Tasty fantastic and feel good VEG

“VEG FIRST” ….YOUR NEW MOTTO!!
It takes just a little inspiration to make vegetables the main part of your meal….if this doesn’t sound appealing? Read on as ‘veg first’ really is is a great and popular way to eat in many countries around the world. What’s more it’s addictive. Well prepared veg taste amazing and make you feel great on the inside and psychologically. It’s cheap too. Get involved and your friends and family will look at what you are eating and wonder why they have a big pile of tasteless carbage on their plates when you can fill up on delicious nutritious greens, healthy fats and a small piece of meat or fish. You are spoiled for choice with 8 different recipes below -something for everyone.

1 Baby Kale pre-prepared

…super easy for lunch salads.

I am so pleased sainsbury’s just started selling this sweet aromatic and delicious addition to your lunch box. It goes great with cold cuts and cheese and crunchy crudités. That’s right I said ‘your lunch box’ ..as in eat what you wantcheaply not what the local  places near your work happen to serve.

2 Spinach with cheddar and double cream

Using one large pack per 2 adult portions as it turns to nothing. Wilt spinach in large pan without adding anything. Allow to cool down before squeezing all the juices out before finely slicing. The slicing will lesson that gammy feeling on the roof of you r mouth. It disagrees with most people. Quickly grate some mature cheddar, finely grate a little nutmeg (or similar) on a smaller grated hole. Add about 75ml of cream and add all the ingredients back into the pan and simmer adding salt and pepper. The cheesier the better in my opinion and pretty hard to make it taste bad.

spinach

3 Braised Fennel with oranges and lemons

Preheat the oven to 170 C. This is quick to prepare but will take 25 mins to cook Put the thin and Ferny buts to one side as a raw garnish. Make medium slices of fennel about 1 cm sliced straight down the bulb from the side. Sprinkle  olive oil on base of baking tray and lay the fennel flat across. Cut one orange and one lemon into quarters and half squeeze over everything  and season leaving the citrus fruit halves in to roast. Slip in a few unpeeled cloves of garlic if you have handy. Cover with a little more oil, braise/ roast- is that the same thing and if feeling posh you could serve with a little parcel of buttered sea bass and  put in the oven with the fennel for the last 12 mins..

Fennel11

4 Cavelo Nero ‘au naturel’

This is a darker leafy green popular in Italy. It’s really a great alternative to spinach or cabbage when you are looking to extend your repertoire. Wash, Trim, steam and add lashings of butter salt and pepper.

cavolo_nero_01

5 Pesto Zucchini

Do you spiralise? If not perhaps you should. Another Amazon purchase? Still you can make this staple pasta replacement either by buying pre-prepared courgette or butternut squash in Sainsbury’s You will need about 1 1/2 courgettes per adult. Fry them gently in olive oil for 5/6 minutes then add parmesan, pine nuts, and fresh basil. Or buy a readymade pesto but check there is no crap in it!

spirLISED

6 Cabbage with bacon and cashews

Precook the bacon pieces for a few minutes in a pan before adding knife shredded and fry the cabbage (Round or pointed varieties work well) up in butter and bacon fat. In the last few minutes add some fennel seeds and cashews. Yum who thought the flavour of cabbage was so nice, maybe it’s not eating so much sugar that helps the flavours of real food. The cabbage has a lot of flavour and the saltiness of the bacon and rich buttery sauce seems to bring it out.

7 Baked avocado with poached egg and phily

I love avocado and eat daily even though it’s a little expensive. On the basis that the alternative of meat or fish is pricey too you can easily justify eating regularly. Cooking avocados may sound strange but this recipe just works. Mash a ripe avocado and mix up with a tablespoon of cream cheese and a raw egg season and then put the heaped mixture back into the half skin and place in the oven on a baking tray for 7 minutes at around 180c. Serve at breakfast with a tomato or some bacon on the side?

8 Cos lettuce wraps

Ok so you like burgers, fajitas, wraps and tacos. All these foods can be enjoyed in their simple form without the heavy bloating addition of gluten heavy breadstuffs. Cos lettuce is a good size and strong enough to sustain a decent about of filling. If you don’t go crazy the filling will stay in the lettuce wrap all the way from plate to mouth. I like to use the ready packages fajita mix to from Swartz herbs in the glass herb container. I always debone chicken thighs and fry them up as I think chicken breasts are tasteless. I make my own guacamole from avocado, sour cream or full fat Greek yogurt, coriander power, coriander leaf, and a few green grapes for sweetness. Don’t forget the hot sauce and some mature cheddar. In my opinion the more little pots on the table of different sauces and salsas and cheeky fajita additions the better as the fun is to make your own combos.

Cupboard essentials

Maldon flaked sea salt flakes (not granules)

seas salt

Black pepper

Grass fed butter (Kerry Gold)

Olive oil

Nutmeg

Fennel seeds
Fridge essentials

Chopped bacon pieces/pancetta

Double cream

Full fat Greek yogurt

Philadelphia

Eggs

Avocados
Other equipment which is not essential but could help!
Steamer

Not got one? Just get on Amazon now and get a single layer simple metal one. We use ours 5 times a week at least! Let the water boil the put the veg on for 4 mins then slide the kid under the steam to catch drips and transfer to the sink. Shake away the excess water (careful with broccoli especially if overcooked it you will disintegrate it) add a few knobs of butter lashing of salt and pepper and serve immediately.

Spiraliser or other ways to make ‘veg’ pasta

So if you want to go ahead with this way of eating regularly it is worth buying a manual spiraliser, this is quicker to wash up than a magimix or food processor. For now the you best thing you can use is a decent potato peeler, or second-best a grater to go straight through the vegetable slicing thin ribbons from one side of the courgette or veg to the other. When it gets hard and too small just disguard and grab another.

That is all.

Get involved!