Our Likes and Dislikes

August 12, 2009

My relationship with running has been all over the map. Love, hate, tolerate; it’s a crazy up-and-down journey that we have gone through. And these days, with the completion of two races, I love it. Really, I do. So much so that I’ve been craving it and last night went out for a 30+ minute run with a friend (okay, probably still not quite recovered enough to go out running, but I really wanted to. And it was enjoyable. And now I think I’ll rest some more). But how did this all happen?

We can choose what we like and dislike, to some extent. If we start off disliking something, it’s going to take a lot of work to really begin liking it. Sometimes we won’t want to put the effort in, and we just won’t bother trying to like it. That’s okay, because there’s other things out there that we like naturally instead. But if you dislike something that you want to like, have hope! You can make the change so that you like it.

Lately there are recipes involving beans appearing all over the blogging world. Mexican Lasagna. Stir fry with black bean sauce. Black bean brownies. There have been many more but I’m recuperating from illness right now so searching all over the blogosphere for the recipes I know I’ve been seeing would just be far too exhausting. Anyway, these recipes look great, except for one tiny issue: I really, really dislike beans. And I mean all beans: black beans, kidney beans, lima beans, navy beans, pinto beans. I really love most legumes, but I cannot do beans.

There are some foods which I don’t have a problem with disliking. Ice cream cake, for example. Sour cream. Mayonnaise. Slurpees. Coconut. Avocado. I have absolutely no intention of putting any effort into liking those foods. I’m incredibly grateful that I don’t enjoy them because of how unhealthy they are (except for coconut and avocado, of course. They can be incredibly healthy, and they are after all real food. But most of the time these two foods unfortunately seem to be used in very unhealthy recipes. I like avocado in my sushi and I like coconut milk in my curry, so I don’t see any other reason why I *need* to like those two foods).

However, I want to like beans. I want to be able to enjoy this food which is a staple for so many people. So I’m going to put in the effort to try a bunch of bean recipes and see if I can gradually get myself to like them. I think that now is a good time to do this, too, because September is going to be my month of going vegan (more of which I will talk about as we get closer to that time). Enjoying beans would be useful for that nutrition challenge!

Other foods which are healthy but I’m not a huge fan of and will therefore be putting the effort into transferring from my “dislike” list to my “like” list:

– Zucchini

– Eggplant

– Brussel sprouts

I need your help. Convince me that these nutritious foods are tasty. That you have a recipe for them which will completely win me over. That’s your challenge for today πŸ™‚

Also: what healthy foods do you dislike?

Edited: Judging by a couple of the comments, I didn’t make myself quite as clear as I perhaps should have. The reason why I want to like these foods is for a couple reasons; mostly because of convenience. There are recipes and restaurant dishes constantly cropping up with these kinds of foods, or people tend to make dishes which involve these foods, and it’s frustrating that I’m always skipping past the dishes that have these in them. Besides that, I’m going to be vegan for an entire month. I’ve already been looking up vegan recipes and there are a lot of vegan recipes which call for things like beans or eggplant! So I’d like to like those foods before I become vegan so that I can enjoy some of those recipes and have a little bit more variety. Hopefully that clears up the reason for why I want to like these foods- it’s not just because they’re healthy; I know that I get enough nutrients from the other foods that I eat. It’s because they happen to be good for you and also very popular. They’re just useful foods to enjoy!


  1. Hmmm, I understand your situation. I want to like Bell Peppers, but I just don’t. And other things of course. TO help you out: Eggplant, I have issues with as well at times, but I find I enjoy it most when cut into cubes and roasted with arabic spices then put into a delicious home made garlicy tomato sauce. Add some rice and lentils, and it’s quite delicious!

    My 2 favorite ways to eat zuchini is cored and stuffed with rice, arabic spices (but indian spices can work too, with pine nuts, olive oil, maybe some calamata olives and goat cheese. Boil in water (until rice is cooked) and serve with a garlic yogurt sauce, or boil IN tomato sauce/water misture and eat with the sauce!

    Another more adventurous, but sooo worth it way is to grate or spiralize the raw zuchini and put a tomato sauce, raw or cooked, or a pesto sauce on tom with some sliced cherry tomatoes. Really good.

