December 1st, 2011
01:30 PM ET
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Oh Anderson, how do you not get scurvy? Or even rickets? You are a beautiful, intelligent creature, sent unto us from the heavens, and we would like you to live well and healthily for a very long time. Please eat some vegetables.

No, really - your twice a day corn and mashed potatoes from Boston Market don't really count. Even if you go for the double serving of corn as you are wont to do. And it's not like you're alone - according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Healthy People 2010 data, only six percent of men and four percent of women eat enough vegetables.

You can do better than that, Anderson. You can BE better than that.

It's not that difficult, and it's even pretty delicious. Though the farmers market might seem a tad grim and colorless right now, we swear to you that easy, scrumptious stuff abounds in fall and winter, and we even have a handy-dandy guide we wrote a while back called Vegetables. Eat them. Here's how. and another called Squash is the answer to all your problems.

You may know all about news and talk shows and being blindingly attractive, Anderson, but we have this whole sticking vegetables into the oven and then putting them onto dishware and conveying them into our mouths with a fork and chewing thing DOWN, man. Listen to us.

A few easy suggestions:

Kale Chips
Pre-heat oven to 350°F, strip leaves from the center stalk, spray or brush with cooking oil (we dig olive oil, but use what you've got), sprinkle with kosher salt and spread in single layers on baking sheets. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until crispy but not burnt. Eat 'em like potato chips for a pre-feast appetizer.

This method also works well with spinach or chard leaves, and benefits beautifully from a sprinkling of sesame seeds or a spritz of soy sauce or tamari.

Roasted root vegetables
Pre-heat oven to 400°F, then peel and cut your favorite root vegetables – this works well with carrots, sweet potatoes, rutabagas, parsnips, onions and celery root – into roughly 1-inch pieces and place them in baking dishes. In a bowl, whisk together equal parts olive oil and beer or apple cider and brush this over the vegetable pieces. Sprinkle with kosher salt and place baking dishes on separate racks in the oven for 30 minutes.

Stir the contents of the dishes, swap racks and check after another 30 minutes. Vegetables should be tender and browned. Stir as needed and check at 15 minute intervals for doneness. Scoop into a bowl and serve hot.

Brussels Sprouts
These are fabulous sauteed with stock, wine and shallots, blanched by boiling for a minute or two, then shocked in a bowl of ice water, served in raw ribbons with a vinaigrette dressing and countless other ways.

Our go-to method, though, is to pre-heat the oven to 350°F, slice off the stem, cut them in half, place halves on a baking sheet, then brush or spray them with oil and sprinkle with a bit of kosher salt. Then they go into the center of the oven for about 10-15 minutes or until tender, but not browned. Then boom – on goes broiler, the pan goes on the top rack and those babies sizzle until the tops are browned. Keep a close eye so they don't burn up – it'll only take a minute or two. Remove from heat and gorge.

Note: the roast-then-broil method also works well for broccoli and cauliflower – just keep an extra-close eye during the second phase so the florets don't crisp away to nothing.

What it comes down to, Anderson Cooper, is that you are nothing short of a national treasure, and we want to keep you strong and alive to mimic Courtney Stodden's facial contortions now until the end of time.

Thank you for listening. Now go eat some kale.

Previously - Vegetables. Eat them. Here's how. and Squash is the answer to all your problems

Watch Anderson Cooper 360° weeknights 8pm ET. For the latest from AC360° click here.

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Filed under: Anderson Cooper • Content Partner • Cooking • Dishes • Ingredients • Make • News • TV-Anderson Cooper 360 • Vegetables • Video

soundoff (43 Responses)
  1. Dan

    The more we learn about Anderson Cooper, the more we realize he is just another weirdo with the likes of Michael Jackson. They had such sheltered upbringings that they are socially retarded once you take them out of their highly controlled environments.

