Can anyone make vegetables interesting?(21 Posts)
I am completely lacking in inspiration. We do eat a fair amount of veg, but I mainly bun it in the steamer and dollop it on the plate, and it's getting very boring. I need some interesting things to do with vegetables instead.
Has anyone got any recipes that would help? Ideally I want to change our food plan from being purely what meat/fish we are having to one that includes the nice vegetables that go with it too.
I find that adding a tiny bit of seasoning and a splash of extra virgin olive oil makes a huge difference. DD will eat loads more veg when I do this. You could add a dash of lemon juice as well.
Roast in the oven
Pour on a cheese sauce
Cover in grated cheese
I do courgettes, onions, tin of tomatoes, season and bake in the oven. Delicious.
Stir fry with a little sesame oil, soy sauce and garlic, or ginger, orange juice and soy, or peanut butter, soy, rice vinegar garlic and water. Add a sprinkling of sesame or sunflower seeds, make a sauce with coconut oil and some Thai curry spices (or curry paste). Make simple pureed soups- I do lots of different ones like carrot, onion, garlic, ginger, coriander and bouillon.
A good ratatouille is great with steak.
Cut the following in to 2cm x 2cm cubes :
2 red or yellow peppers
Put in a roasting tray with and mix in 4 table spoons good olive oil plus two sprigs of time. Stick in oven at 180 for 1.5-2 hours.
If you like tomato sauce it's lovely in a sauce made by heating a run of toms in a saucepan for 45 mins with olive oil, a bay leaf, a crushed garlic clove and a pinch of sugar. Stir occassionally. Mix in with vegetables when they are ready then return to over for 5 mins to heat everything through together.
The Abel and Cole veg box companion book is really good. It gives you some recipes for all sorts of different types of veg but also guidelines for what flavours go with them so you can freestyle when you're more confident.
I love Mediterranean/North African styles of preparing veg. Claudia Roden and Yotham Ottolenghi (sp for both?) are great for inspiration. Basically, it boils down to (pun intended) using veg as an ingredient, not just cooking it. And not just boiling it helps!
Eg, I will add courgette, mushrooms, celery, peppers and sometimes aubergine to a spaghetti bol, as well as the standard onion and tomatoe.
You might find the book 'Tender' by Nigel Slater useful. It's not a vegetarian book, but shows how to make veg more interesting, as part of a meal, often involving meat and fish.
Fwiw, if I do plain veg, for me, I top them with a little garlic and chilli fried quickly in olive oil. Doesn't need to be much oil to give loads of flavour. For the DCs, the trick is to cook it in a sauce, ime. So I can hide get fussy DD to eat quite a few things if they're cooked in a thai curry sauce, for example.
Some good ideas. We're fortunate in that DS loves his veg so no need to hide things, and I already put a lot of veg in casseroles and sauces anyway.
I'll have a look at the Nigel Slater book, that sounds good, as does stir frying and doing roast vegetables. I used to do a nice roasted Mediterranean veg dish which I need to resurrect I think.
Get used to cooking different vegetables with the seasonings that work for them - for example I do carrots with caraway seeds, broccoli with chopped chillis and flaked almonds, roast tomatoes with basil/rosemary/garlic. Only takes a second to shake some spice over but makes a big difference.
We like the HFW book 'Veg'- that has lots of nice and simple ideas.
I second HFW veg book. Lots of mains (which you can easily add meat too if you want) and a decent section on side dishes at the back. He makes things more exciting with dressings or spices, think along the lines of roasted carrot with cumin and coriander seeds.
I use a lot of quick finishes to brighten up veg, such as whole grain mustard or horseradish sauce stirred into mashed potatoes, a spoon of cream stirred into peas, fried cubes of bacon stirred into cabbage or spinach. I also bake with cheese sauce or grated cheese. When roasting veg I always add some whole cloves of garlic in the skin so that there is a lovely garlic paste to squeeze out over the dish.
Make pancake batter, add a tin of sweetcorn and fry as fritters.
Sweet potato, garlic and a little olive oil - bung in the oven
I second Yotam O, Claudia Roden, Hugh F-W's books. Also Madhur Jaffrey has some very nice veg curry recipes.
Grate courgettes (squish the juice out), add fresh mint and feta cheese an egg and some flour to a plopping consistancy. Drop into hot olive oil until crispy. Serve with lemon juice. I defy you to leave any long enough to get cold.
I like the sound of that MERLYPUSS. Shall add requisite ingredients to the shopping list.
blanch some asparagus, wrap each stalk in parma ham, sprinkle with cheese and grill. Yum
Brocolli and cauliflower cheese.
Roasted vegetables, red onions, mushrooms, baby sweetcorn, red and yellow peppers, tomatoes (I leave these out as don't like it too mushy) courgette, garlic and olive oil and seasoning and roast.
Mushroom pate (just fry mushrooms in garlic, then blitz with philly and season with lots of salt and pepper) great on toast or fresh bread.
Mushroom burgers (I cheat and buy these from Tesco or Morrisons do an amazing mushroom crisp bake with cheese in the middle)
my dd loves a chicken (u could leave that out and use feta or hallumi) caeser salad.
Mozzerella and pesto burgers. roast mixed veg, blitz leaving still chunky, add pesto. form around a chunk of good quality buffalo mozzarella, dip in egg and then breadcrumb and either shallow fry or bake.
Garlic and stilton mushrooms on bruschetta
swede and carrot mash or I do cauliflower cheese mash (just blitz left over cauli cheese and then add to mash)
Stir frys, the flavour combos and veg combos are endless
Your DCs may not like it, but the braised fennel recipe halfway down www.thedaringkitchen.com/recipe/brave-braise is sublime. Possibly my favourite veg recipe ever.
Another easy one is to blanch or steam green beans, then quickly saute with garlic, or with cumin and chilli. Or a big tray of veg with olive oil roasted in the oven.
Another vote for Ottolenghi and Nigel Slater here - they both do great things with vegetables.
I love some of these ideas, thank you.
I think I have to change my mindset too, and put as much effort into the vegetable side of the meal as the protein and carbohydrate element. I shall do that with these ideas and try and boost the veg proportion too. Should make things a lot healthier too.
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