Sometimes we can get into a vegetable rut, using the same types and flavors or just passing on vegetables altogether. Here’s some healthy and delicious cooking inspiration that never fails to get the maximum flavor from perfectly cooked vegetables. The best part is it’s easy and quick.
First of all, cooking less is usually healthier. Most cooked vegetables taste better still slightly crispy at the end. Vitamins from vegetables leach into cooking water. So, less water or less cooking time is better to retain nutrients. A flavorful way to cook vegetables is to first steam or blanch them (dunking them in boiling water for 2-3 minutes) until they are nearly cooked, then drain and quickly sauté them in a nonstick skillet with a small amount of oil and seasoning, zest or spice. Using oils with flavors can dramatically enhance the vegetables. Some popular ones are sesame oil (which also adds spicy heat), roasted garlic oil and herb oils. Lastly, you can add fruit juice and top with toasted chopped or slivered nuts to garnish, if desired. Unless you add the juice just before the end of cooking, the acids can turn the vegetables brown and dingy looking.
For the truly in a hurry, cooking washed, chopped vegetables in a couple tablespoons of water in the microwave is a great time saver. To test for doneness, green vegetables should be brightly colored, but, tender. Potatoes, and root vegetables should be pierced with a fork initially, and then cooked until tender when pierced again with a fork. Carrots take longer to cook then many other vegetables so it’s best to cook them separately, then, mix them together before serving to make sure nothing is overcooked.
Have you had enough inspiration to breaking out of a food rut? Here’s to eating healthy and fresh foods that taste great.