    December 2, 2011 at 8:31 am |
  2. erin

    Oh what his rich mommy Gloria Vanderbilt didn't feed him leafy greens? I guess baby Ahhhdahhson got whatever he wanted. Rich mommy launched his career. I agree with the others who said he almost seemed proud of not knowing about these common foods. And comparing himself to little children (creepy) and the Kardashians is sad. He's just a big immature baby. I also agree with the others he looks sickly (I thought he might HAVE something if you know what I mean) but it's probably just his sh*ddy diet! Spoilt baby brat and his mother's an ugly anorexic cow.

    December 2, 2011 at 12:40 am |
    • Ripper In VA

      Ouch. That was a tad vicious. (Just sayin'...)

      December 2, 2011 at 12:51 am |
      • erin

        yes you're right. it was. i used to like him too. just this one got the best of me. i admit it.

        December 2, 2011 at 1:47 am |
  3. Ripper In VA

    I've yet to meet a green (Kale, Mustard Greens, Turnip Greens, Spinach, etc) I did not adore! I even liked brussel sprouts as a kid..... only for the longest time (back then) I could not tolerate squash!

    Now, I adore them all.

    The only thing I won't eat...ever? Okra or Eggplant. But I think I'm safe enough by what I do eat. And...NO... I am not a "cabbagehead" nor a vegetarian/Vegan. I also eat all meats.

    Man up, Anderson. If you can withstand Katrina, you can certainly try Kale!


    December 2, 2011 at 12:39 am |
    • Erlinda

      I agree: Okra. Eggplant. Caulifower. Texture and taste violations. Ugly things. The ultimate in yuck factor! I love just about all veggies with the exception of those three. IIn some societies, okra is used as an abortifacient. It can also cause male infertility. Enuf said. Okra should be banned.

      December 2, 2011 at 3:10 am |
  4. Judy Pokras

    Let's face it, everyone has their own taste, especially when it comes to what they like to eat! No on wants to be told what they should or shouldn't eat. And everyone's metabolism is unique. That being said, many studies agree that vegetables are good for our health. There are many ways to prepare veggies so that they taste delicious, ways that don't destroy their nutrients. For anyone looking for some of those ways, raw vegan cuisine is fabulous. It's not rabbit food. It's fine dining cuisine.

    December 1, 2011 at 11:54 pm |
  5. Mike

    Anderson's childish fear of vegetables perfectly mirrors his girlish laugh.

    I love the way some of the rednecks commenting here try to act as if their diet, composed entirely of items you can buy at an amusement park, somehow makes them manly, or that vegetarians are wimps. They're LITERALLY eating only the foods that little kids will tolerate, and they think this makes them manly.

    December 1, 2011 at 10:21 pm |
  6. American Citizen

    Steaming lightly works well with a small amount of real butter or eating veggie trays with salad dressing. Kids love both. Broccoli with cheese is the best.

    This man is not a good role model for anyone. No offense.

    December 1, 2011 at 9:46 pm |
  7. Chocoholic

    I've heard enough from the evil nutritionist rabbit food pushers. Lighten up. The vegetarian cabbagebrains would have us kneel at the altar of the Carrot and sing the praises of Beans. I say, enjoy the Good stuff, Have a Cookie, or a candy bar. The guy is eating corn which is a vegetable. Let's see some of the diehard rabbitfoodians eat a nice burger, and lay off.

    December 1, 2011 at 9:24 pm |
    • Michael

      Thanks for the redneck answer. The article is stating that eating the recommended amount of vegetables is good for your health. Yes, eating a candy bar occasionally is okay, but your body is designed to run optimally and run into less problems down the road if you eat properly. Also: yes, corn is a vegetable, but not all veggies are created equal. Corn is mainly a nutritionless starch. It has nothing of use. The corn you get today (sweet corn) wasn't even around before the last century. The original corn (maize) was at least a little fibrous. Now it is the go to vegetable for picky kids!

      December 1, 2011 at 9:42 pm |
      • Bortella

        Corn isn't a vegetable, it's a grain.

        December 6, 2011 at 1:28 pm |
      • Always Corny

        Korn Rocks!

        December 6, 2011 at 1:40 pm |
      • Corn Hole

        Corn dogs are a vegetable too.

