March Madness: The Veggie Bracket (part 1)

Last week, we did a post asking, “How do you get your kids to enjoy vegetables?” and we got a great idea from one of our readers (thanks Justin). He suggested doing a veggie bracket with your kids to find out which is their favorite. Ok, I’m not a kid, but I stink at eating vegetables, and the idea sounded too fun to pass up! Plus, there are few things that get me as hyped as March Madness. With that in mind, I gave it a shot!

First, I nailed down my vegetable “sweet 16.” I found a local farmer’s market and looked for vegetables that were easy to buy and prepare. I spent a total of $7, and bought small samples of all 16 vegetables. Then, to replicate the NCAA hoops bracket, I classified them into “regions.” My bracket was ready, and here’s how it shaped up:

Veggie Bracket

Let’s start in the “Color Me Bad” region.

These were the vegetables that had all kinds of pretty colors, so I lumped them in their own region. Here’s how the match-ups went.

Veggie Bracket_Color me bad region

Eggplant vs. Carrots: Before this, I’d never tried eggplant before. I cut it into a few chunks, and lightly steamed it. The texture was great, but didn’t have much in terms of flavor (very similar to squash). I’m sure if I ate it with other foods, it might be a good compliment. But in this bracket,  every veggie must stand alone! Carrots are just so darn convenient, delicious, and you can pretend you’re Bugs Bunny when you eat them. Carrots got the nod.

Beets vs. Peppers: Not going to lie, this was the easiest decision of the entire bracket. My beet tasted like hot garbage and the bell peppers were delicious. Advantage Peppers.

Carrots vs. Peppers: Ok, now we have a heavyweight battle. Both are really refreshing, easy to prepare, and are loaded with healthy nutrients. The flavors were a wash, but since you can eat carrots at any time without preparation, I have to give carrots the nod. Carrots won the Color Me Bad Region.

Next, the “Get Your Leaf On” region. 

Pretty self explanatory here, these are veggies that have leaves. I wasn’t overly creative in lumping these bad boys.

Veggie Bracket_get your leaf on

Spinach vs. Romaine Lettuce: The “Popeye effect” played into an early advantage for spinach. I still fully expected my biceps to explode when I ate it. But Romaine Lettuce is crisp, refreshing, and goes with anything. I did enjoy the spinach, but Romaine is a heavyweight in this bracket. Romaine Lettuce reigns supreme.

Kale vs. Radishes: If you’re a radish fan, don’t take any offense to this, but radishes taste like spicy wood. Plus, the health benefits of kale are through the roof. Kale won this fight.

Kale vs. Romaine Lettuce: Kale is great when it comes to health, but it’s also a tad bitter. Romaine lettuce tastes the way I want a veggie to taste. It’s cool, it’s fresh, and it leaves me feeling great. Romaine takes the region!

Since I love filling out brackets, I’m going to extend this to a two parter. I’ll post the results from my other two regions next week. In the meantime, feel free to click on the big bracket above, and download your own veggie bracket! If you come up with a winner, we’d love it if you’d share it in our comments. Have fun, and happy March Madness!

Related Post: Veggie Bracket: Part 2

Leave a comment


  1. Donna

     /  March 27, 2013

    This is an awesome idea! Wish I had something around when my kids were little. Maybe they would be better vegie eaters. When the grand kids finally arrive I will pass this along.

  2. I think the “veggie bracket” is a great idea! I’d love to share this on the Graduate Student Life and Wellness blog, please message us if you’d be interested in working with us!

    • Hi MSU Grad Life & Wellness, We’d love for you to share the Veggie Bracket. I’ll shoot you an e-mail so we can connect. You’re welcome to share the post or just the bracket. It’s super fun, I hope you encourage some people to give it a shot.

  3. I love this! What a great idea! I can’t wait to see who wins the “tourney.”

    • Thanks JoJo, if you give “veggie bracketing” a try, you’ll have to let us know which veggie wins for you.

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