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Veggies for Heart Attack Veggie Hater

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Post  WriterCPA 9/5/2013, 5:48 pm

I've been away from the forum for the last two weeks because my husband had a heart attack. (I've managed to keep up with harvesting and watering in my garden, but that's about it.)

So DH is now ready to change is diet (a little) and eat veggies. The problem is that he is very texture sensitive and due to childhood fights with his dad, zucchini is NEVER an option. He does not like the mouth feel of tomatoes (I puree tomatoes that go into sauces -- even finally chopped does not work.) He does eat green beans, peas, carrots, and corn, but that's about it.

I'd appreciate any recipes and recommendations for how to add veggies to his diet. (My mom, now age 92 God bless her, raised us on a low salt diet, so I've always been at the low end in my cooking -- folks often need to add salt when I"m just fine. I'm clearing the kitchen of convenience foods -- feel guilty about dumping all that salt on the local food pantry since my rule has always been that I don't donate what I wouldn't eat.)

Oh yeah, my husband is on the mend, one stent and stern health warnings later. It's a process.

Many thanks,

Maria
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Post  southern gardener 9/5/2013, 6:05 pm

What about smoothies? You can "hide" lots of stuff in them. If he likes fruit, you can make the "base" of a smoothie fruit, and then add veggies to his tolerance. Sometimes, you can add more veggies and get "used" to them. We love our smoothies. We invested in a Vitamix and are VERY happy with it. They are pricey for sure, but they really do a good job, made in USA, have a full 7 year warranty. You can't put a price on your health either!! Good luck
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Post  grownsunshine 9/5/2013, 6:22 pm

Sorry to hear about your husbands heart attack. We wish him a speedy recovery and we wish you strength as you walk with him through the healing process!

You can get a juicer from Costco for around $80. The Juiceman Jr has large parts and is easy to clean. Add apples to kale, spinach, celery and a sliver of ginger. Apples will sweeten almost any veggie up nicely. Carrots and Oranges are good. Too many fruits can become high in sugar.

Maybe he can try a few juice recipes from the local health food market to see if he likes anything before investing in a juicer.
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Post  aerodyne 9/5/2013, 7:38 pm

BB&B has top of the line juicers, and a great return policy.  I bought one that worked well, and stuffed it full of Kale.  I was not too surprised when I gagged on it! Tthen, I added a small amount of OJ to the mix, say 20%, and it was like a store bought smoothie!  I had to return it because the DW, in my case, did not like the mess and noise of the 1500 watt motor...

Rolling Eyes 

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Post  Marc Iverson 9/5/2013, 9:16 pm

Does he like peppers or lettuce at all? If you can chop veggies very fine and bury them in pasta salad (I like the tiny ditalini pastas myself), they might not seem individually overwhelming, just a nice bit of crunch or juiciness. Casseroles can absorb a lot of veggies before their flavor seems to take over, too. Strong sauces and dressings are also great concealers.
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Post  WriterCPA 9/5/2013, 10:37 pm

Thank you all for the good wishes and suggestions. You guys are the best. I had not thought about smoothies. I'm a veggie lover!! My only limit is that outside of gumbo, okra is a deal breaker. I'm game for everything else.

I will talk with my DH about juices and/or smoothies as part of his meals or for snacks.

Thanks!

Maria
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Post  TxGramma 9/6/2013, 12:15 am

Maria, so sorry. Roasted veggies!!! They are so yummy and easy to do. You can roast just about any veggie you can think of. You mentioned okra, I love it anyway you can fix it but this year roasted it for the first time ever and it is really good...not slimy at all which is what turns most people off.