        December 6, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
  8. TexanGal

    It's not like Anderson is some fat old guy putting away buckets of fried chicken and saying "Vegetables, whats that?". The man is totally fit, he is very slender and healthy-looking, obviously whatever he eats works for him. It's really none of y'all's business. As far as kale, I ain't never heard of it either, but it just looks like a nice green leafy lettuce.

    December 1, 2011 at 8:46 pm |
    • Rick

      TexanGal: Kale has a bit of a bitter taste when eating it raw. It is much more nutrient dense than lettuce

      December 5, 2011 at 2:58 am |
  9. outawork

    Mr. Cooper, I agree that spinach raw leaves a lot to be desired. Spinach cooked with a few garlic cloves is wonderful.

    December 1, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  10. Emperor Norton

    They call themselves teabaggers. Get over yourself, and maybe stop dragging politics into the food blog.

    December 1, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
  11. beenz

    From the food-related shows I've watched, it seems that he views eating as just something he needs to do to stay alive. Slow down, dude..

    December 1, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
  12. Chicka

    I don't know what Kale is either. I'm assuming that I don't know what it is, because I can't afford to eat it in the first place.

    December 1, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
    • Carrie T.

      Kale is yummy! Here in the South (Alabama), we plant it in the spring and fall with turnip greens, collard greens and mustard greens. Pick, wash thoroughly, cook with salt, water, and flavoring of some kind (bacon?), cook till tender. You can also freeze it. Look for instructions online. If an educated, redneck bumpkin like myself can do it, you can too!

      December 1, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
    • Tom F.

      Actually, kale is pretty good and is very, very cheap.

      December 1, 2011 at 6:10 pm |
  13. Dave

    Thanks to the Republican Congress pizza is now a vegetable! Even though it's not.

    December 1, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
    • Megafrog

      I thought that one house of Congress was Republican (the house) and the other was Democrat. I guess I must have missed the election, unless you are just confused.

      December 1, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
    • McCain-in-4

      If Ketchup is also a vegetable, then is Catsup also a vegetable? I think it's Heinz Catsup, so did the Republican HoRs also decide to patronize John Kerry?

      (HoRs = House of Representatives)

      December 1, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
    • Che

      Republican can make or sell you even a sticky socks from a pig farm. They sold US a pig with a lipstick who writes in her palm like 1st grade pupil exam cheater which American craves. Don't know why they all have very little brains and cry-babies.

      December 1, 2011 at 9:14 pm |
  14. Bob

    A lifetime having my diet criticized by everyone from my grandmother to random strangers makes me want to punch this author. There is no moral dimension to what Cooper eats. It's his own business. You are NOT better than him because you eat more vegetables. Just more arrogant.

    December 1, 2011 at 2:47 pm |
    • Vegaholic

      C'mon. It's obvious Kat and Anderson know each other, probably well. Unlike us, she can give her buddy an unusually public ribbing, much as he did to himself with the Ridicul-List. It's all in fun.

      December 1, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
    • Kay

      I agree. I'm a super taster. It's not that I don't want to eat them – really, I do – I just don't like throwing up at the dinner table.

      December 1, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
    • Just Eat 'Em!

      No, not arrogant, but probably healthier, and at a much lower risk for many chronic illnesses and cancer. I am watching my 71 year old father, who has always been very physically fit and intellectually on point, fight Stage 4 Esophageal Cancer. And while it is probably from a combination of chronic acid reflux over the past 20 years and just bad luck, he has always refused to eat any vegetable other than some steamed spinach or corn, and this is probably a contributing factor in his cancer. Vegetables contain cancer fighting properties that you just can't get from taking a multi-vitamin. In fact, I just came from the hospital, actually, because he had 2 tumors removed from his brain yesterday. Now, he has to recover from that so he can get back to fighting the cancer in the rest of his body. I wish with all my heart we could go back and make him eat his veggies like a child, because who knows if all this would be going on now, or if it would be as advanced. EAT YOUR VEGGIES! It is not because we are arrogant; it is because we care.

