My Pantry

Hello fellow picky eaters. Today I wanted to welcome you inside my pantry, where I keep some of the staples that I try not to ever be without. First off, you’re not likely to ever find me without an extra bottle or two of my favorite condiment, trusty Heinz Ketchup, pictured below.


To me, ketchup is the condiment that never fails. I’ve never been fond of mustard, so this is my go-to…you’d be hard pressed to find anything that doesn’t taste better with ketchup on it. Hot dog, hamburger or turkey burger, pork chop, meatloaf, french fries, hash browns, home fries, latkes, or just about any other potato-related item that you can think up…all of them are given just the right kick with a dab of ketchup.





Next up is chicken stock. What’s good about chicken stock is that you can use it as the base or one of the ingredients for a number of different sauces, or you can use it as the base for good old-fashioned chicken soup. If you have a flavorful stock, that plus canned chicken plus any shape of pasta and you’ve got chicken noodle soup, without the celery and carrots that I always want to avoid that you seem to get in just about any canned variety. A picture is below.

Chicken Basics is a good one. It’s available on Amazon Pantry too, and the sodium content, which I always watch out for, isn’t nearly as bad as some equivalent brands.



Finally, there’s chocolate syrup, and when you think chocolate syrup, you usually think of Hershey’s, the longtime national standby. I like to get the Lite version, which has far fewer calories. I like to have this around to put on ice cream, if I have some, but more often to make chocolate milk, which I’ve loved since my childhood. If you get skim milk, like I do, and you add some Lite Hershey’s syrup, you have fat-free chocolate milk, which is loaded with calcium. That’s the sort of thing that helps me keep a lean and healthy physique.



That’s it for now folks. I’ll be back next time with another edition of what can be found in my pantry.


Danger Always Lurks

As a picky eater, I’ve gradually tried, in my adult life, to integrate new foods into the repertoire of things I like. That makes it easier for me when I go to new restaurants, and it makes it less embarrassing when I’m a guest in someone’s home, say, and I have to tell them that I’m turning down what it is they’re offering me because I don’t care for it, or even am completely grossed out by it. Still, there are certain situations that arise where my dislike of individual foods or ingredients rears its head, and the best I can do is hope to ride it out.

A good example was a few weeks ago, when me and my wife went to a restaurant in the neighborhood, a self-styled English pub that we’d been to a few times in the past. The special this time around was a “porky burger,” which essentially was a hamburger with mozzarella cheese, bacon, pulled pork, and coleslaw piled on it. Definitely pretty decadent, and about a zillion calories, but I figured, it was an occasional treat, and hey, what is life about but treating yourself once in a while?

The only thing on the burger that didn’t appeal to me, as you may have guessed, was the coleslaw. No problem; I just told our server, who seemed new to the job and a bit flustered, to leave it off. So the food came, and the burger looked good, but rather than check it to see if any of the offending coleslaw was on it, I just took a big bite. Big mistake. The coleslaw, which turned out to be chock-full of onions, had been left on, and I had chewed it up and swallowed it before I was really aware of it. It was only as I was really experiencing the taste and aftertaste of it that I realized what had happened, and, needless to say, I was pretty grossed out by it.

What we are talking about, really, gets at the heart of being a picky eater. Did anything physically harmful happen to me here? Was some sort of physical torture inflicted on me? No, of course not. But the experience, which would have seemed so minor to most people, really turned my stomach. I felt like I wanted to puke, I was queasy, and it really took a good deal of effort to maintain my appetite. What I ended up doing was scraping the coleslaw off as best I could, but it seemed like all the other ingredients had been permeated by the taste of it. I was unable to finish the burger, and it kind of put a damper on my evening.

This is what it’s like to be a picky eater. You have to be constantly vigilant, and while there are plenty of people that can’t understand an experience like this, for someone like me, it’s a real problem. Life is full of these little episodes. The best you can do is laugh them off…and next time, try to remember to check your burger, or sandwich, or whatever else, before biting into it!

My Manifesto: What I’m All About

Hi everybody. My name is Steve, I’m an adult male in my thirties, and I live in New York

Steven Finkelstein, the "Vegetables Suck" guyI am, and always have been, an extremely picky eater.

When I was a kid, I pretty much only ate hamburgers, hot dogs, pizza, and french fries. Vegetables were anathema to me, and there were a number of other things that I disliked also. Because I didn’t exercise much and I didn’t eat a balanced diet, I was overweight, and pretty unhappy about it.

But now that I’m all grown up (in body, if not so much in mind), I have increased the number of things that I eat, branching out into a number of different ethnic cuisines, including Thai, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, and even Ethiopian.

The reason I started this website is because I wanted to help others who are picky eaters like myself. After years of modifying my diet and exercise routine, I’m at the ideal weight for someone of my height. Incorporating exercise into what is still a relatively restricted diet, I’ve been able to avoid the foods that I dislike, like virtually all vegetables, eggs, seafood, and a number of other things, but I’m still in good shape, active, and healthy. I’d like all my visitors to this site to be able to say the same, and I’d like this to be a forum where we can talk about the best ways to cook, and eat, so that we can enjoy the things we like, distance ourselves from the things that we don’t, and still lead healthy, active lives.

What I’ve got planned in the weeks to come is to share my diet and exercise tips, as well as recipes that I’ve tailored to my exact specifications, so that I can enjoy them without suddenly getting a mouthful of something that grosses me out. I’ll also be reviewing restaurants that I go to, and recommending the ones that I’ve enjoyed.

We all have different tastes, and if you’re a person who can order anything at a restaurant and be assured that you’ll enjoy it, then more power to you. But for those of us who can’t stomach broccoli, this website may be for you. I’m all about keeping the tone here light and easy…I don’t take myself too seriously at all, and you shouldn’t either. Life is too short for that, and life is too short to eat string beans.

Now forward, to great taste, and good health!