Roasting is healthy way to cook them too. Very little oil, retains the vitamins since your not boiling them out into the water, and it concentrates the flavor and brings out the natural sweetness. I have roasted everything from root veggies to eggplant, okra, winter and summer squash, asparagus, green beans, brussel sprouts, broccoli. Just drizzle with oil, I use EVOO or coconut oil, and season to taste with whatever herbs and spices you like and then bake them.
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Post  mschaef 9/6/2013, 12:59 am

If you hubby likes pasta you can make some homemade noodles, just google for a recipe, and add pureed vegs to the dough. Than roll out, cut, and cook. My kids love doing this...we have done puree tomatoes for red pasta, spinach for green, and carrots for orange. Also you can use some squashes in exchange for pasta too. Just some more thoughts/ ideas for you. Hope your hubby continues to improve.
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Post  southern gardener 9/6/2013, 1:06 am

We prefer smoothies to juicing so you get the whole veggie and all the fiber. Fruits are higher in sugar, yes, but the point is to hopefully get him started. Then you can start changing the veggie/fruit ratio to his tolerance. My husband wasn't too crazy about the smoothies with so many veggies. It wasn't long and he was putting in more veggies and less fruit. You can also add ground flax seed which is high in Omega 3, chia seeds etc etc. All sorts of stuff to make it highly nutritious. Let him pick what to put in and maybe he'll be more likely to try new things! God bless, and glad your hubby is ok!!
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Post  Millenia 9/6/2013, 9:39 am

Glad to hear hubby is on the mend. I, too, juice but I also like smoothies. I love the vitamins I know I'm getting from all those veggies I wouldn't otherwise eat.

As to recipes, I tried something different this weekend. I sliced up squash, yellow, orange, and red bell peppers, onions, and mushrooms and mixed them with Italian and Greek dressing. Then I wrapped them up in tinfoil packets and baked them for 20 minutes. I've never eaten bell peppers by the slice before. They were delicious. I couldn't get enough of this.

I've read colored (not green) bell peppers are a super food so started adding a few slices to my smoothies. Yum.
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Post  plantoid 9/6/2013, 2:01 pm

CPA tell him you love him and want him around for the next 50 yrs or more , just get used to eating all veg and then give him a big cuddle and tell him it's the only way from now on .

One approach comes to mind that does work wonders if not pressed too far ....

An anorexic kid I knew was given everything that every one else had ,as well as a knife and fork they had a tea spoon

" One teaspoon of everything you don't like & go and put the rest down in the bin after every one else finishes " .
 No processed foods or pastries  were given or offered .....just simple cooked veg ,fish  and meat but not a massive amount of meat .
The gal is now in her forties and has a family of three kids herself who eat everything in sight.
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Post  sanderson 9/6/2013, 3:05 pm

Maria,  I'm glad DH is on the mend.  His ability to change to a higher veggie diet, and more varied veggie diet, probably won't come easy.  I remember a TV program on eating problems and one person was texture sensitive.  She only liked french fries.  So the challenge was to prepare finger foods with that crisp/soft texture. Daddy would eat beans, corn and potatoes, iceberg salad tossed in mayonnaise.  A small amount of green beans.  Some veggies made him gag.

You've already received some good advice from folks on how to disguise or cook veggies.  Roasting after tossing with oil is one of my favorites.  I use grape seed oil for high temp cooking.  Olive oil or GS oil after a food has cooked.  

Another is sauteing with GS oil and water, as a dish, or putting over brown rice or high fiber pasta (oat) from Trader Joe's. Smoothies with fruit to mask the veggies.  Zucchini whole wheat bread??  My DH dislikes zuc but he was scarfing down zucchini bread a neighbor got us.  Herbs and spices go a long way to making yucky foods better.

Hopefully the doctor's office provided dietary information and sample recipes.  The American Heart Association probably has a cookbook or endorses one or several.

I wish DH a speedy recovery, and you, as caretaker, a new adventure in cooking.
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Post  No_Such_Reality 9/6/2013, 3:30 pm

What does he currently eat?

If he's been a meat and potatoes person, things are a little tougher.

If he's a fries person, there's an oven fries recipe that is a lot better than regular fried french fries and not as bad as the deep fried potato wedges in the deli counter. You can also substitute sweet potatoes.