    Brussel Sprouts I like just boiled or roasted so I’m no help there.

    Hope these work! Good luck!

  2. the 3 you listed are in my dislikes.

    Im not a good one to ask as I go 2 ways:

    1. I always figure there are other ways to get the good things which are in foods I CAN NOT STAND (the same nutrients etc)

    B. If I cant find em else where I just close my eyes and gag the food down (now I do that with a GRIN so the Toddler thinks Im in tastebud heaven πŸ™‚ but still…)

  3. “foods which are healthy but I’m not a huge fan of and will therefore be putting the effort into transferring from my β€œdislike” list to my β€œlike” list”

    If you are eating healthy and balanced even with the absence of these foods, why stress about getting them in?

  4. Interesting. I’ve never found myself trying to like a food, simply because it’s healthy. I mean, you like many other healthy foods, right? I hate to tell you but if you don’t like brussel sprouts, it’s hopeless. No matter how you cook brussel sprouts (unless you smother them in butter and cheese) they will taste like brussel sprouts…I think they are an acquired taste! I think you should just make a list of all the healthy foods you DO like, and realize that it’s ok not to like certain healthy foods πŸ™‚ Don’t waste your time trying to like them. Heck, I’m not a huge fan of tofu, and it’s REALLY healthy, but I don’t mind.

  5. The first two are easy to eat, but Brussels sprouts can’t be done! (covering it with cheese doesn’t count)

    By the way, I originally hated to run πŸ™‚

  6. Lia- thanks for the great ideas! Spiralizers sound like so much fun. If I had one of those I’d be spiralizing everything.

    MizFit- the Toddler could learn a few tricks from you πŸ˜‰

    Just_Kelly- it’s mostly for convenience factor- because other people will make foods like that and then I have to choke them down and it sucks. The other part is that so many recipes call for them! And I like experimenting with recipes. And I hate that every time I find a recipe with those ingredients I skip over it to the next one.

    Gina- tofu is something I might be experimenting with when I go vegan… should be… interesting…

    Dr. J- ahaha that makes me feel better!

  7. I’m actually thinking about putting frozen brussels sprouts into a smoothie, to see what happens. But then, I haven’t eaten a brussels sprout in years, so I’m not sure if I even remember the taste right.

  8. ha- those are some of my favorite foods.

    Why are you going vegan? I dont really get why people “go” a certain diet for a period of time- be it vegan or gluten free or whatever. I think it usually boils down to weight loss and unneccessary restriction of food (whether it be calories or foods groups) and think that kind of control over your food does more harm (mainly to your mind) than good.

  9. Tricia- in a smoothie? Man, I would LOVE to hear how that goes for you!

    Dave- trust me. You’ll hear aaaalllll about my reasonings behind it at the end of August. (Spoiler: two (of the many) reasons are that I want to raise awareness about animal products in food AND I want to form my own opinion about how healthy it is to eat that way- there’s so much controversy over it that I want to know from first hand experience).

  10. what about chickpeas? they can be made into hummus, roasted for a crunchy snack, or put into salads and other dishes! there are many yummy indian dishes, too πŸ™‚

    Cannelini beans are VERY creamy, they also work well in hummus or with pasta…

    Do you like beans in chili?

    zucchini bread? or chips/wedges, roasted on their own or topped in a coating of bread crumbs (panko or fiber one) and parmesan and seasonings before broiling

    eggplant… hmm, i’m a new one to this but i’m loving it. eggplant parm with a healthier breading? again roasting (it works for everything!!), maybe baba ganoush, bangain bharta (in indian food)

  11. I always hated zucchini, and it’s still not my favorite, so I totally understand that one. Sometimes I just make myself eat it because I know it’s healthy.

    The way I really like it is baked in a bread, and that’s not very healthy so we don’t do it much!

    I got your point, and it’s a good one!

  12. I would add just a few beans to a dish, so that you can “ease” into them. I love beans, and one of my favorite dishes is a tomato, cucumber, corn, red onion & black bean salad. I dress it with a simple vinaigrette with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, salt & pepper.

    I really like baked/roasted vegetables. I toss them with olive oil and a little salt and pepper and bake them in the oven for about 25 – 30 minutes. This works for almost anything. And I have found that people often like veggies roasted that they don’t like otherwise.

