There are very few vegetables I don’t particularly enjoy eating, and they generally tend to be curries made with cabbage or brussel sprouts. I guess it is perhaps because sometimes they are over cooked to make them tender, which in turn makes them bland. We once had this conversation with my sister in-law and I about how our mothers tend to over cook certain vegetables and even foods like pasta and noodles just to make sure that we don’t eat food that is half cooked or raw. By over cooking you loose out on the taste, nutrients and texture of the food, however, if cooked properly and with a good blend of spices, then even these foods are bearable 😉
Wikipedia has this about brussel sprouts:- Whatever cooking method is employed, care must be taken not to overcook. Overcooking releases the sulphur smelling glucosinolate, sinigrin. This is the reason many people profess to dislike Brussels sprouts; only ever having tried them overcooked with the accompanying sulfuric taste and smell. Generally 6–7 minutes boiled or steamed is enough to cook, without overcooking and releasing the sinigrin.
So I guess the key is to cook it like as if stir frying, i.e. fast cooked food to ensure that the nutrients remain as well as the taste 🙂
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There are times when I am challenged by my dear husband to use new ingredients and come up with a meal that meets his seal of approval 🙂 . I sent him shopping one day and he came back with an extra item to the list – Curly Kale. As soon as I saw it I thought Oh NO ! I have tried to cook with curly kale before some years back but found it too irony in taste and it did not quite work with what I made. So this time I thought I will look for some inspiration and then try and create a dish. I did a search and looked at a blogger and from there to a site dedicated to curly kale, which had lots of recipe ideas and nutritionist information. Both the sites seem to talk about the curly kale with a lot of fondness and suggested to use it as a cabbage. So I thought, right, looked at the ingredients I had then added the ingredients to this dish until it was an aesthetically pleasing. Then I served it up and it tasted great, even my son enjoyed it – I removed the green pepper corns from his dish. I thought that something so good for us and tasty, can’t go wrong really. So I will not be avoiding this vegetable in the future. I got some more curly kale soon after and used it in a curry as well as in a pasta sauce, which also tasted good.
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Sometimes it is good to think outside the box and try new flavours. As mentioned before, I tend to make either potato or bean burgers at home. However being vegetarian there are unlimited possibilities of the various different vegetables and pulses that can be used. Whilst visiting one of my favourite blogs recently I came across a broccoli burger recipe and thought I must try this. I modified the recipe slightly by adding sesame seeds and red capsicum peppers to give it a nutty and sweet tangy flavour. The result was wonderful and I got a lot of creative ideas and thoughts flowing for making different vegetarian burgers. So watch this space for a few more burger recipes ….
These burgers are also healthier because broccoli is high in vitamins C, K, and A, as well as dietary fibre and it also contains multiple nutrients with potent anti-cancer properties. Broccoli is usually boiled or steamed, as per the old ways of cooking vegetables, however in recent years more research has shown that if eaten raw you get more of the benefits of the vegetable. Other methods of cooking are also good for cooking vegetables especially stir fries as they cook the vegetables at a very high heat and quickly, hence a lot of the nutrients still remain intact. Although boiling has been shown to reduce the levels of suspected anticancer compounds in broccoli, other preparation methods such as steaming, microwaving, and stir-frying have been shown not to reduce the presence of these compounds.
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One of my friends, who loves indian food, had came over for dinner recently. I just did not know what to make her when she came. I always want to make something special, or different, so I asked her what she wanted to eat and she replied parathas. As a result, for the evening, I created a menu around that, and instead of plain parathas I decided to make stuffed ones.
There are many different vegetarian options for making the stuffing, like mashed potatoes, mixed vegetables, or just onions etc., but I decided to go with paneer. In the past I have made paneer parathas using different recipes from various books. However this time I thought I thought – let me make my own spice mix so I just created my own concoction. Sometimes it is good to experiment with different spices and tastes that you may like, it could just work well together, I was pleasantly surprised with these parathas.
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There are many spicy foods that are good to serve at parties and as a good filling starter or snack. These Chilli Garlic Cassava Chips are perfect, especially when its accompanied with your favourite dipping sauces or ketchup. Like garlic bread or fries/chips, the combination of garlic and chilli with the fried cassava makes a yummy crunchy treat.
I recently made this dish when my friend had come over for dinner, she asked me to make something different with cassava and I thought it was a good opportunity to try this recipe out. My husband had first tried this recipe at a restaurant and was very keen for me to try it so I could recreate it at home, like the chilli paneer he had first tried at an Indian pub.
It is just amazing how by adding a few simple basic ingredients the taste changes. When we used to have cassava in Malawi, it used to be simply boiled and then served with some salt, chilli powder and lemon juice, or fried and made into crisps. We also used to use the flour to make various different savoury snacks. Indians also tend to eat cassava, potato etc. whilst fasting, so there are many recipes that we used to make. As I’ve grown up I’ve had more and more varied recipes using cassava as friends and family have tried experimenting with different methods of cooking and adding different ingredients.
Cassava is also known by many names including Mogo and Yuca (not to be confused with Yucca) and one of its products include Tapioca.
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