In an uplifting study performed by one of my favorite eating behavior scientists, Dr. Brian Wansink, vegetables proved to “make the meal”. We already know that including vegetables at mealtime is a healthy thing to do, but it appears vegetable’s virtues really do extend far beyond enhancing nutritional value with fringe benefits both for the cook and those eating the meal.
For the study, Wansink and his team surveyed the children of 500 American households and asked a series of questions about meals prepared with and without vegetables along with questions related to the cooks preparing those meals. When rating meals that included a vegetable, participants gave superior scores on a host of positive attributes including “tasty” and “loving”.
The addition of a vegetable to a meal enhanced expectations and perceptions that the meal, including the entrée, would be more enjoyable. Additionally, study participant’s opinions of the cook (mostly moms) also significantly improved when vegetables were included. Meal preparers that included vegetables were much more likely to be described as “thoughtful” and “attentive” vs. “neglectful” and “selfish”.
Bottom line – adding vegetables to your family’s meals enhances mealtime pleasure, dramatically improves nutritional quality, and can even turn you into a kitchen hero.
Roasting concentrates broccoli’s natural sweetness, while making it melt-in-your-mouth tender. I could always get my kids to devour broccoli with this recipe!
Preheat oven to 300°F. Rinse the broccoli and cut it up into large chunks. Spread evenly over a baking sheet. Spray broccoli with an even coating of pan spray. Sprinkle with lemon juice and salt & pepper as desired. Bake/roast in the oven at 300° until lightly browned (about 20 – 25 minutes).