      December 1, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
    • Kat Kinsman

      Anderson is constantly making fun of his own diet on AC360 and his daytime talk show and in video extras, and he's told me in person that he pretty much only eats peanut butter and drinks seltzer. We're not being snobby or looking down at him - we're just playing along and genuinely want him to love long and prosper. People should eat what makes them happy, but it *does* have a huge effect on their health. That's not a moral judgment - just plain ol' biology.

      I honestly think that if a person doesn't like vegetables, it's because they just haven't had them prepared right for their tastes yet. I say this, because I always thought I couldn't stand various veggies - turns out I just didn't enjoy them frozen and boiled and served with butter like I'd eaten growing up. Roasting makes any vegetable one beeeeeelion times tastier.

      December 1, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
      • Bob

        I know Cooper is in on the joke about his own diet, and he's a big boy and can take care of himself, but this kind of public haranguing encourages people to think it's OK to harangue even people you barely know about their diet. I do not think it is OK. Not even slightly OK. There is no public service aspect to the haranguing. The recipes are nice, thanks for sharing, maybe someone who wants to eat vegetables but doesn't like them will find them more palatable this way. But there is no one over five in this country who hasn't had the supposed critical importance of eating lots of vegetables beaten into their heads. That's not news to anyone. I'm 46 years old, yet virtual strangers will feel free to give me a hard time about my choice of food at restaurants. It is pretty insulting when anyone and everyone feels they are entitled to criticize what I eat. Articles like this only encourage them.

        I don't know what Cooper eats, so maybe he is really deficient in something. But you said it yourself, if he wasn't getting vitamin C somehow, he'd have scurvy. His teeth would have fallen out by now. Obviously, he gets vitamin C from somewhere. He must. So vitamin C is probably just a straw man. Suppose he were to take a combination of vitamins (standard vitamins plus carotenoids, etc., you name it) and eat a few tablespoons of bran each day, guaranteeing that he gets enough fiber and vitamins and anti-oxidants and so on, would you then give him credit for having good nutrition, or would you still insist that he needs to eat the vegetables he hates? If the latter, you either believe in some other quality of vegetables that can't be gotten except by eating vegetables (please name it), or you are just a food snob, or you are pushing some kind of vegetable religion.

        If you really are concerned about someone's lack of vitamins or fiber or any other substance known to science, why not suggest ways they can get those things in their diet without having to consume things they hate? People are forever trying to get me to eat peas or broccoli. I hate them. But no one who harasses me about not eating peas or broccoli can tell me what I'm missing in my diet by not eating them. They say I need the fiber. Check, I eat carrots and Grape Nuts and grapes and apples and sometimes bran. Folate? Vitamin C? Go down the list, I get them all by hook or crook, but that never satisfies food snobs. Neither does trying things. No matter how many times I try peas and broccoli, in how many ways, no one ever thinks I've tried them enough. I've eaten peas and broccoli at some of the finest restaurants in the world, prepared in every conceivable way. I've been trying these things, under the unrelenting pressure of family, friends, and strangers, for four decades now. Telling me that I simply haven't tried them right, because you didn't like them but do now, is arrogant, pure and simple. It's also ignorant of biology. People do not all have the same taste experience. Trying to make someone like bitter tastes who doesn't is very likely like trying to insist that they'd have blue eyes instead of brown if only they tried hard enough.

        In any case, I think Cooper should make this deal with people who give him a hard time about his diet: "I'll eat a bowl of kale if you eat a bowl of boiled water beetles or locusts (both very nutritious and considered yummy in some parts of the world)." That puts what you are asking him to do in a little clearer focus, and is only fair.

        December 5, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
    • E

      No moral dimension? Yes, there is. Advising someone to avoid health risks is morally right. If I knew part of the bridge was out up ahead on a foggy day, saw you driving too fast too stop in that direction, and had a way to tell you to avoid it but didn't, wouldn't that be morally wrong?

      Arrogant? Arrogant would be to deny or to ignore facts and reams of medical evidence for your own inflated opinion. Arrogant would be to demand someone else be silenced for voicing theirs while advancing yours. For goodness sake, you wished violence on others for their opinions. THAT is arrogant.

