If you are more novice than ninja when it comes to cooking vegetables, don’t be intimidated. Step into my dojo, and I will reveal secrets passed down from sensei to student for generations.
Steaming is fast, easy, and healthy, and it’s a tasty technique for cooking everything from delicate leafy greens to rock-hard root vegetables. Steaming doesn’t have to be complicated or require specialized equipment. All you need is a pan, a lid, and a quarter-inch of water. Yes, you can use a basket so the food sits above the boiling water, but I’ve “pan steamed” veggies like broccoli and asparagus directly in the pan and they’ve turned out perfectly fine.
Powerful spices like garlic or black pepper can draw the tongue’s attention away from the pure flavor of the vegetable, and sometimes that’s the objective. Google says you should encourage your picky kids (meaning yourself) to try new foods 10 times before deciding whether they (or you) like it. With the flavor subsumed by seasonings, the focus can be more on texture.
Ease into a new flavor slowly with partial substitutions. Sneak a few yams into your usual scalloped potato recipe. Throw a single parsnip into the mix next time you’re oven-roasting a medley. Little hints of “different” accompanied by a lot of “familiar” may help your mind and tongue associate the new with “good.”
Dairy, dressings, and dips are all masterful disguises, but in some cases the vegetable in question can be completely unrecognizable. Chocolate hummus tastes like a light chocolate frosting, not chickpeas. Tapioca comes from cassava, so technically speaking, pudding and boba smoothies both count as vegetables.
I’m confident that with a little training in these techniques, the student will soon become the master….