I’m not entirely sure why, but one morning as I got dressed for work, I wondered if I could truly make it on a 100% vegan diet. Sure, I am a lover of steak, but I don’t eat it enough for cutting it out of my diet. And naturally, from my ability to maintain a vegan lifestyle, I thought about how much I love broccoli–and how I should write more.
So, lo and behold, welcome to a post (one of many, I hope) about
my favorite veggies. Originally, this was supposed to be an “Ode to Broccoli,” but I felt that I was letting down other viable candidates for best vegetable. For the record, broccoli still takes the cake but, in the spirit of light-hearted love of produce, here is my list of five vegetables that I would be miserable without.
- Broccoli. Do you remember that episode of Powerpuff Girls when the aliens invaded and kidnapped all of the parents? The aliens that looked like heads of broccoli? None of the children of
Townsville liked eating broccoli. They were terrified of the aliens but they needed to save their parents anyway. So what’s their solution? GOOEY MELTED LAVA CHEESE ON THE ALIENS AND THEN CHOMP CHOMP. That is honestly my favorite episode of Powerpuff Girls. All that broccoli??? And they just got to eat it all??? Word??? I really hope aliens that look and taste like broccoli come to threaten the planet, because I will truly be in heaven.
My favorite way to eat broccoli? Steamed with a little salt and pepper. Delicious.
- Lettuce. This is one of the most underrated vegetables on the planet. When you ask people what their favorite vegetable is, rarely do they ever say “lettuce.” But lemme make a case. What do you use for salad? Lettuce. What do you put on a sandwich? Lettuce. Want a fruit salad? Add some lettuce. Want a mustard vinaigrette? Lettuce. W
anna make a soup but you only have lettuce? LETTUCE SOUP, BOO. What do you put in your wraps? Lettuce. What can you use as a wrap? Lettuce. (If you said “kale” to any of this, what is wrong with you?) Lettuce is the most versatile of vegetables, the easiest to prepare (literally just clean it), and it goes great with everything. I don’t believe any other leafy vegetable can fill lettuce’s shoes. Be grateful.
- Cucumbers. When I was a kid, I really fucking loved pickles. I would get a big
as jar of spears and eat it. The whole thing. In one sitting. But also, whenever I got salads, I needed cucumbers on them. Little did I know (before Wikipedia, I tried to avoid thinking about it) that pickles and cucumbers were the same thing. I knew they looked like. But were they really???? Well, surprise 5-year-old me. They are. And as soon as I learned to make pickles on my own, I truly became a believer. Cucumbers last a remarkably long time, they retain crunch for a long time, and they make children (me) happy. ALSO FUCKING CORNICHONS!! They’re tiny cucumbers. A blessing from the heavens.
- Asparagus. My mom used to make asparagus, oven-roasted, covered in butter,
garlic, and salt and pepper. And man, wow. Once, in my broke and lazy days, I ate like 500g of asparagus as a meal. And it was good as fuck. I don’t even care if my pee smells weird. You literally can’t fuck up asparagus.
And, the smelly pee thing brings people together.
- Onions. The only reasons that onions are so low on my list are because (1) it makes my breath stink and (2) I sob like I just watched a Korean drama. However, I love them raw and caramelized, by themselves or actually in dishes (don’t judge me). You have a mix of flavors–pungent and sour, sweet, and everything in between. Make a soup, hollow them out and stuff them. Go for it. And, in case you haven’t noticed, preparation is pretty great and the seasoning effect is even better. You put on goggles, chop em, toss em in your broth or cream, and bam! everything mixed in is instantly seasoned and good good. Also, onions saved Stanley Yelnats and Zero from dying so. There’s that.
With an honorable mention: Garlic. I don’t actually know if garlic is a vegetable or not, so I had to give it an honorable mention. Otherwise, it’d be #1 (yes, I love garlic more than broccoli–shocking, I know). I like the smell of garlic. I like the taste of garlic. I like the sensational feeling of being alive when I accidentally make the garlic pieces splash on my face and burn me (mmm). Honey says that I try to put too much garlic in things but let’s be honest: is there such a thing as “too much garlic”? My heart says no.
What do you think?