a relief valve for things they feel they can't say to other people face-to-face. Outside the threads they often have poor self-esteem and appear meek & mild-mannered. But when posting they're vicious and bitter because they can't handle real life.

      June 13, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
  15. Nae

    Ms. Petty, It's pretty bad when you have to trash Raw Vegans in your roundabout way....especially with our countries current obesity rates. Totally
    ridiculous.

    June 13, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
  16. Nae

    Ms. Petty, It's pretty bad when you have to trash Raw Vegans....especially with our countries current obesity rates. Total ridiculous.

    June 13, 2011 at 3:10 pm |
    • Freebus

      Yes, so politically incorrect. What was she thinking? Admitting that fried stuff tastes good! Outrageous!

      June 13, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
  17. belladonna

    It depends on the veggie – some are good raw, some steamed, others grilled, and some (like yellow squash) sauted with oilive oil and onions. As long as it isn't a brussel sprout (shudder), I will pretty much eat most veggies (er, not too fond of okra, either, although a friend got me to try it stewed with tomatoes. Not bad.) I used to never touch beets because the only way I'd ever had them was pickled (ewww), but recently at a Turkish bistro had them raw in a salad, and they were delicious. One of my favs is spinach – it's good no matter how you fix it. Great raw for a salad, or sauted with onions and garlic, or stuffed into a calzone (with ricotta and mushrooms).

    June 13, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
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