Shifting from baking cookies, cakes and breads to being creative with vegies, soups and salads may not sound so uninviting or a complete nonsense as it did in the first ISO round. Given the increase in inches in our waistline and associated health issues we have seen in the last few months we are now trying to transfer our cooking energy to more healthier options. But how do we make this notion attractive??
We have all had that meal where vegies are overcooked, tasteless and you wonder what nutrition is at all left behind. Getting the most out of your vegies is super critical to support our immune system. and currently a bigger incentive to have than ever.
THE PLUS SIDE: Getting more vegies and the most out of our vegies is super critical right now. Needless to say, they are a very good source of fibre, vitamins, mineral and antioxidants phytonutrients and phytochemicals. Why should we focus on vegies?? I see the consumption of vegies as an infusion of Vitamins and Mineral into our bodies, from toe to top.
THE DOWN SIDE: Cooking Vegies isn’t as easy as it seems, they can be cooked for too long making them tasteless and leaching out the nutrients or they can end up like a mixed mush of a tasteless mess.
How to Steam
Steaming is the quick way to get those vegies on your plate, but without a little flavour it won’t be the family favourite. HINT: This is when I call in some clever, lean dressing ideas to enhance and I mean a lot of taste to enhance the texture and taste of your steamed veg, example, a little lemon and Dijon mustard or a splash of soy sauce with orange juice might be just the thing? Be sure to check regularly to make sure the vegetables don’t overcook.
By placing vegetables over the steam with the lid on, and not in the water, you retain more water-soluble vitamins.
Stir frying anyone
Stir-fry cook ups over a wok with a small amount of oil over high heat for a minimal amount of time before being served can make vegies a treat. This means a large proportion of the nutrients are retained. HINT: The trick for me is blanching my vegies first and then tossing them in your wok, this means crunchy, tasty and you don’t need too much sauce to give flavour to your veg
The only disadvantage of stir-frying is that it may not cook some vegetables such as sweet potato enough for your liking. HINT: Things that take longer to cook, slice them finer and blanch for longer….. Perfect!!
Microwaving can work for you
The plus is that you can make a feature veg out of ant veg in a microwave with no water added… This is effective for lunch when your calls are waiting, HINT: I add miso to my broccoli or balsamic glaze to my zucchini… Super easy ideas…Perfect!!
To make sure they cook, and retain nutrient evenly, cut vegies into same-sized pieces and cook in a microwave-safe dish with the lid on for 2 – 4 minutes or until cooked.
It may sound like a good idea, but slow cooking can enhance the loss of vitamins. The plus is that you can include lots of vegetables, herbs or spices, with the other ingredients in a stew.
The more range you add the better as it will add more nutrient coverage, even if some water-soluble nutrients have broken down. Eating the sauce will get you more of the nutrients that have leached into the casserole and another benefit is that slow-cooking increases the availability of carotenes. These pigments give plants their colour and are used in photosynthesis. They are found in asparagus, broccoli, carrots, corn, kale, pumpkin, red capsicum, spinach, sweet potato and tomatoes).
Roasting and frying
Well this is a version of vegies I would say we should use the least, however we can modify anything. Frying will lead to vitamin loss but there is a way around it. Whilst Frying can be a good source of vitamin E and you don’t lose minerals it can increase the waistline if we are not moving…. It takes 7hours of walking to burn off the calories in Fish n chips…. OUCH!!! HINT: Boil you potatoes first and then grill on high heat with evenly spread oil, a good sea salt and rosemary. Sweet potato, suede, parsnip all work a treat here. Perfect!!
MAKE A FEATURE DISH OUT OF YOUR VEGIES
- A big hint is to create a feature dish with a veg at each meal, see insta and websites for ideas
- Take a risk and try a new vegetable, I made turnip chips for the family who loved!!
- Rather than BBQ shapes before dinner try some raw carrot, capsicum, celery of cucumber with salsa dip…. You will be surprised.
- Don’t soak vegetables in water before cooking unless you need to go low on potassium
- Bulk up meals with extra veg, use Chinese cabbage as noodles, add cauli mash with your potato mash, add enoki mushroom in your pho soup…
The Ideas are endless and you will be surprised when you try some of my feature vegetable recipes and Free soups…..
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