Home' Advocate Communications : Fiordland Advocate 8 September 2011 Contents WHAT'S COOKING
Page 12 | 8 September, 2011
Which are better for you -- fresh
or frozen vegetables? According
to our health professionals,
both are remarkably similar in
nutrient content. In fact, 'fresh'
veggies that have been sitting
on supermarket shelves for too
long may have considerably
less goodness than their frozen
This season we have seen a sharp
rise in the cost of fresh produce
and not all of us can benefit from
our own veggie gardens during
winter. Frozen veggies offer a
great alternative to fresh.
As soon as vegetables are
harvested their vitamin content
begins to decline but the freezing
process significantly slows the
ongoing loss. The speed at which
vegetables are commercially
frozen helps to retain most of the
nutrients. Freezing within hours
of harvesting means nutrients are
locked into frozen vegetables.
My favourite method of cooking
frozen veggies is to microwave
them. You only need to add about
two tablespoons of water to your
peas or beans when they are
cooked this way. Place them in a
suitable container with the water,
cover, and -- for every two cups of
vegetables -- cook them on high
power for four to five minutes. Stir
them halfway through cooking, if
Because so little water is used in
the cooking process, the veggies
retain their nutrients, they taste
great and look colourful.
The benefits of eating more
vegetables -- whether frozen or
fresh -- are unquestionable. And
given the convenience of frozen
vegetables it is easy to meet
the daily tally essential for good
The first experiments in freezing
foods were carried out by
Lord Bacon (1562-1626) who
tried to freeze foods in snow.
His experiments were rather
disastrous as he caught a cold
Freeze the budget
1 tablespoon canola oil
2-4 tablespoons Thai green curry
500g frozen peas
1 cup water
¾ cup light coconut milk
2 tablespoons chopped coriander
Heat the oil in a saucepan over
Add the curry paste and fry for 1
minute. Add the peas and water.
Simmer for about 5 minutes.
Purée in a blender. Sieve, if
Return to the saucepan.
Add the coconut milk and
coriander and heat through.
Thai-style green pea
500g stewing beef
3 tablespoons flour
salt and pepper to taste
1-2 tablespoons canola oil
1-2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
½ teaspoon each: dried basil, oregano
1 tablespoon each: wholegrain mustard, soy sauce
4 tablespoons tomato paste
1½ cups beef stock or water
500g chunky frozen mixed vegetables, slightly
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Cut the beef into 3cm cubes. Season the flour with
salt and pepper. Toss the beef in the flour to coat.
Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan. Sauté the
meat in batches together with garlic, until lightly
browned. Place in a casserole dish.
Combine the remaining ingredients -- except the
frozen vegetables -- and add to the casserole.
Cover and cook for 1 hour. Stir in the vegetables
and cook for another hour.
Great served with baked potatoes.
Easy beef & veggie casserole
Sauce: 4 tablespoons honey
½ cup water
4 teaspoons each, cornflour, soy
2 tablespoons each tomato sauce,
Vegetables: 1 tablespoon oil
1 large onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
500g mixed frozen vegetables,
Whisk all the ingredients for the
sauce in a bowl.
Heat the oil in a wok or frying pan.
Stir-fry the onion and garlic for 2
minutes. Add the vegetables and
stir-fry until cooked. Stir the sauce
to combine the ingredients again
then stir into the vegetables.
Cook until thickened.
Serves 6 as an accompaniment.
Dressing: ