Food is an important part of a balanced diet. ~Fran Leibowitz (1950-)
PLANTS SERVE HUMANS
Since the purpose of this blog is to give people a strong sense of the importance of the human connection to food preparation, let’s addressÂ fresh vegetables, those perfect forms of nature that sustain much of the planet.Â Without going on and on about their fundamental goodness let me just say that vegetables are rich in just about every good thing that human bodies need, which is why they are crucial to health and eating well.Â If you feel hunger after eating, it is a good bet that the meal youâ€™ve just eaten â€“ while maybe high in flavor â€“ is probably pretty low in actual food value.Â Eating real food like vegetables will eliminate hunger; that cry in your belly that demands — as if it has a life of it’s own — to be fed.Â By balancing meals with vegetables you will feel more satisfied, quenching the hunger inside because while your taste buds and your craving reflex may not particularly want vegetables, vegetables are what your body is crying for.
Stop Blogging and Cook is about getting into the kitchen and cooking quickly, so if you donâ€™t have a vegetable lurking in the recesses of your refrigerator, drop by the market and pick up one or two. What?Â Think your family doesnâ€™t like vegetables?Â I am tempted to say that is because they have never had them cooked properly.Â Humor me on this and give it a try, just for argumentâ€™s sake.
Here are five vegetables, readily available most anywhere at almost any time that are small in quantity (no giant cauliflower heads for your first foray). Â You can mix vegetables together, but they all have slightly different cooking times, so first prepare them individually to appreciate the different densities, flavors and textures.
Water and a little butter are all you need, along with fire, a small paring knife and a pan.Â And for the green beans, you don’t even need a knife.Â We’ll be ready to eat in about five minutes. By cooking vegetables, you will learn their value.Â I can tell you all day long that it is a good idea, but if you don’t do it, youâ€™re never going to see it from the vegetableâ€™s perspective.
- Brussels sprouts
- Green beans
I chose these candidates from the garden because they require very little prep before cooking, and three of them donâ€™t even need to be peeled. Â STEAMED VEGETABLES.Â Guidance on selection, cleaning & storing is found under the Information tab in the Produce sub-section.
FIRE + 5 MINUTES = FOOD
Put the cleaned and cut vegetable into a saucepan just large enough to hold them, then add 1/4″ of filtered water.Â Cover and bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer until they are done.Â You can peek at them after about a minute, to see what’s going on in there.Â The color will begin to deepen as they cook. Go ahead and have a look.Â Pronounce them done when they are just fork tender.Â Drain the water from the pan (or add it to the soup pot) and add a little butter to the pot, cover & shake to distribute it, then dump into a bowl.Â Easy.Â Quick.Â Good.
There is another very important reason for beginning with vegetables.Â Children love to help prepare food.Â Some of my fondest memories are of everyone piling into the kitchen and cooking up a storm.Â Children are competent helpers, and when their hands and minds are engaged in meaningful ways, can be valuable allies in the food preparation of a household.
A little footstool in the kitchen enabled the shorter kids to easily reach the counter-tops where all of the action was.Â I sliced up a carrot into round orange â€˜candiesâ€™ that weÂ snack on while making dinner, and never once had a child fail to eat the vegetables that they helped to prepare.Â Teach children to food shop and cook and they will be able to feed themselves for a lifetime.Â I bet that they will be willing to cook for you one of these days!Â Children love to help in the kitchen, and there is a very small leap from helping out to initiating their own creations.
Even if you have to stop for take-out on the way home from work, like most New Yorkers, you can quickly cook up a vegetable to round out the meal;Â some green beans with the Thai food,Â a couple ears of corn to go with the fried chicken, a little broccoli alongside the ribs.Â Try this:Â prepare a vegetable while awaiting the delivery guy.Â If you honestly donâ€™t think this has any redeeming value, call me, please.Â We need to talk.
PREPARATIONS Listed on Left Sidebar