If he's a breakfast meat person and a sausage and bacon kind of guy, we've found that the Hormel Turkey bacon actually cooks up very bacon-y. We like it crisp and it's a very consistent texture and taste. Soyriso also is a good chorizo substitute and they do make turkey sausages that have all the flavor of italian sausages but literally come in at 1/2 or less of the fat/cholesterol.

Saute' is good for green beans you can get them french fry like. Also grilling veggies, all types from broccoli to cauliflower to asparagus and zucchini is great, a little EVOO and it gets the grilled roasted taste that seems savory and hearty and give them a good texture without being overly crunchy or mushy.

What texture bothers him?
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Post  Goosegirl 9/6/2013, 7:23 pm

Glad to hear your Hubby is on the mend! 

I too have texture issues with some foods, so I puree the offending veggies (onions, celery, cukes) before freezing.  I love their flavor, but just CANNOT STAND TO BITE ONE!  (grapes too - that NASTY pop when you bite into it - ACK!!!)  Thankfully my Hubby does not like 'chunky' sauces either, so he is fine with smooth salsa and pasta sauce. 

One good way to get LOTS of veggies into him is to make a homemade V-8 type juice/sauce, can or freeze it, and use it as the base for sauces, soups, and such - as in recipes which give an amount for liquid and then give you a choice of water, wine, broth, tomato juice, etc.  Once you start playing with recipes, it becomes pretty easy and lots of fun!

GG
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Post  plantoid 9/7/2013, 4:19 am

I suspect that having the longer fibres of normally prepared vegetables is also part of the change in diet reasons so don't go overboard in smashing up veg by juicing it till the fibre content is practically useless gloop. It ain't the vitamins alone that will assist in the recovery .

I guess the real answer/reasons  for change is to fill up on veg to satisfy the gut also to  produce a long slow release of energy in the blood rather than bomb the hell out of it with a big dollop of just a few kinds of quickly digested stuff  and eat far less cholesterol producing meats and fats .  Then of course you have to go and get some exercise on a regular basis even if it is just a 50 yard struggle twice a day every day when ever possible.


I've managed to drop my cholesterol level from over nine to a smidgeon below 4 in just over 3 yrs. despite being 85 % disabled and very sedentary using prescribed  beszo ( ?) fibrate rather than a statin and basically dropping anything with fat or highly processed by cooking or commercially  refined product . My weight has also dropped considerably despite me also having diabetes so I'm on a winner all round .
 
The exercise angle has been a big struggle but it's slowly but surely happening so long as I give it a go every day on my crutches.

 Show your hubby these thread posts it may help him to overcome his resistance & mind set to deciding to make the change for himself and your family .
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Post  herblover 9/7/2013, 8:12 am

@Goosegirl wrote:Glad to hear your Hubby is on the mend! 

I too have texture issues with some foods, so I puree the offending veggies (onions, celery, cukes) before freezing.  I love their flavor, but just CANNOT STAND TO BITE ONE!  (grapes too - that NASTY pop when you bite into it - ACK!!!)  Thankfully my Hubby does not like 'chunky' sauces either, so he is fine with smooth salsa and pasta sauce. 

One good way to get LOTS of veggies into him is to make a homemade V-8 type juice/sauce, can or freeze it, and use it as the base for sauces, soups, and such - as in recipes which give an amount for liquid and then give you a choice of water, wine, broth, tomato juice, etc.  Once you start playing with recipes, it becomes pretty easy and lots of fun!

GG


Just had to reply because I am eating grapes as part of my am fruit bowl!
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Post  Goosegirl 9/7/2013, 8:32 am

@herblover wrote:
Just had to reply because I am eating grapes as part of my am fruit bowl!
@Goosegirl wrote: (grapes too - that NASTY pop when you bite into it - ACK!!!)

GG
And enjoying every pop, I am sure!  rofl

Maria - like Plantoid said, slow and sure is what will get it done.  Diabetes made me change my diet a few years ago and it has been well worthwhile.  Keep plugging away and you will get him there!

GG
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Post  walshevak 9/7/2013, 1:47 pm

Just picked some grapes off my vine and enjoying every single pop. Very Happy 

Kay

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