Tips/recipes for eating better things(18 Posts)
Sort of inspired by the Rise of obese children thread, I am interested to get inspiration on ways to make the whole family eat more healthy things, especially using more seeds and pulses and extra veg.
I cook from scratch already and we eat pretty well on the whole, but there is always room for improvement! Cooking quickly after work or in slow cooker for one or two adults and a 4 year old, who can't eat fresh eggs but is generally fairly unfussy.
What quick and easyish things can I do to help our diet?
I recently discovered slow roasting kidney beans with a drizzle of oil, also chickpeas and borlotti beans, which I really recommend if you haven't tried them.
I don't really understand how to use pulses and seeds when cooking to make them taste good as opposed to depressingly good for you
Are you vegetarian or prepared to eat less meat? If so I'd recommend Anna Jones' first book, A Modern Way to Eat. Lots of very accessible and delicious recipes that focus on veg and pulses.
With the roasting, are you using tinned pulses or dried?
Ooh I never thought of roasting beans.
We had a nice bean salad yesterday. Kidney beans, feta, tomato, cucumber and red onion. Made the vinaigrette with lemon juice, olive oil and a little cumin.
IME beans need a lot of added flavours. I don't eat meat so usually follow Indian vegetarian recipes. But I am sure the cuisine of Mediterranean countries has lots of tasty one pot meat and bean meals.
I roasted from tinned, so they are already edible.
We aren't vegetarian, but certainly happy to eat less meat.
Thank for the Anna Jones tip, I have just ordered a copy.
Those longlife pouches of ready-to-eat pulses and grains are a really great way to try different wholegrains, and they are ridiculously convenient - I always have a few in, plus one in my desk drawer in case I get stuck at work. The Merchant Gourmet ones are really tasty, my default knackered dinner is half a pouch on top of a pile of greens and an egg on top.
I tend to batch cook pulses in the pressure cooker and freeze them rather than tins, I just think they taste better.
I also love my organic veg box because it means I plan my meals around the veg, I get milk, eggs and sometimes meat delivered alongside it and keeps me out of the shops and away from temptation.
I didn't know you could freeze pulses. Do you cook straight from frozen, or have to defrost first?
Bean burgers already on the list for next week...
Pancakes made with roasted squash instead of eggs are good.
@Solasum in my house faves from that book are the coconut cassoulet, potato and butter bean bake and broccoli tofu soba noodle thing with lightly pickled cabbage.
How do the pancakes with roasted squash work please?
I do a black daal that I love and think makes a great simple supper with eggs, or as a side dish for a bigger Indian meal.
BTW, I like things spicy.
Jane's Black Daal
Makes Serves 4-6
4 tbsp rape seed oil
One small onion, finely chopped
Chicken or vegetable stock
5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
One green Bird's eye chilli, finely chopped
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 ½ tsp cayenne pepper
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp garam marsala
2 tbsp tomato paste
250g ready to cook Puy lentils
2 tsp salt or to taste
Pour the oil into a wide, heavy pan and slowly fry the onions, garlic and chilli. When it is soft but not too coloured, add the dry spices and gently stir fry for a little while. Add the lentils and cover with stock. Add the tomato paste. Simmer gentle for 20 minutes or so, stirring and mashing occasionally with a wooden spoon, adding more stock if necessary. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
Chevre, I just use a normal pancake recipe.
I roast squash until tender then mush it up, about 100g, and mix with 100g plain flour, 300ml milk. Whisk vigorously then cook as usual.
Works very well with cheese or mushroom sauce, but actually not bad with chocolate either, and you can add a bit of cinnamon to the mix if making sweet.
They are a bit thicker than egg pancakes, but still rollable.
I roast veg and then stir a tin of beans through them with some spinach (and a lot of chilli and balsamic vinegar).
Or make a quick beany stew from a tin of mixed beans - usually add some roasted tomato from the freezer.
Coleslaw made from any shredded veg goes down quite well.
Eat a lot of lentil soup too.
Refried beans in a wrap with shredded lettuce, grated cheese, guacamole etc. Or quesadilla style.
Pasta e fagioli (Italian bean soup) or any other veg based soup (butternut squash, parsnip) and crusty bread.
Waitrose and Sainsburys (and maybe other supermarkets) sell big bags of roasted vegetables that I make into a soup with beans: fry a chopped onion and garlic in a little olive oil and add whatever woody herbs (rosemary, thyme, sage etc. - doesn't matter whether fresh or dried) you like, and maybe some chopped chilies if you like things spicy and you have some to hand, then tip in the frozen vegetables and add vegetable stock (I use diluted Marigold powder) to cover plus about an inch. Bring to the boil and simmer till the vegetables are soft. Add a tin or two of cannellini beans. Whizz half the soup to a puree then add it back to the soup. Drizzle at the table with some nice olive oil.
Even though the vegetables have already been frozen (and, in my case, the beans too), I freeze the leftovers and they've always been very nice.
I've also gotten into soaking and pre-cooking dried beans to freeze. I'm not quite adept yet at knowing when to stop cooking - I used a tub just the other day for Jamie Oliver's steak and cannellini beans from his new series and they came out a bit mushy. I think next time I'll stop while they're still a bit al dente on the assumption they'll get further cooking later.
Great ideas everyone!
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