I love veggies! I love to grow, cook and eat them. Whether it’s honey glazed carrots, blanched beans tossed in olive oil and slivered almonds, or even steamed broccoli with a touch of salt and pepper – yum! While it’s hard to imagine life without them, for many of us life with vegetables didn’t start out so smoothly. Think back to those long evenings sitting at the dinner table faced with the grueling task of finishing a whole pile of soggy spinach or tasteless turnips. The classic family throw together ‘Meat and Three’ of the 80s and 90s… always a battle ground. It was during one of these arduous sessions I decided that as a grown up I’d never subject myself to such torture again! It would be candy and chocolate for dinner every night and as much as I wanted. This unconditional, unbreakable oath to myself hasn’t exactly gone as expected. If only the 7 year old me could see me now, I wonder what she’d be thinking? Eating green things every day and talking about chocolate as if it’s a ‘sometimes’ food – madness!

So where did it all go so wrong, or should I say right? I’ve come to realise that it may have had something to do with the overcooking, under-seasoning crimes committed by some parents. This could be due to their busy lives at the time, aerobics classes to attend, all those leg warmers to purchase! The result of these crimes were never an exciting experience to say the least, and not the best introduction to what is now possibly my favourite group in that old school food triangle.

Over-boiling or over-steaming vegetables leaves plenty to be desired, but follow the few easy tips below and you’ll get perfectly crisp, nutritious vegetables, just as nature intended.

5 tips for overcoming serious crimes against veggies.

  • Never boil beans or peas, blanch them for about 2 minutes.
  • Don’t use too much water while boiling carrots etc, just enough to cover what is in the pot.
  • Start root vegetables from cold water and all others from boiling.
  • Brussel Sprouts. Poor, misinterpreted brussel sprouts. They only need boiling for 3-5 minutes. 3 minutes for small and 5 minutes for large. Or try par-boiling then frying them in butter till the edges are browned. Sprinkle a little curry powder or nutmeg on them too for some extra kick.
  • Season veggies and give them some love. Try carrots with honey and sesame seeds, blanched beans with olive oil, salt and slivered almonds or steamed broccoli (6-7 minutes) with salt and pepper. Even if it’s just a sprinkling of mixed herbs or fresh parsley. My favourite at the moment is roasting potatoes with sweet smoked paprika.

 

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