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Boring No More

Posted on 5.10.2015

Packed with vitamins and minerals, vegetables are among the healthiest foods and a necessary part of a meal. Unfortunately, many of us tend to omit vegetables from our daily food intake because we are bored of preparing the same style of vegetables. Well, it doesn’t have to be that way. 

If you tend to resort to the same method over and over, then it’s time to try a few new tools to develop flavour and taste. Here are a variety of cooking techniques that you can experiment with to get everyone in the family, especially the kids to come back for a second serving. Here’s a guide on how to do it right. 

Steam

Cut the vegetables into uniform sizes so that they cook at the same rate and at the same time. 

Compared to carrots, some vegetables such as broccoli cooks faster. If you want to steam a variety of vegetables, add the veggies that take longer to cook first, followed by the quicker cooking ones. 

When the vegetables are done, just sprinkle over some coarse sea salt or sprinkle some fresh herbs and they’re ready to be served.

Best vegetables for steaming: Broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, green bean, sweet potato, beet root. 

Boil

Cooking times will depend on the size and density of the vegetable. 

Always be aware of the amount of time and water that is needed to boil a vegetable to retain the nutrients, flavour and colour. 

If the vegetable grows above the ground place into boiling water, if it grows below the ground, begin cooking in cold water.

When the vegetables are cooked, discard the cooking water instead of saving it as a base for your soup or stew – they may contain pesticides or chemicals from fertilizers. 

Best vegetables for boiling: Carrot and potato to be added before water starts boiling / bok choy, cabbage, leeks, peas, spinach, sweet corn, pumpkin when the water starts boiling.  

Roast

When roasting vegetables, you can either break up, chop or roast them whole. 

Vegetables that are larger in size and with a hard texture take longer to roast. 

Place the vegetables in a cast-iron pan or a roasting pan before placing them into the oven.

Prick a paring knife into the vegetables to see if it’s cooked. The knife should pull out easily when the vegetables are done.  

Sprinkle a bit of sea salt over the vegetables before serving. 

Best vegetables for roasting: Eggplant, onion, potato, bell pepper, mushroom, cherry tomato.

Sauté 

Prepare all your ingredients before-hand because sautéing is done very quickly. 

When sautéing vegetables, only a small amount of oil is needed. 

The vegetables are cooked over fairly high heat and will brown nicely while still cooking through. 

Cut the vegetables into small pieces because when sautéing, the outside of the vegetables cook much faster than the inside. 

Sprinkle your favourite seasoning over the vegetables before serving.

Best vegetables for sautéing: Spinach, water cress, mushroom, bell pepper, zucchini, snow peas.

Fry

Almost any vegetable can be used. 

The vegetables can be grated, chopped or mashed. 

Coat or batter vegetables before adding to the oil.

Batch cook vegetables and get the oil to the correct temperature before adding the next batch.

Best vegetables for frying: Lady’s finger, bell pepper, onion, cabbage, cauliflower, mushroom, baby corn, green onions. 

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