    I think if you eat an otherwise healthy diet, you don’t have to worry too much about not liking a few particular foods. Just keep an open mind and try them in different ways. Also, it may take some time to like some of them, and then it may happen naturally. I used to hate Brussels Sprouts growing up, but started loving them in my 30s! And I really didn’t try to like them; it just happened…. πŸ™‚

  13. Fussy eater than I am, I actually really like beans; always have. But my advice would be to start slow. Try throwing them in a soup for example. I don’t care for carrots, but I will grate or dice them into small pieces to throw in soups, etc. That’s usually my strategy for something that I don’t like – try to find a way to incorporate it in something I do like, or disguise it in some way.

    Do you like hummus? You can make something similar with white kidney beans – drain/rinse, throw them in a food processor with garlic, lemon juice, olive oil & parsley; salt to taste, if you like.

    I also love to make a quesadilla with refried beans and cheese, and eat it with salsa.

    Or black bean patties for burgers.

    Honestly, there are so many ways to include beans in a meal – I’m sure you can find something you like.

  14. Mmmm – I LOVE beans! Is it the texture, or just the taste? Maybe it’ll just mean finding the right spices to make the taste appealing.

    First time I tried tofu, I really didn’t like it! And NOW I absolutely CRAVE it. I can’t really think offhand of any healthy foods I don’t like, although I know I should eat more veggies than I do. I think I just don’t care for them raw (except carrots!), and fruit is an easier “portable” snack!

  15. i know of no way to cook brussels sprouts to make them nice.

    a really great thing to do with zucchini is to slice it into really slim half moon shapes, and then toss it in olive oil, pepper, salt and loads and loads of fresh lemon juice. then you chop fresh mint and add shavings of parmesan and mix them in. DELICIOUS summery salad.

    often eggplant is prepared in such a way that it is too spongey and then the texture is off and it can be quite bitter from the water that stays in it. one of the keys is salt it loads and leave it to drain tossing it occasionally. then if you cook it (usually fried in olive oil…hmmm) and add it to a tomato sauce for pasta it is delicious. really sweet flavoured.

  16. Never in a million years will I ever like beans. Or cooking sugar cookies : ) Or mushrooms. I am trying the running though. Together, running and I are slowly coming around.

  17. girl get your beans on! start small like adding them to salads and such to where they’re not an in your face taste πŸ™‚ You’ll get there no worries!

  18. I should add – There are some things that I will never like. I still don’t actually like cooked carrots, but if they are chopped small enough I can eat them. Brussels Sprouts? Nope. I have tried them and I just don’t.

    I think that is is good to give things a try, but if in the end you find you just can’t like them, just move on. There are plenty of healthy foods out there.

  19. Roast the brussel sprouts in the oven after tossing them in olive oil, salt, and whatever your favorite herb is. Cook until they’re really soft!

    I had the same experience with running. Hated it at first, but now I love it!

  20. I can understand wanting to like certain foods for their nutrient value and just to expand your palate. There are few foods that I dislike regarding taste, but some healthy foods I don’t like because of how they make me feel. Broccoli is one.

    I know people who don’t like beans. I love them and it is a good thing since they are everywhere around here. Have you tried them in a more cultural recipe? They tend to have much more flavor than the canned beans and other things people tend to put together for a rice and bean dish.

    I have a recipe for a quiche with zucchini on my blog which you can hardly tell there is zuchini it in, but that isn’t vegan. Best wishes for your quest!! πŸ™‚

  21. ttfn300- I LOVE chickpeas. But, again, they’re legumes.

    Diane- YAY am glad you got it. Sometimes I just assume people will and I’m not clear enough πŸ™‚

    Andrea- I think I’ll try that with the beans.

    JavaChick- I suppose you’re right. Sighs.

    Holly- a bit of both taste and texture. I might have to disguise them in other things for a while to begin with.

    fd- interesting! I’ll see if I can give that a shot.

    Dorie- SO WITH YOU on the sugar cookies! We need supervision if we ever attempt that again…

    Julie- I’ll try starting small!

    Gena- makes me so happy about the running!

    Lori- ooh good idea with the cultural recipes. I’m totally going to look up your quiche recipe, thanks for letting me know!

