Are Veggies an Acquired Taste? Or, Great Veggies from San Diego

Making tortillasA dear friend since college days was staying with me last week and mentioned being served “lettuce wraps” for lunch during her conference. I lit right up, because I love lettuce wraps and have just recently discovered that Jimmy John’s sells sandwiches wrapped in lettuce rather than buns (if requested). You can also get such a thing as a “naked burrito” (all the fillings on a bed of lettuce rather than in a tortilla) at some Mexican places, such as in San Diego’s Old Town. Just think! All the goodies in a no-cal package! Well, my friend didn’t share my enthusiasm but said with a good-natured twinkle, “They must be an acquired taste!” Old Town Mexican CafeI hadn’t thought of that, but it did make me think about acquired tastes. In fact, don’t you suppose most things we eat are exactly that: acquired tastes? How do babies learn? By exposure and imitation…and somewhere down the line, they develop discretionary tastes. I’ve always been a big fan of fresh fruits and veggies, and most of my kids like them too. But, what if you don’t like veggies? Can you acquire a taste for them just by trying?

While we were in San Diego a couple of weeks ago, I had veggies at several restaurants that were so delicious I want to share the recipe ideas (not the real recipes, because I don’t know them):

1. From Searsucker’s in the Gaslamp Quarter: Brussel sprouts: Steam them for 5 minutes and then finish by sautéeing them in a little butter and balsamic vinegar reduction with salt and walnuts. The vinegar makes them almost sweet and really perks up the flavor. Rockin Baja Lobster Coastal Cantina2. Corn on the cob: One of the things I miss on my low-carb, low-sugar diet is corn bread, but at the Rockin’ Baja Lobster Cantina, they served corn-on-the-cob Rockin' Baja Lobster Festthat melted in my mouth and made me feel like I’d had cornbread without the corn flour. All they did was serve it with butter that had been whipped with honey and chili powder. It was dynamite!Fillipi's. San Diego3. One evening Alan and I ate at Fillipi’s, which is “the” original famous Italian restaurant in “Little Italy.” Fillipi's Cash and Carry Italian It’s a hole-in-the-wall eatery in the back of a grocery store, but the food was terrific! Story of Filippi's Of course, we had to have pizza, which was what made this restaurant famous after World War 2. But, I’d not eaten any pizza since beginning my diet. Pizza copy At first I felt a bit guilty scraping off the mountain of cheese, meats, and veggies and leaving the crust, but then I felt very “liberated.” Actually, I like the toppings much better than the breadings anyway and was glad not to feel obligated to eat them! After 2 months of dieting and quietly opting out of foods that are primarily sugars or starches, I’m actually uncovering my latent natural tastes!Sunset Behind Point Loma copy4. On another night we went to Coronado Island to watch the sunset over the vast Pacific Ocean and enjoy the ambiance of the Hotel del Coronado (which was the inspiration for Disney’s Grand Floridian and a gorgeous resort). Hotel del Coronado copy Afterward, we stopped at an Italian restaurant on Orange Ave. They had an incredibly delicious Italian salad made with a mix of finely chopped lettuce, onions, peppers, tomatoes, black and green olives, and a variety of Italian meats and cheeses. Out of sight!Salad. Chopped ItalianI don’t know if I’ll fare so well the next time we travel, but this Wednesday my weight was down, which doesn’t usually happen after a trip, so I’m guessing it had a lot to do with acquiring new tastes…and discovering that what I really like is good for me anyway!

“Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good” (Isaiah 7:15). (Or, at least know to choose what’s good for us!)

3 responses to “Are Veggies an Acquired Taste? Or, Great Veggies from San Diego

  1. 23/-3.0/15.4 I don’t think the 3 pounds in 1 week is real, but last week it looked like I’d gained a pound from being in San Diego, although I think much of it was just salt and water retention from traveling. At any rate, I’m overjoyed and glad to be losing after a very frustrating few weeks of just bobbing back and forth with minimal loss! How are you doing?

  2. Well, this week was only down 1/2 pound but not bad since we made a quick trip to L.A. this past weekend – out on Friday and back on Sunday. Lots of eating out celebrating my second son’s engagement.
    This whole eating thing is such a struggle. I’m in a couple of online Bible studies which helps.

    • Congratulations on your son’s engagement!! Half a pound is great, especially while on vacation. I’m always trying to remind myself that I usually gain, so even holding steady is a plus for travel times, don’t you think?!

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