Steamed carrots with cumin and walnut oil is an easy-to-make side dish with a twist.
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If you really want to learn how to cook, then you need to practice the concepts taught in this lesson. We've compiled some "edible exercises" along with some supporting recipes that will help reinforce what was taught in this lesson.
To practice steaming, visit your local market and choose a vegetable that is in season. Set up a steaming basket, fill with about 1” –inch of water and bring it to a simmer. Wash, trim and cut the vegetables into even-sized pieces. Place into the steamer basket and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Cover with a lid and steam until the vegetable is cooked to the desired doneness. Once done, keep the seasoning simple so you can appreciate the true flavor of the vegetable. Simply transfer the vegetables to a large bowl and season to taste with salt and pepper. Gently toss the vegetables with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil or a knob of butter.
Make it a point to pick a new, seasonal vegetable and/or hearty, leafy green (i.e. kale or Swiss chard) every time you go to the market. Gently coat the vegetables by making a basic vinaigrette (1 part red wine vinegar with 3 parts extra-virgin olive oil), along with some finely chopped aromatics and/or herbs and spices. Experiment by changing up the aromatics, seasonings and fresh herbs. Toss in nuts and/or cheese to create new side dishes you’ve never had before. Adding new vegetables to your diet will not only be easy but will be healthy and flavorful.
Practice the steaming technique by cooking the suggested recipes below. By practicing, you will understand just how quick the steaming method is and how little clean up you’ll be left with.
Here’s an easy way to build fast and healthy meals throughout the week. Make grain/rice bowls with steamed vegetables and a protein, if desired. At the beginning of the week, do three easy things:
- cook some grains and/or rice
- make a vinaigrette or sauce
- par-cook vegetables, if desired, or steam them on the spot
Once the rice/grain is cooked, place it onto a baking sheet and let cool slightly before transferring to the refrigerator. Once it has completely chilled, transfer to a sealed container where it can be stored in the refrigerator for several days. Par-cook a variety of vegetables, as shown in the lesson, if desired. When it comes time to serving, simply reheat the veggies and rice using the steaming method. Place everything into a bowl and top with a protein (optional) such as leftover chicken, steak or fish and the pre-made vinaigrette or sauce. By serving rice/grains with steamed vegetables and different vinaigrettes or sauces, this is a great way to personalize and easily change things up so your meals aren’t ever boring.
A few sauces/vinaigrettes have been added to the list below to get you started (some vinaigrettes are within the steps of the recipes listed). For just a few examples, you can use Tzatziki, Olivada or the Greek Salad Vinaigrette with some steamed potatoes…the Toasted Sesame Miso Dressing with steamed carrots, beets and or greens…the Lemon-Coriander or the Soy-Sesame Vinaigrettes with steamed greens…or the Orange-Cumin-Coriander Vinaigrette with steamed carrots, fennel, greens, pumpkin, butternut squash or sweet potatoes. The variations are endless, so have fun experimenting!
Steamed butternut squash is tossed with toasted cumin seeds, shallots and a honey-champagne vinaigrette.
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Steamed baby potatoes are garnished with garlic, green onions and parsley.
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Steamed baby potatoes are garnished with roasted red pepper and red chilies.
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In partnership with:
Northwest Culinary Academy of Vancouver