  22. Not much help because I’m the same way! Not a fan of beans and can’t stand eggplant! And I’m so-so on zucchini depending on how it’s prepared. Still, I think that you just have to keep trying. I’ve been working on my bean dislike for the past year – not so much for me, but because my son really likes beans. I still don’t like black or pinto beans, but I AM finding dishes and beans that I can tolerate or even like. Heck, I even LIKE red beans and rice now (at least the way I prepare them)! That’s HUGE! And hummus and falafel – even though I don’t like chickpeas alone. It’s the same with zucchini – I can prepare it in ways that I love it. Eggplant and brussel sprouts I’ll leave to everyone else!

    So, I think that you just have to keep trying – different beans, different ways to prepare them. Find a bean that you like and a way to prepare it that you like and you’ll open up your palate to other beans.

  23. There are foods I used to dislike – immensely – and love now. Sometimes our tastes change and foods are worth re-visiting. Sometimes we like a food prepared one way but not another. I have really yummy black bean burger recipes. Once you smoosh them up and add spices to them they hardly resemble beans anymore!

  24. I hate beans. Yuck yuck yuck.

    I used to really dislike baby corn, but I kept forcing myself to try it every year or so, and one time I ended up liking it (maybe 2 years ago? it was recent). I think you have to just keep trying it every so often and the dislikes might go away. Probably because we lose taste buds as we age.

  25. Zucchini is an easy one to like because you can put it into muffins and bread and you can’t taste it at all!

    I wish I liked sliced tomatoes – they always looks so good, but I found if I take the seeds out, I’ll eat it!

  26. Hope you are feeling better! ! !

  27. I looove brussels sprouts. It’s a hard call which is my favourite; lightly steamed to let their delicious bitterness take centre stage, or pan-roasted with garlic for a tasty compliment of flavours.

    Many people can’t abide that bitter brussels sprout taste that we few brussels sprout-lovers adore. If you look for recipes that disguise their characteristic flavour, just so you can choke down your sprouts, that leaves fewer sprouts for us. Boo!

    So, in conclusion, I echo commenters above who say why force yourself to eat veggies you don’t love when you can get a good varied menu enjoying the ones you do like?

    P.S. I also love beans and eggplant, and zucchini is ok by me.

  28. I wish I could help you but a) I don’t cook, and b) I’m not a big fan of any of those foods. Beans, I can tolerate in chili or soup, so I think some of the comments re: certain spices will help you get to where you want to be.

  29. Hi Sagan, I’m also not a bean fan but also wish I was. My husband refuses to touch them as well so I don’t have a lot of opportunity to experiment.

    However in my opinion the least offensive beans are aduki (adzuki) beans and flageolet beans, both are small and not too floury.

    I find I can tolerate them as additions in other food – i.e. substitute some for minced beef in a bolognese, or use them in a dish that involves something full of flavour like chorizo, or mix them up with a stuffing for peppers.

  30. I must be from mars because I love brussel sprouts. I also love beans. I never did before, but my husband eats them all the time and I’ve just kinda picked up his bean eating habit.

    Vegan for a month, huh?!!! I can’t wait to here how this one goes πŸ™‚

  31. Cathy- you give me hope πŸ™‚

    Reeni- okay, that encourages me that you can hardly tell the difference!

    Maggie- MMMM BABY CORN!!!

    Biz319- think I might try to turn zucchini into bread. It could be fun. That’s funny that you only like tomatoes without the seeds πŸ™‚

    SHE-FIT- thanks! I am.

    Margaret & RickiRae- aw you Brussel sprout-adorers would get along so well πŸ™‚

    Cammy- I do love spices for that very reason.

    Sarah- That is such a great idea to replace the beans for minced beef. I’ll definitely give that one a shot.

  32. – i like avocado in sushi and in some rare cases, some sandwiches.

    – i only like zucchini grilled (nothing added except a little pam for grilling/olive oil spray … though that’s to help with sticking).

    – eggplant scares me.

    – i like brussels sprouts … in microwaved former frozen veggie form.

    so yeah, i’m not helpful. but try zucchini grilled – that’s my only suggestion. take a zucchini, cut it into long strips and grill! SO. DELICIOUS. that, and i’m of the belief that most things taste better grilled.

