Jul 28, 2008

Quick meals with whole foods

I'm lazy, I admit it. But I've got a couple of easy meals I can make with whole foods that are relatively inexpensive and don't take a lot of time. Plus, they are so much better for me and my family than processed foods. And the best part- I can pronounce all of the ingredients!

1. Soup

I'm not sure how the skill of soupmaking wasn't passed down to me, but somehow I missed it. This last year, though, I discovered how easy soup is- and how many veggies I can get into it! Basically, I make 3 cups of broth with vegetable bouillon (I get it from a co-op... otherwise I might be getting msg, etc) and water. I drain a can of garbanzo beans and add the beans to the broth. I chop up whatever veggies I have from my CSA pickup. Great veggies for soup include: radishes, summer squash, onion, carrots, scallions, turnips, beets, bok choy, garlic scapes, chard and cabbage. I put the harder veggies in first (beets, turnips) and then add the softer veggies. cook for 10 minutes or so and you're done! Soup is also great with lentils (very cheap, high in protein, and cook fast) or udon noodles in place of garbanzos, but both require an extra pot. A fall favorite at our house is potato leek soup- just broth, potatoes and leeks, cooked til mushy!

2. Roasted Veggies

Oooh, so easy. Cut root veggies (potatoes, beets, turnips, etc) into cubes. Oil bottom of baking pan. Put veggies in pan. Add whole peeled cloves of garlic. Sprinkle dried rosemary on top. Bake for 30-45 minutes, until potatoes are cooked and soft. Add some feta cheese, bake for another few minutes. Yum!!!

3. Stir Fry

When all else fails, stir fry! Cut veggies into various shapes. Veggies good in stirfry include cabbage, peas, fresh beans, broccoli, carrots, kale, swiss chard and bok choy. Put in a wok (or cast iron skillet- try to steer clear of teflon and the like) with coconut oil. Coconut oil has all sorts of health claims, and it adds a little sweetness. Cook until veggies are browned and softer, but not mushy. Serve on rice, noodles or barley (which can be easily cooked in a rice cooker, just follow the water-to-barley ratio on the package). You can add soy sauce if you want, but I prefer to enjoy the tastes of the veggies!

Cooking whole foods is all about experimentation, so try new veggies, beans and grains to mix it up!

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