      About the only thing I agree with, with the above comment: His diet and life are his own choices. Provided those choices do not interfere or impose on others.

      December 1, 2011 at 8:38 pm |
      • Bob

        Cooper doesn't need the advice. You'd have to be a vegetable yourself to be 44 and not have gotten the message that you're supposed to eat vegetables. This is news to no one over five in this country.

        A better analogy than the bridge out, which is almost as much a hyperbole as my "punch" comment, would be to give him a hard time about skiing, which can shorten your life, or riding a motorcycle, or for not having side airbags in his car, or any other slightly risky, but far from certainly harmful, activity. If we're that concerned about how long he lives, we really should do a risk assessment of his life. He may be doing something else much more risky than not eating enough vegetables, and we should focus there first.

        I completely agree that I was out of line with the "punch" comment. I regret saying it that way. It was pure hyperbole meant to convey the level of my irritation from a lifetime of this kind of harassment, but I should know better than to use hyperbole for effect online. I apologize for that.

        People do always insist that they are trying to do me a favor by harassing me about my diet, that they are doing it out of their own loving kindness for me. Perhaps they are. Obviously I can't know their motives, and maybe they don't fully know themselves, but I am incredulous. Their behavior toward me more often feels like self-righteousness or snobbishness than genuine concern for my well being. The clearest evidence of this to me is people's insistence on certain specific foods rather than on specific scientific nutrition facts. I have yet to meet anyone who, after they told me that I should eat food X because, say, it is high in fiber, were satisfied to hear that I got a good dose of fiber from Grape Nuts this morning. Well then, they always add, I should eat it for Vitamin Z, or anti-oxidant Y or because it's fiber is better absorbed, or some other extremely marginal reason. I have yet to have anyone say, "Oh, OK, you're good, you don't need to eat this." It is not about my nutrition, it becomes clear, it's about getting me eat food X specifically, and it's hard for me to think of a reason they would card to do that other than to make themselves feel better, at my expense, that they do eat food X. It also strikes me as no coincidence that food X is often the trendy food. And no one doubts that there exists snobs in every realm: food, cars, pets, you name it. It is just that when you can couching it in the guise of nutrition it gives people the illusion they are being helpful instead of snobbish. Many people who would never think of being so rude as to make fun of my sofa feel no compunction about making fun of my diet, and I think this is because they can kid themselves that they are not being rude, they are just being concerned.

        But even if you are completely pure in your intentions, do the hurt feelings of people you harass count for nothing? And if you don't think it hurts people's feelings to criticize their diet, you are really kidding yourself.

        December 5, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
    • Che

      Hey buddy, I don't even eat anymore. So I don't know why the fumes are all about? Hit me!

      December 1, 2011 at 9:16 pm |
    • RachelM

      I agree with you, Bob, and after reading Kat's reply to your post here, I agree even more that she is incredibly arrogant.

      December 2, 2011 at 10:30 pm |
  15. Jaime

    In his defense, cooked spinach is gross. Eat it raw in a salad and it's fine. Don't tell me how to cook it so that it's tasty, while I don't really like the taste cooked, it's the texture that's disgusting.

    December 1, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
    • Texrat the Crypticum Keeper

      That's just your opinion. Some of us like cooked spinach and don't find the texture disgusting at all.

      Asparagus, on the other hand... :O

      December 1, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
  16. Dinak

    Is there anything that Anderson doesn't believe he is an expert in? The guy is sickening. I'm still waiting for this big anti-bullying proponent to apologize for being a bully himself and using the pejorative "tea-baggers" when he referred to tea party participants on air. Until he apologizes, he is the epitome of liberal hypocrisy.

    December 1, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
    • Aletheya

      See, this is why we non-Tea Baggers don't like Tea Baggers. They're angry, caustic and generally unpleasant, and they're always raving about "liberals". Learn to relax and enjoy life, and please, stfu about liberals. None of us care what you think about them. Oh, and your "movement" is fading fast, so you might want to find a new club to join.

      December 1, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
  17. Ovur Seckst

    I would if I knew one.

    December 1, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
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