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How to Make Green Vegetables and Sprouted Beans and Seeds Taste Good
The Mirepoix Plus
To give this cooking tip a name, I’ll call it The Mirepoix Plus. Here’s a specific recipe for it - but you're limited only by your imagination:
1 medium onion
1 large carrot
1 large stick of celery
(That’s the traditional mirepoix ‘trilogy’.)
1 Bramley apple (cooking-apple)
1 piece of root ginger (about the size of your thumb) finely chopped
1 small to medium sweet potato
Dice it and sweat it all together on the lowest possible heat, for about an hour. (This obviously depends on your cooker.) This suits my routine - not everyone has an hour in the morning, but at the lowest possible heat, you won’t need to stand over it.
You’ll find that the carrot melts in your mouth and when you stir it, the sweet potato and fruit will puree.
1 tablespoon of tomato puree, which will contrast/compliment the sweetness of the fruit and sweet potato. And, any herbs or spices you fancy; I like Cajun mix, but it’s too hot for my wife’s taste.
I do this in the morning, and put my raw chopped up vegetables on top, so that when I come home in the evening I just need to put the pan on for 30-45 minutes, at the lowest heat possible, and heat it through whilst lightly steaming the green vegetables.
I soak my own seeds, and sprout my own lentils and beans, so I leave them completely raw and mix them into this mushy mirepoix at the very last moment before serving.
Sprouting Things From Amazon
Many people know about the health benefits of sprouted seeds, beans and lentils, but how do you make these healthy foods appetising? After all healthy-eating won’t help your health, if you get bored eating it and you go back to junk food. That's what I want to concentrate on in this blog.
I’ll also scatter a few links around, for you to get the guff on health benefits and sprouting methods. I don’t believe in bunging-up the internet with any more verbiage than is necessary.
I seldom actually cook what I’ve sprouted; I eat it raw. I believe cooking destroys vitamins. On the other hand, it also destroys harmful bacteria. Life's a gamble.
The question here is about how to prepare green vegetables and sprouts in a way that makes them as appetising as possible. And to do it with the least amount of inconvenience possible, because that's another thing that put's busy people off healthy eating and back into the arms of junk food.
Modern palates are used to chips, (French fries) sausages, pies, pizzas and meat dishes, and some people find it hard to persevere with a diet that seems alien to them.
Of course, it depends largely on how it’s prepared and cooked - and individual taste. I have no notion for processed foods now.
However, I do have a few tricks to mask the blandness of green vegetables and to help you acquire a taste for sprouted seeds and beans. This can help to make green vegetables like cabbage and broccoli a bit more interesting too.
One well tried and tested way to put body and flavour into a dish is with the traditional mirepoix, (that’s a fancy French word). The mirepoix consists of carrots, onions and celery. Equal amounts are fine: One medium onion, a medium sized carrot and two or three sticks of celery. If you sweat that lot lightly in some olive oil, (or butter, if you’re young and aren't concerned about cholesterol), until the carrot melts in the mouth, you'll get a good flavour base. I’ve an electric cooker, and I cook my mirepoix on the very lowest heat (number 1). It takes about an hour, but you can almost forget about it at such a low heat; it won’t burn - (but don't go on a fortnight’s holiday and forget about it, and then blame me when you get home to find a blob of aluminium on the kitchen floor).
Another thing I do, when I'm short of time, is turn the hob up full until I hear a sizzling sound, then I turn it down to its lowest heat immediately. It speeds things up a bit, but if you do that, don't leave the kitchen while the hob is fully up!
Either way, the objective is to cook the food slowly for better nutrition.
You can add stock cubes, your own favourite seasoning or bouillon mix, to suit your taste. I often use fruit, like apples and oranges to avoid using salt, to enhance the flavour. I often finely dice a couple of mandarin oranges, to add flavour. It has a similar effect to the use of lemon juice in cooking, to cut down on salt. I often use a Bramley (cooking) apple in this kind of recipe.
Sweet potatoes will puree easily to give your mirepoix a nicely flavoured, mushy texture to which you can add your greens, sprouted beans and lentils. You can also add things like fresh ginger root or mustard to your mirepoix to give it a bit of a kick.
I don’t worry about killing off the vitamin C in the fruit; I doubt if supermarket fruit contains much vitamins anyway. The sprouted seeds and veggies are the main source of vitamins. You can add them raw, or lightly steam them on top of the mirepoix for a short time before serving. Again, I like to do that on the lowest possible heat, so that the food doesn’t stick to the pan.
I heard some time ago that burnt food is carcinogenic (that’s a posh way of saying it causes cancer), although we shouldn’t believe everything we see and hear. But why take the chance?
Anyway, in the morning, I prepare the mirepoix, mix in the seasoning and place the raw sprouts and veggies on top. If you leave it in the pan, it’ll take about half to three-quarters of an hour on the slowest possible heat on the hob. If you want to microwave, it’ll take about 8-10 minutes in your microwavable dish.
Once the veggies look lightly steamed, according to your taste, you can mix the whole thing through. You can let it cool a while and then add some form of omega oil - like canola or linseed etc and your C vitamins like fresh lemon juice. It’s best to add any nutrients and vitamins that perish with overheating, at this stage.
Where I live, in the Scottish Borders, it’s difficult to get seeds specifically for sprouting, like alfalfa or broccoli seeds, so I just go to the nearest supermarket that sells mung beans or green lentils and sprout them instead. It’s much easier and cheaper - and there’s no postage cost. However, you can Google etc, and you’ll find plenty of companies who’ll send you the proper sprouting seeds and sprouting equipment.
Ah, yes! Now I mention equipment: you don’t need to buy anything special; a coffee jar and a wee piece of lace curtain should do. Keep it simple; if you spend a lot of money on health-food equipment that you ultimately don’t use, you’ll just end up with both, an empty wallet and a fat bum, - a double whammy, for your ‘best laid schemes’.
- Fish Kedgeree Made With Quinoa and Sprouted Mung Beans
All I’ve done here is take a simple kedgeree recipe and substituted sprouted mung beans for peas, and quinoa, for rice. I'll assume that you know of the nutritional benefits of sprouted beans, and quinoa. If you don’t, the guff is only a Google away.
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