  33. You don’t like brussel sprouts!?!? But they are so sweet tasting! Especially in a white bean tomato sauce with a little cheese on top. Yummy. Now that dish would be killing two birds with one stone. Not very veganish though. Apart from the weird stuff that my parents used to feed me like brains dressed up as meat patties (yeah I saw straight through the disguise on the first bite), the only vegetable that I can’t stand is cucumber. And even that, with a bit of habituation I am learning to tolerate. Exposure is the key πŸ˜‰

  34. I can totally relate to this. There are some foods I don’t like but don’t really care that I don’t: like licorice. Who cares if you like it or not?

    But some make me feel childish. Like oysters or olives or celery. I feel like as a grown up, and someone who eats healthy, I should be able to choke these down. But despite trying over and over–it ain’t happening.

    On the plus side, I used to dislike all kinds of things that I like now–like beans and mushrooms and broccoli and eggplant!

  35. Zucchini is AWESOME with anduoille sausages. I’ll be bloggin about it sometime soon.
    I can’t believe you don’t like brussel sprouts, though. Have you tried roasting them in the oven with bacon and parmesan cheese? As for eggplants, I recently made a pumpkin-eggplant pancake…You can always try blending foods you don’t like with other foods you DO like.
    Oh, and I HATE bananas, tofu, rice, and any type of melon except watermelon.

  36. Hmmm, you can mush beans to form “burgers”. Flavor them with your fave spices so you can disguise the taste somehow? πŸ˜€
    I hope you overcome your dislike with those healthy foods so you can enjoy more of the recipes available online.
    I guess I’m lucky that I can’t think of any healthy food that I dislike. I LOVE beans, tofu, avocadoes, nuts, all fruits, eggplant, okra… I could go on. But there are a lot of these that I originally disliked: okra, tomatoes, avocado.

  37. I absolutely love beans and eggplant, and enjoy Brussel sprouts often. I admit eggplant and the sprouts are acquired tastes, but beans are so good for you (loaded with vegetable protein and high in fiber) and so deliciously veratile. Enjoy them in salads, all Mexican foods, use them in pasta dishes instead of meat, lots of ways to enjoy them. I have some Veg Out with Mike recipes on my vid site loaded with beans if you wanna take a look.


  38. My husband doesn’t like eggplant or zucchini as a rule, but last night he adored the zucchini ribbons (noodles) I made. I doubt he even knew it was zucchini! If it’s disguised he’ll eat it.

  39. T- okay. I shall!

    Spring Girl- brains dressed up as meat patties?! Man, and I thought I used to have it bad when my parents would lie about onions being in every dish we ate…

    Crabby- precisely. I don’t like olives either. But I kinda feel I OUGHT to. They seem so classy.

    Burpexcuzme- AHA pancakes! Of course! That’s an excellent idea. Never would have thought of putting eggplant in a pancakes… and I guess that most foods DO taste better paired with sausage/bacon/cheese.

    Mia- oh you ARE lucky!

    Mike- thanks! I will indeed.

    Hanlie- I’ve been thinking about making noodles out of zucchini… it could be fun to try something like that.

  40. I’m so glad you’re loving running right now. And funny about the foods you don’t like… some of them are my favorites!

  41. Sadly i only like zucchini when fried. Still trying to figure out eggplant, and i can do Brussels sprouts if i put butter something on them.

    Running. Love the way i feel when I’m done. Biking. Love it as long as i have glasses to block the bugs =)

  42. oh YEAH, I gotta bring you that zucchini. and we gotta see that movie.

  43. If you’re trying to find ways to like Brussels sprouts, here’s a suggestion. Two suggestions, actually.

    First, cook them only until they’re just barely al dente. One reason people hate them is that they’re only had them boiled to a mushy pulp.

    I usually buy big ones because I’m too lazy to prep the little ones that are said to taste better. I cut them in half or quarters, leaving some of the base on each piece to hold the leaflets together. Stir-fry for maybe 1-2 minutes on high heat. I like to use sesame oil, which brings out the sprouts’ nutty flavor.

    Second, splash them with teriyaki or balsamic vinegar just before you take them off the heat.

    I made them for my dad one Thanksgiving. He loathes Brussels sprouts and broccoli but manfully tried them . . . and liked ’em.

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