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Inspiring Stories From Our Members

One of our favorite and most fulfilling aspects of Eat REAL America is the inspiration we receive from our members!


Over the past few weeks, we have heard many inspiring and motivating stories and want to share a few of these with you.  These are just a few great examples of what can happen when we push ourselves outside our comfort zones and challenge our perceptions about foods we THINK we don't like.


"I Decided to Take the Plunge"

A couple of weeks ago, a Wichita company hosted a lunchtime farmers' market for its employees and neighboring businesses.  I always do a cooking demo at these markets to give people ideas what to do with in-season ingredients.

At this particular market, I prepared the Curried Okra and Tomatoes with freshly picked okra and tomatoes.  We had several people who were extremely skeptical saying things like "I have never eaten okra," or "It's not fried?!"  After trying it, everyone commented how much they liked it.  Some even bought the ingredients to prepare this flavor-popping dish at home.

We were so inspired by a message we received from one of the company's employees this past week.  Here is part of what she said:

"I actively dislike okra, but I tried this dish at the farmers market demo and I didn't hate it.  I wasn't grossed out by the flavor or texture of okra - something that had never really happened before.  When I was at the farmers market the following Saturday, I decided to take the plunge.  I bought okra and tomatoes, and I made a simplified version of this recipe.  I served it with chicken and rice, and my husband, who also hates okra, was crazy skeptical.  After trying it, he said that he would eat it again.  So, success!  I now know neither of us really hates okra, and I will probably try out another recipe with it in the future."


Can't we all relate to this?

Many of us THINK we don't like certain foods and, because of this perception, miss out on so many truly delicious and nutritious meals.

This story is so encouraging because this Eat REAL America member went out of her comfort zone (and forced her husband out of his) and a whole new world of all the great things you can do with fresh okra has now opened up!  Plus, hopefully this will cause them to be more open-minded on other foods they THINK they don't like...and "take the plunge" to discover where the magic happens.


Another Eat REAL America member reminded us how important it is to keep trying...

"I thought the Baked Salmon Patties were very good. My mom used to make her version and I never liked them. That was probably 40 years or more ago, I thought I’d be brave and try again! I have already bought salmon to have on hand to make them again sometime soon."


"Converting the Skeptics"

Zonya and I were together this past week in Ohio doing recipe demonstrations and tastings at another employer hosted farmers' market.

We featured squash in a variety of ways, including Fire Roasted Sloppy Joes, with butternut squash providing the sweetness, served on top of spaghetti squash.  And we transformed zucchini into the delicious Zoodles Gone Mediterranean.

As you can imagine, we saw many skeptical faces, but we eventually lost count of how many people arrived skeptical of even trying the samples, and then left saying...

"this is actually really, really good!"


"Can't We Just Buy a Squash?"

Here is one more recent inspiring story.  At a local corporate cooking presentation, one of the prepared dishes was Zucchini Pizza Boats.  The participants really enjoyed these and several people remarked, "I would have never thought to do that with zucchini."  A few days later, I was at the farmers market preparing for another cooking demo.  One of the participants from the demo a few days earlier came up to me and said...


"Growing up, I never like zucchini.  My husband would always ask, 'can't we just buy a squash?' when we went to the store or farmers market, but I just couldn't do it.  After trying the Zucchini Pizza Boats, I realized that I actually do like zucchini.  I am at the market this morning buying zucchini for the first time and can't wait to make these for my family."

Needless to say, her timing was perfect and that was an incredible inspiration for the farmers' market demo I was getting ready to do.  We are thrilled for the wonderful world of zucchini that has hopefully opened up for this family!



It Used to Be Us!

You may have heard us tell stories about how our family used to have certain foods we didn't like.  For me, it was mushrooms and Brussels sprouts (I really thought I hated them!).  For my husband, a couple of biggies were tomatoes and eggs.  Experiences when we were growing up caused us to THINK we disliked these foods.

Once we pushed ourselves outside our comfort zones and tried new and different ways to prepare these foods, we came to LOVE them.  Yes, I said LOVE them!

So much so that we bought over 15 pounds of freshly harvested tomatoes at the farmers market this past Saturday and have been enjoying them in many different ways...including Salsa Fresca, Slow Cooker Marinara Sauce, and roasted tomatoes with mushrooms and a poached egg for breakfast Sunday morning...go figure!



We hope you also find inspiration from the stories these Eat REAL America members have so graciously shared.


We have a challenge for you this week!


  • Identify a food you THINK you don't like.
  • Type it into the search bar on Eat REAL America and select a meal using that ingredient.
  • Prepare it and let us know the outcome.  Only if you like it of course...just kidding, we want to hear ALL of the stories -- the good, the bad and the ugly!

And, if you need help overcoming your perceptions or fears about certain foods, please let us know!



Leave A Comment

4 Responses to Inspiring Stories From Our Members

  1. I tried it. I looked for a recipe of liver which I hate! Luckily you don’t have a recipe for it so I don’t have to try it!! lol

    Chef Paul

  2. Already think that I eat more real than I ever have in my life but open to trying other things. May try this zucchini pizza boat with my own personal twist on some other ingredients. Barb

    • Thank you – love that you are enjoying more REAL in your life! Please let us know what you think of the Pizza Boats – we have Eat REAL America members tell us they didn’t even think they liked zucchini until they tried them! Thanks so much for the feedback!

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