Are Southern moms ruining their veggies’ nutrition?

One of my mom friends posted her menu from the other night and while it sounded utterly fantastic, she had fried or battered every vegetable on the plate.

She made sweet potato biscuits, zucchini crisps and fried green tomatoes.

I’m impressed with three vegetables in one meal, but are Southern moms negating the nutritional value of their veggies with these traditional preparations?

(Michael is throwing in his two cents that anything made from sweet potatoes is still giving you nutritional value.)

Loads of friends are posting photos of all their gardening achievement, but I am wondering how they are serving them?

Sort of related, I took the two oldest kids in for their well visit on Monday. It was interesting that the doctor could tell from their pee we had reduced carbs this summer. I have been grilling lean meats out a lot and then serving grilled corn on the cob, green salad, tomato salads or fruit salads all summer. They could tell from a chemical in their urine that I hadn’t been serving very many carbs. (They said that was OK, they just wanted to make sure there was a reason.)

What are your favorite ways to cook veggies for your kids? Do you treat your garden veggies differently than the ones you buy at the store? Tell us your favorite traditional Southern recipes and if you have any secrets to make them healthier?

Do you think Southern moms ruin the nutrition of their veggies with their traditional preparations?

83 comments Add your comment

JJ

August 4th, 2010
2:20 pm

My neighbor makes a MEAN fried pork chop, crispy on the outside, tender and juicy on the inside. Everytime she makes them I go over and get one or two!!!

Becky

August 4th, 2010
2:26 pm

Theresa, have I been kicked to the curb? My last post is lost in wonder land?

lakerat

August 4th, 2010
2:40 pm

Hooray for all you southern cooks who live by the southern creed of cooking like yo mama taugt ya. We, too, cook southern as our moms taught us – I used to think my mom was a great southern cook (fried chicken or pot roast every Sunday for afte church lunch), that was until I got married and met my spouse’s mother’s cooking. As they say, she cooks so good she makes me want to slap my mama! All the stuff you all mentioned, so I won’t (so as not to be redundant), and we do salads and fruits at every meal, too.

But tonight is Mexican night (otherwise known at our house as Margarita Wednesday), so nothing southern there, unless it is southern Mexico!

JJ

August 4th, 2010
2:48 pm

Lakerat – what time do the margarita’s start flowing……??? My red-wine Wednesday doesn’t sound so appealing now….LOL

lakerat

August 4th, 2010
2:52 pm

6pm, or whtever time we get to the restaurant (so whoever gets there first does not feel bad about starting without us)

FCM

August 4th, 2010
3:14 pm

Well my girls love a fried pork chop.

Tonight they are getting fried chicken with white gravy….although since it is not a holiday that gravy will get made with 1% milk (all I have) instead of half and half. With smashed potatoes (need something for that gravy besides chicken) and some green veggie…maybe aspargus (steamed) with lemon and pepper. Might just go whole lot of crazy and make them biscuits too.

Now before you scream, their doctor said to fatten them up, they are too thin–they do not look like scarecrows. He told me to feed them ice cream every night!! He asked them what they eat and they told him…salad, pizza, tacos, beans and rice, potatoes, etc. However, after today’s blog a down home SOUTHERN meal that would make my grandma proud just sounds like the way to get a pound on them. Too bad Mom (me) cannot partake. I will behave and eat the asparagus and broiled chicken. (Mom would love to give those two a couple of pounds from her!!!)

For me the hard one to learn was how to get hashbrowns or breakfast potatoes done right. My mother does them best. However I learned a couple of tricks.

JD

August 4th, 2010
3:45 pm

JJ – Here’s a frying tip….soak your pork chops in carnation cream, milk and egg for about 30 mins and batter in flour & progressive italian bread crumbs. Make sure to get your grease hot enough – but not too hot and fry for about 4-5 mins on each side until golden brown. They’ll come out crispy & tender and your neighbors will be visiting you in the future :)

catlady

August 4th, 2010
9:44 pm

One way to help kids learn to eat veggies is to let them grow them!

Jesse's Girl

August 5th, 2010
12:08 am

Now see….I soak my chops in butta milk….for about an hour. Sit them on the counter….not the fridge. Then fry them in extra virgin olive oil…..OMG!!!!!!

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

August 5th, 2010
1:05 am

I’m so glad JG is back with us! we’ve missed her wit and insight!

JJ

August 5th, 2010
8:08 am

My neighbors just seasons them with salt & pepper and into the oil they go…. No coating, no breading…..

motherjanegoose

August 5th, 2010
8:32 am

Never had a fried pork chop…I like mine grilled! Kudos to all parents who introduce their kids to new foods. I meet way too many who only like chicken nuggets and mac and cheese.

Good talking to you yesterday, catlady. I look forward to lunch!

motherjanegoose

August 5th, 2010
8:59 am

JJ…thanks for the tip on renting textbooks.

This is a silly question perhaps but can you somehow write your name in the book, even if it is not yours? I have had 2 incidences where another student took my kid’s books in HS and then when they turned them in, they were coded in the system and we did not have to pay, as the books showed up as being checked out to my children. How do you make sure someone else does not accidently get your book or do you just have to keep an eagle eye on it.

As you know, some books cost $150 plus and renting them can be $30.

Cammi317

August 5th, 2010
9:36 am

I had never heard of frying a vegetable or adding meat and/or meat grease to a vegetable until I moved to Georgia at age 14. Now at the ripe “old age” of 38, I have come to appreciate a fried pickle or two (especially from Ms. Katie’s Sideboard in Stone Mountain Park). However, I have NEVER conformed to the meat and/or meat grease in a vegetable. The only thing I ever fry is fish occasionally, everything else is made in the oven, crock pot or on the grill. You would think that my daughter and I would be a lot thinner than we are…. Must be that sugar thing…LOL!

Becky

August 5th, 2010
9:36 am

Ok Theresa, I guess I’ve been officially kicked out of Momania..My last 2 or 3 post have not shown up..I promise that I didn’t say antyhing bad in them..

FCM

August 5th, 2010
10:18 am

MJG my kids won’t touch mac & cheese. Not kraft, not real. They will however eat spinach (sp?) and broccoli. My eldest proudly announced she likes turnip greens (had them at grandma’s over the weekend). Good for her—I on the other hand do not even like the SMELL of greens cooking.

mmmmmmmm fried pickles. Miss Katies, Zaxby, or Wild Wing. Although when we do Wild Wing (once a month) we just go fry fest: wings, potato skins (they have the best and I think eldest got it right, it is b/c the bacon is UNDER the cheese) and now pickles. Mom gets a beer. We do this around 4 or so on a Saturday. I have tried to fry pickles at home. Not nearly the same.

BTW both kids ate leftover fried chicken before heading to the bus stop this morning.

Becky

August 5th, 2010
10:28 am

@FCM..My two don’t really care for mac & cheese either..They’ll eat it maybe once a month..The boy actually tried a turnip a couple of months ago and loved it..He ate just the turnip raw..

Don’t know that I like fried pickles as I haven’t tried them yet..Just never sounded like something I thought I would like..Maybe we will try them this weekend..

Bless you, FCM...

August 5th, 2010
10:32 am

…for feeding your kids chicken for breakfast – kind of like birthday cake being appropriate for breakfast – it has milk, eggs & bread…

JJ

August 5th, 2010
10:34 am

I do not like Zaxby’s fried pickles. My neighbor and I made them in our “test kitchen” and I believe we have the prefect recipe. We slice the pickles, slightly flour them, dip them in buttermilk/egg wash, then dredge them in flour mixed with a little cornmeal, salt & pepper, then deep fry them. We tried three different coatings before settling on the flour/cornmeal mixture. The flour-only ones were bland, the cornmeal-only ones were too hard/crunchy. So we combined the two, and VIOLA…

We did the same for fried green tomatos. OMG they were delicious. I’m not a fan of the tomato, but these were off the chart…..

we have so much fun in our test kitchen.

JATL

August 5th, 2010
10:37 am

Mmmmm -fried dill pickles (the chips not the spears) are one of my favorite foods! I wish they weren’t so awful for you. I’m partial to the ones at Fox Bros. BBQ, and I just about go into orbit over the fried dill pickle and fried jalapeno combo at Tin Lizzie’s. OMG -lip smacking decadence!

FCM

August 5th, 2010
10:45 am

Thank ya, “Bless You”!

I hate breakfast food. Ok I do like pancakes, muffins, cinnamon rolls….anybody see the issue? Fried chicken has to be better than those at least it is protein!

Besides CFA does a chicken biscuit. Now that I think about it most breakfast meats are at least pan fried: bacon, sausage, ham.

I see nothing wrong with cake for breakfast if you would give them a donut and call it same. Now it is true I insist they eat an egg (don’t like them much myself) and ham or something when they get that donut or cake at breakfast.

