If Vegetables Were Sexy

Reader Contribution by Laura Berlage and North Star Homestead Farms
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Come on baby bok choy, time to claim the stage!   

If vegetables were sexy, we’d find them everywhere.  On magazine covers while waiting in line at the checkout, on billboards along the highway, on TV commercials at primetime. There’d be fierce sports teams like “The Raging Rutabagas” or “Leek Lightnings” making news headlines.  You can imagine what the fans would wear on jerseys and heads while they chanted “Bring on the String-beans, bring on the String-beans!”

On the clinic waiting room TV, there’d be the elegant lady dangling her succulently orange and alluring carrots from her graceful fingers, taking a crunchy bite for emphasis.  “You thought it was about the little black dress?  Well, wait until you bring on the relish tray.  Nothing adds that subtle suggestion like the crispy dip-and-snap of that veggie platter you made, just in case…”

If vegetables were sexy, there’d be that buff guy, (shirtless?) pumping butternut squash as part of his body building routine.  “You thought your workout was complete with those irons?  You haven’t tried Veggie Power!  [add some robust, low music] Veggie Power is the only structured routine that will get you that manly look you’ve always wanted.  Call now to…”

Walking out of the grocery store with those nearly transparent plastic bags, bulging with cucumbers and eggplant would be like the new catwalk.  The jaunty attitude, the slight swing added to the bags with each step, begging, “See, look at me, I’m all in on this vegetable thing.  It goes so well with my new wardrobe.”

The new types of vegetables in the seed catalogue each spring would have their own Facebook, Pinterest, Snapchat, and Blogger pages.  People would be liking, commenting, or following with piqued interest.  “Oh, that new pink radish that came out for 2018, it’s just chasing out all the competition like they’re so yesterday.  Pink is the new black for radishes this year.  Don’t let your garden be left behind!”

Bestseller titles would go something like:  The Secret Life of My Garden, or Peppers of Paradise.  Instead of kicking tires, you’d find the fellows checking out their friend’s latest tomato trellis.  “Yeah man, that’s a winner.  Where’d you get it?  Can I make one in shop class?”

How about salad parlors?  We used to have ice cream parlors, so why not?  And smoothie shops alongside the favorite coffee haunts.  Nab a “green goddess bullet” on the way to work and waltz in with that “I’m ready for anything” smirk.   Everyone else in the office would be soooo jealous.

If vegetables were sexy, we’d give each other bouquets of fresh lettuce.  That way the gift would be pretty and edible too!  Or flowering kale, which would add whites and pinks as a creative and crunchy touch.  Instead of a plant food packet attached, it could be a pouch of balsamic dressing.  What a nice touch for your partner to think of that.

Instead of boasting about how big yesterday’s burger or steak was, you could show off that awesome grilled cauliflower or the veggie kabobs you made on the deck last Sunday.  Yeah, man, I mean, brag on about that sauce that’s the family secret.  Never get out the mushrooms unless you’ve got a good sauce ready.

If vegetables were sexy, then herbs would be the highlight point.  They’d have their own secret language of desire.  Rosemary for a first date, mint for a kiss.  A sprig of thyme could show enduring devotion, while basil begs to be the life of the party.  Pots of fresh herbs growing in the kitchen would show acumen for these subtle messages and taste for romance.

But the best part of all would have to be garlic.  No longer relegated to the “bad breath” department, garlic would be top of the charts for health effects, right next to kale and broccoli.  Well, that and blueberries, but we’re trying to talk about vegetables here.  Fruit is always trying to steal the limelight.

Now, imagine that this wasn’t just a chuckling make-believe moment.  Imagine if vegetables really were considered pretty sexy.  I mean, they’d be selling out left and right.  Folks would pride themselves as being “beet and tomatoes” kind of people, instead of always meat and potatoes.  Of course, it wouldn’t mean throwing out the meat, but our culture’s protein obsession would get a much-needed breather.

Getting hungry for some (sexy) veggies?  Here’s an easy dressing you can make in-house for starters to augment nearly any raw vegetable:

Balsamic Vinaigrette


3 tbs. balsamic vinegar
1 tbs. Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, minced
½ cup olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Mix well.  Keep in a container that can be shaken vigorously before serving.  You can also play with variations, including adding citrus or honey (or both).

So maybe next time when you’re trying to decide between the nachos and the kohlrabi for a crunchy snack, maybe (just maybe) that veggie will have a little different attitude behind it.  You know, a little smart and sassy kind of thing going.  And maybe (just maybe) things that are actually good for us will start to get trendy!  See you down on the farm sometime.

Photo by Laura Berlage

Laura Berlage is a co-owner of North Star Homestead Farms, LLC and Farmstead Creamery & Café. 715-462-3453 www.northstarhomestead.com

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