September 11, 2011

Got a Picky Eater? Never Give Up!

When I first began learning to cook, I made a dish of orzo with diced red bell peppers and zucchini.  My future husband looked at his plate with absolute horror.  He claimed to despise bell peppers, zucchini, and anything even remotely resembling rice.  Since that incident 6 years ago, I have rarely served any of those 3 items.  But this summer I've been on a low-carb kick.  And I happen to have lots and lots of zucchini in my garden.  I noticed this recipe for Cheeseburger Zucchini Boats on Heavenly Homemakers awhile ago, but figured I could never serve it to my husband.  Surely he would turn up his nose at it.  Surely he would complain the house smelled funny because I was cooking something "wierd".

However, going low carb (or should I say no carb?) can get really boring.  I was making the same dishes twice a week.  And the fastest way for me to get bored with my healthy food is to eat the same thing over and over.  So one night, when we had some leftovers that I knew my husband would eat, I decided to try making the Cheeseburger Zucchini Boats for my kids and myself.  They were quick to throw together, and I let them sit in the oven on low heat while I put the baby to bed.  When the boys were on their way home, I cut out some triangles and taped them to toothpicks to make 'sails' and stuck them in the 'boats'.  My husband walked in and smiled.  He was really hungry and ate 1 1/2 zucchini boats without complaint.  In fact, he said "they were not bad." 

"So," I said, "could you stand eating these once a year?" 
"No, these are good!" he said. 
Wow!!  I was giddy! 

The next day, he requested a leftover boat for his lunch.  And then the next day he did it again!  My husband, a self proclaimed hater of zucchini, actually wanted to eat a dish based entirely on zucchini! 

I have seen him do this with other foods too- fresh pineapple and sauteed broccoli, for example.  Maybe it's because nobody ever properly prepared these foods in an appealing way.  Maybe he wasn't exposed to them enough.  Maybe he just needed to pretend his food was a sailboat!  Who knows?  The point is, when it comes to serving food to your picky spouse, you have to get creative and don't give up!  Now, I don't expect him to ever love rice, but maybe someday he will ask me to cook some butternut squash.  I think I could carve it into the shape of a boat....