Friday, October 12, 2012


This funny thing is happening as I get older: I'm developing a taste for more nutritious food.

Not SOLELY. I mean, I still like Doritos. And nice chocolate. And the occasional Fast Break bar. But not as much. And not as my first choice. And sometimes if I'm browsing for a snack at the airport, I'll look at a whole rack of candy and chips and not be interested in any of it. I KNOW. Not even as a special travel treat!

I've also noticed that I'm starting to be more interested in salty food than sweet, another change. When I do decide to indulge, it's much more likely to be in chips than sweets.

And beyond junk food, I'm starting to like more nutritious ingredients in my dinner as well. It started with whole wheat pasta, which I've been eating for years and which I've recently noticed that I actually prefer to white. The next thing was quinoa, which I tried since it's such a great option, but figured I wouldn't like it since I never seem to like "alternative" grains. But it turned out that it was delicious, and I often use it in place of rice or even pasta in my recipes. I've started cooking a big batch of it and keeping it in the fridge for easy use--which actually works great because I think it tastes even better cold.

And most recently, it was spaghetti squash. I don't even really like winter squash generally (no pumpkin, no butternut squash, etc.). But I'd never tried spaghetti squash so I figured it was worth a shot. I roasted it and sauteed some shrimp to go with it (based vaguely on this recipe, with many modifications) and tossed it all together and... it was delicious. It didn't taste like spaghetti, at all. But it was really good. Torsten and I had to carefully mete out the leftovers the next day since we both wanted it for lunch. Next time I'll roast a bigger squash.

Edited to add: I'm also starting to notice that a lot of foods I used to like, especially sweet stuff, taste like chemicals. I tasted frosting from a can recently and it had this very strange flavor and left an even worse aftertaste. And believe me, in years past I could have eaten most of a can of frosting and not noticed a chemical or HFCS flavor at all.

I'm not at the point where I'm like, why don't I give up all sugar! No more grains! No more dairy! How about paleo? I'm going vegan! I'm frankly not interested in making that kind of drastic change to my diet. I just generally try to cook fresh, nutritious, unprocessed foods, and then not worry when I'm in the mood for an occasional indulgence. It seems to be working for us. And sometimes Callum even eats the food we cook (despite his general distaste for food, he LOVES quinoa, though it makes a royal mess when he eats it).

Sadly I'm still not the kind of person who will be like, wow, carrots are so much yummier than gummi bears! Gosh, I'm feeling naughty so I'm going to indulge in a dessert of strawberries this evening! I still like dessert. And fruit doesn't count. I'm still not even at the point where I've decided I like dark chocolate better than milk. And I'm definitely not about to announce that I've discovered that I love running.

But still, it's progress. And maybe the other stuff will happen in another 10 years.


  1. I remember my mom saying she didn't like something because it was "too sweet". I couldn't even fathom how that could be! But now, I find myself saying that more and more - I don't care for candy or rich desserts, or even juice. I have become my mom.

  2. I have noticed that change in myself over the last 5ish years too. I LOVE vegetables, almost all of them! (except celery. gag.) I eat a lot more fruit and love whole wheat pasta and quinoa. I ate a bite of white bread the other day and almost gagged! I do prefer dark to milk chocolate, but I always have, so that's not new. Also, I will not give up chocolate or dessert. I still have a sweet tooth! However, I definitely can't eat as much... it makes me feel sick to have much sugar now. It must be something about getting older? I don't know!

  3. I unfortunately have been moving in the opposite direction. I once remember commenting out loud (oh the hubris) that ice milk was just so preferable to full-fat ice cream. Now I can't even believe I said that.

    That shrimp and spaghetti squash dish, though? That sounds SO AWESOME. I must make it.

  4. I know EXACTLY what you mean. There are so many things that I've completely lost my taste for.

    But poptarts? Come to me!

  5. One of my favorite fall foods is acorn squash. I cut it in half, put some butter and brown sugar inside and roast in the oven for about 20-30 minutes.

    I also like to stuff them - I recently used a filling I made with quinoa, ground turkey, goat cheese, lots of garlic and onion, and some herbs de provence. It was super flavorful and pretty nutritious.

    I'm definitely a savory person. I'd much rather have more french fries than dessert (though I rarely say no to ice cream or cookies). At work, we have tons of free snacks - including Doritos. It is SO HARD to stay away from them every day. But I also don't feel terrible if I give in here and there.

  6. I've always had more salt tooth than sweet, but re: processed foods, I am right there with you. I use to love eating an entire box of Kraft Mac n' Cheese by myself, and now I can't stand the stuff, it tastes like not food!

  7. You know what I'm finding myself not liking as much anymore? Fries. I KNOW. I still like them, I suppose, but I don't eat mediocre fries and I find it easy to pass up even good ones.

  8. You know I'm not super nuts about most vegetables, but my taste is slowly expanding. I think a lot of that can be credited to being concerned about Hannah wanting to eat what we eat when we eat it. That's forced me to be more careful about what I make around her!