My husband vehemently claims he is most certainly NOT a picky eater.
And while he does put up with a lot of food experimentation on my part, when I start listing the foods he won’t eat, at times I beg to differ. We can vote at the end of the post, m’kay?
He won’t eat cucumbers, much to my children’s horror, since they all love them so much. I think they ask him at least once a week, “Daddy, would you like a cucumber? No? What? Why not?”
The rest of the “I don’t eat it” list includes any mushy orange vegetable, including sweet potatoes, squash, and anything made with such items that resembles pumpkin pie in consistency (he’ll even pick out the little cubes of sweet potato in this Southwestern Pot Pie with beans and cornbread and tons of other ingredients in there), cream cheese/yogurt cheese creations, all fish, most pork not in sausage or bacon form, any fruit with meat, greens that are too obvious or prolific, Brussels sprouts, quinoa, curry, ginger, and probably a few other items I’m forgetting.
The good news is that he’s coming around on a number of things. He didn’t used to like bell peppers, for example (for that matter, neither did I!). In fact, the instructions from his mother that I received as a newlywed about how to make his favorite meal, pepper steak, included this note: “Just slice about a half a pepper and put it in for color, but he won’t eat it.”
Now I put in two whole peppers, and my husband has convinced all his friends that fried peppers are the best things since a hot dog bun to go on top of bratwursts when they’re camping. I’m proud of him for bringing vegetables into a formerly white-bread-and-cured-meat-only weekend! (More work to do on the bratwurst and white buns, of course, but you celebrate the little victories.)
Curry and ginger, thankfully, have also seen improvement. I’m a bit of a feisty cook, and even though I knew he didn’t like it, I would sneak curry into our stir fry sometimes. A few years ago he might complain, and then he started to happily eat it without a word.
Eyebrows hit the ceiling when I used “curry” in the title. So I felt confident that I could push the envelope on ginger, too, while preparing for the Ginger Challenge Series this month.
If you have someone in your life who doesn’t like certain foods, take courage! Have hope! It turns out that fresh ginger is a different experience that dried ginger, and also that tastebuds change over time, both because people get older and because you can train your palate to accept new flavors bit by bit.
Keep trying things you or your sort-of-picky loved ones don’t like, and try to incorporate little bits into larger dishes to get your tastebuds used to them. Another real food success story in our family is yogurt – I hated yogurt my entire life, and now I make a gallon+ of homemade yogurt each week and crave it, enjoying it plain without sweetener most days. I never expected that of myself!
Fresh Ginger Recipes
I hope you have some fresh ginger in your house, either as a result of this challenge or because you’re smart enough to keep it around as a staple already. Remember that you can store it in the freezer for easier grating, so you don’t have to worry about it going bad if you buy some for one recipe.
After this post, you’ll also have plenty of recipes that call for fresh ginger, so that won’t be a problem anymore, and you can also utilize some of these ways to use ginger without needing a recipe on a regular basis. You can find all these main dishes and other ways to use ginger on my Ginger Pinterest Board.
If you’re using Plan to Eat, our February sponsor, you can save these recipes in about 60 seconds each, tag them with “ginger” and then sort by that term when you’re pining for something gingery. And now, without any more messing around…the recipes!
Main Dish Ginger Recipes
Side Dishes and Other Recipes
Subbing Fresh Ginger in Dried Ginger Recipes
The recipes below call for dried ginger, but just use fresh ginger in a ratio of 3:1, as in 1 Tbs. fresh ginger for every 1 tsp. dried ginger.
It would be a little riskier to try subbing fresh ginger in cookies or muffins – sometimes it’s just easier to use dried!
Make this list even longer! Share your favorite fresh ginger recipe(s) in the comments section, or pick your favorite here and give it a shoutout!
I haven’t made all these recipes, by the way…but I pinned them for later! I did make sure they were real food approved with a quick skim – if I missed anything, please let me know. Thanks!
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