Eating vegetables like it’s my religion

Eating vegetables like it’s my religion

Earlier in the month, I was fortunate to be able to travel with my parents to Indiana. It is where I was born and lived for eighteen years before we moved to Tennessee.

My grandparents were the reason for the visit. My mom travels several times a year to visit, check on them in-person, and all those other good things a daughter is supposed to do.

I hadn’t been up there in about thirteen years. WAY to long. But that’s a story for another day.

A few days before the trip, my mom and I were getting things ready, and she says to me, “Now, just be prepared; they are not going to understand how you eat.” Even after all these years, my mom doesn’t fully understand this.

My roots are Southern. Both sides of my family hail from the South. You eat meat, and you eat vegetables usually seasoned with meat. The end. Country living and farming is in my history from way back. I am the odd duck out of the whole bunch.

Anyway, back to my grandparents. I thought long and hard how I was going to handle this whole meal situation. Food is my grandfather’s love language. While you are eating lunch, you talk about what you are going to eat for dinner. He’s nothing if not a planner. You also do not claim to not be hungry and not eat at all.

On the day we left, I told my parents, “Let’s not even bring up my diet. I can usually find something anywhere.”

There are a few exceptions, but, for the most part, there’s at minimum a side salad or a potato product at most restaurants. And if it’s fries, you hope they aren’t cooked with chicken tenders or something equally meaty. I won’t even get into how not all french fries are not vegetarian- friendly. Worse case scenario, I’d get the best option, and if I were hungry later, I could eat when we would return to the RV* in the evenings.

In case you are not familiar, I am a gluten-free, egg-free vegetarian. First two are due to legit intolerance, the latter is by choice.

Day one: Pizza is ordered to be delivered. I am slightly panicked. Gluten and meat. A little gluten I can get through, but meat is something else. Even if I picked it off, there are remnants.

If you are so inclined, you can read why that may be a problem for vegetarians from Everyone is different, but I am one of the ones who has issues.

We make it through lunch without any raised eyebrows.

That evening, it is decided we will eat at  MCL. This cafeteria-style dining is a win-win for everyone.

We all get in line, and it just so happens my grandfather is in line behind me. I scoot past the salads. At the meat station, I say I’m going to have all vegetables. Once he realizes I didn’t choose a piece of fried chicken or the evening’s special of liver and onions, it clicks with him. “You are one of those vegetarians!”

I nearly bust out laughing because this deacon of his Baptist church has said this as if I declared I was a Methodist**. He was serious. It is a memory I will hold dear forever.

The rest of the trip went off without a hitch. I may have been teased once or twice for my bowl of leaves, but otherwise, everyone was sweet to take me into consideration. I don’t think there were any choices made that I didn’t find something substantial to eat.

Over the course of nine days, there were many more laughs and good times. It was definitely something I will always be grateful to have experienced.

And if I learned anything, if you are still close to your family, but you live some distance apart, it is important you find a way to visit as often as you can. You wouldn’t believe what a difference thirteen years makes.

*This was the first time [I remember] staying in an RV. It was delightful, and now I want my own.

**There is an OLD joke among the Baptists. On Sundays, the preacher may something like, “We need to hurry up and beat the Methodists to the steak house.” I’ve heard that all my life. Then I married a Methodist, and well, apparently they were trying to get ahead of the Baptists.
**Also, I don’t mean any disrespect for any religion.
A new take on hashbrowns

A new take on hashbrowns

A couple weeks ago, I had posted on Instagram about a take on a low-carb recipe I was trying.

I’d taken the picture while I was cooking, and posted it after we’d eaten. Two of us had eaten, and the third was working late. I figured he’d see my post and my secret would be out. More on that later….

Let me give you some backstory on the people who reside in this house:

Big D

  • Loves all things meat, potatoes, and bread.
  • Thinks corn and peas count as vegetables.
  • Iceburg lettuce “makes for a good salad.”
  • Will also eat carrots (cooked but sparingly), sweet potatoes (only if swimming in butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon), and lima beans, black beans, and green beans.
  • Onions and mushrooms are “vile weeds.”


  • Vegetarian.
  • Also gluten-sensitive (but known to cave time-to-time. Garlic bread is the best.)
  • More sensitive to eggs. Avoid them at all costs.
  • Loves almost all vegetables but leary on some cooking methods. (Like collards and turnip greens. Ew. No.)
  • Loves most fruits with the exception of watermelon and honey dew. I don’t even want to be in the same room as a watermelon. I will gag. I hate it that much.
  • Iceburg lettuce is a waste of space.

Son Two

  • Loves all things meat, potatoes, and bread.
  • Thinks corn and peas count as vegetables.
  • Iceburg lettuce “makes for a good salad.”
  • Will also eat carrots (cooked but sparingly), sweet potatoes (only if swimming in butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon), and lima beans, black beans, and green beans.
  • Onions and mushrooms are “vile weeds.” 
  • Has recently expanded to some onion, like on a burger.
  • Ketchup is amazing but raw tomatoes are disgusting.


Trying to make a dinner to satisfy all palettes is akin to a miracle. Some nights I can make one dinner, and others I’ll make a variation for myself. Sometimes it’s just two complete meals altogether.

To make things more complicated, I had decided to try a Keto diet for a month or so and see how I could do. Yeah, I know. The meat thing.

I started looking on Pinterest for recipe ideas for the week. We were having breakfast one night, and BD wanted our mock Cracker Barrel hashbrowns. I agreed, knowing I’d be making something else, and then found a low-carb “hashbrown” option. Of course – cauliflower.

Not my actual kitchen

Having experienced using this method before, I knew it would be a bit time -intensive for me. Fortunately, Birds Eye Steamfresh veggies were on sale at the store that week, so I picked up the riced cauliflower.* Not only would I’ve saving money on purchasing a fresh head, but I was saving lots of time as well.

Here is the recipe I used as inspiration.

This is roughly how I did it:

  1. Cooked the cauliflower per the package instructions.
  2. Tossed into mixing bowl and let cool slightly.
  3. Sprinkled in salt, pepper, garlic powder, and turmeric to taste.
  4. Added about a teaspoon of baking soda.
  5. Sprinkled in about a few tablespoons of Bob’s Red Gluten-Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour, mixing a bit more in until the consistency “felt right.”
  6. Added some Sargento Sharp Cheddar Cheese Shreds.
  7. Heated a couple of tablespoons of coconut oil in a pan.
  8. Shaped the mixture into ovals. Made six.
  9. Fried until golden and crispy.
  10. Served hot.

I thought they were really good and gave me the sense I was eating a potato hashbrown. BD liked it as well, except I must have been a little heavy-handed on the garlic. He said he’d eat them again, so I’m calling them a win in my book. Next time I’ll add a bit more baking soda and no garlic powder.

So the vote was still out on one, right? The next morning, I noticed he didn’t eat the place I left for him in the fridge. I asked him about it.

“You can’t fool me. I know those were cauliflower. I saw the bag in the freezer plus they didn’t smell good.



How do you handle mealtimes in your house? Do you have picky eaters? Comment below 🙂



*This is not a sponsored post, nor have I been compensated in any way for any products mentioned here today. They happen to be a few of my favorite things.