Then I advocate ice cream for dinner from time to time. Life is just to short to decide something crazy like Pizza cannot be breakfast food (then again pork fried rice was breakfast during college!). If the rest of the time you keep it inline with good healthy food then the occassional twist won’t kill you (or cause weight issues).

JJ I will have to try that one. Our new favorite for fried pork chops is flour, breadcrubs, and french’s fried onions mixed in the chopper until fine. I even used that on some mustard baked chicken the other night. Kids loved it.

Tonight I am grilling.

Becky

August 5th, 2010
11:34 am

@FCM..Have you ever had cold spaghetti for breakfast? Yummy…I think that I’m gonna have to come “visit” your house for dinner, you sound like my kind of cook..

@MJG..Girl, you don’t know what you’re missing if you’ve never had a fried pork chop..To me a real southern meal isn’t a mean unless you have fried pork cops, fried taters, pinto beans and either biscuits or cornbread..Add a glass of sweet tea and homemade banana pudding and you are in hog heaven..

JATL

August 5th, 2010
11:45 am

Yes indeed on the fried pork chops! And FCM -I, too, hate most breakfast food, but fried chicken, pizza and leftover Chinese are great in the AM! I think we already had the ice cream for dinner discussion, but it’s been a real winner around here this summer! We don’t do it all the time, but once every few weeks is nice (and our local shop has a salted caramel ice cream that is almost as good as those fried dill pickles!).

motherjanegoose

August 5th, 2010
11:52 am

@ Becky, since I did not grow up in the south, there are certain things I am not drawn to. I have learned to eat lots of different things, through my travels. I do not like pinto beans and am not a huge fan of cornbread. I could never pass up a canolli or bruschetta ( sp?). I also love creamed herring and braunschweiger ( sp?).

My dear neighbor ( who is a wonderful cook) wanted to ask me a cooking question, I told her,
” fine but you are much more of a cook from scratch person than me.” She wanted to know if she could multiply a banana pudding recipe 4 times and if it would come out o.k. She was planning to use a disposable turkey roasting pan and wanted to bring it to a church function.

I told her that I had no idea as I have never made banana pudding. She could not believe it,
I really do not even care for it and rarely eat it, usually only to be nice.

I do like cheese straws! Those are southern right?

@ FCM, when my son was 2, he wanted an egg roll for breakfast…no biggy here. We just heated them up in the microwave. I also cut up beef hot dogs and cheese squares to put in a little tupperware container to take to eat on his car ride to preschool. My Mom had a fit, you would hve thought I was feeding him cat food!

lakerat

August 5th, 2010
12:05 pm

Hot dogs and cheese bites ARE cat food at our house when we are out of the regular cat food – LOL

JJ

August 5th, 2010
12:27 pm

I’m going to make fried pork chops tonight!! It’s my neighbor’s birthday so I am going to make him dinner.

JJ

August 5th, 2010
12:28 pm

And I think I’m going to make stuffed jalepeno peppers tonight too……

Jantavious

August 5th, 2010
12:56 pm

Why is it that you infer that it is only “Southern” moms that are ruining their kid’s meals?

Last time I was up north their idea of a vegetable was macaroni & cheese.

Becky

August 5th, 2010
1:35 pm

@MJG..I see that..I don’t know that I could eat the creamed herring and braunschweiger that you like..:)I do eat liver and onions though..I also like bruschetta and canolis..

I think the one thing that really grates on my nerves is when one person likes a certain food and if you don’t like it, they act offended..I have an older sister and shes that way..I don’t like mushrooms and that just floors her, because she likes them..

@JJ..Sounds good, hope he enjoys it..

JJ

August 5th, 2010
1:46 pm

I used to eat Braunschweiger sandwiches when I was little, until I found out it was liverwurst…..

motherjanegoose

August 7th, 2010
3:18 pm

JJ…lol, I am in Iowa and they had BRAUNSCHWEIGER on the salad bar at the steakhouse we went to last night. YUM! They, of course, served corn here for lunch too!

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David S

August 9th, 2010
12:13 pm

Vitamins and enzymes break down structurally at over 105F. Cooked vegetables lack the nutritional content and functional utility that they began with. All fruits and vegetables should be consumed raw. Everything your body needs to process food is contained within the food itself. When these enzymes, etc. are destroyed, the body must take from itself to process the food. That is the source of virtually all of the medical and health problems humans face. Look into raw food preparation. There are literally thousands of books and dozens and dozens of web sites.