Although a knobby old root vegetable has it charms, the eye-catching hues of brightly colored veggies are much harder to resist. Luckily, when it comes to the gorgeous red, yellow, purple, orange and green hues of brightly-colored vegetables, their beauty isn’t only skin deep.
As discussed earlier in the week, brightly colored vegetables are valuable for their potentially health-promoting plant pigments. The strategy for adding these pigments into your diet is simple: eat a wide variety of brightly colored vegetables. You can stir fry them, sauté them, lightly steam the veggies or, easiest of all, eat them raw. To make a plate of raw veggies more interesting, a bold dressing is in order and chermoula is just the thing.
As mentioned in the recent article on sulfur-rich vegetables earlier this week, the best and easiest way to cook sulfur-rich veggies is steaming until “tough-tender.” Top with some form of fat – butter, olive oil, animal – and you have a simple and delicious side dish. Inevitably, however, the day will come when you’ll be staring at a plate of steamed broccoli and butter thinking, there’s got to be more ways to dress up sulfur-rich veggies.
And you’re right – there are. When you’re feeling more ambitious, steam your favorite sulfur-rich veggies as usual, then turn them into a one-bowl meal by smothering or lightly covering them in a flavorful sauce or broth. One delicious example: a bowl of steamed broccoli and cauliflower becomes an entire meal when fish soup in a tomato-saffron broth is ladled on top. Garnish with shredded cabbage that will soften slightly in the hot broth and you’ve got yourself some sulfur-rich soup…a name that doesn’t do justice to how deeply flavorful and tasty this meal is. The light tomato broth can be made creamier by adding coconut milk – your choice – and the soup works well with either firm white fish or fatty salmon.
Hovering over a warm bowl of soup, lapping up its warmth and inhaling the steamy aroma, is one of the best ways to take the chill out of a cold day. This is especially pleasurable if the soup smells so good that the aroma wafts out of your house and onto the street so even the neighbors know something good is cooking. Imagine a pot simmering with tender chunks of beef, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and fennel seeds. A soup like this is hearty, nourishing and guaranteed to make the neighbors jealous.
All too often a bowl full of chili is an uninspired blend of ground meat and canned tomatoes overwhelmed by beans. Ask anyone who follows the Primal Blueprint and they’ll tell you that the beans are unnecessary, but ask any Texan and they’ll tell you that putting beans in chili is an absolute travesty. In Texas, a bowl full of beans has no right calling itself chili, even when ground meat is thrown in.
Texas chili doesn’t let anything get in the way of and distract from the two main ingredients, chunks of beef and chili powder. Hearty, heavily seasoned and ranging from a bit of heat to fiery-hot, this is the type of chili that’s so thick you almost need a fork to eat it. Outsiders say it resembles stew more than chili, but it’s doubtful that this squabble over terminology has ever stopped someone from finishing a bowl. Texas chili is simply too good to pass up.
On a hot summer night, there is nothing more refreshing than a bowl of soup.
If that statement made you think, “Huh?” then clearly you haven’t discovered the delicious and refreshing world of chilled soup. Just as hot soups provide a comforting buffer from winter, chilled soups are a refreshing respite from the heat of summer. While chilled soups are often too light to be a full meal, we love them as a summer starter or side dish.
The most well-known chilled soup is gazpacho, a tomato-based blend of peppers, onions, cucumbers and a long list of other vegetables blended together and spiked with the vibrant acidity of vinegar or lemon. We love a spicy bowl of gazpacho, but when we’re the ones in charge of making a chilled soup we like to keep the recipe as simple as possible and the ingredient list short. It’s summer, after all, a season better spent relaxing outdoors than cooking elaborate meals inside.
Most of us are familiar with slow cookers and rely on them from time to time when we want a home cooked meal that requires very little effort. There are many reasons to love a slow cooker. Speed is not one of them.
A pressure cooker, on the other hand, can do just about everything a slow cooker can in a fraction of the time. The basic idea is the same: throw meat and vegetables in a pot, add seasonings and enough liquid to cover the ingredients, put on the lid and walk away. But instead of walking away for 4-8 hours, like you would with a slow cooker, a pressure cooker gives you just enough time to change out of your work clothes and sort through the junk mail before dinner is done. In about 30 minutes a whole chicken or several pounds of tough stew meat are transformed into a meal that will melt in your mouth, rich with flavor and perfectly cooked. In an hour, an entire pot roast will fall apart with tenderness.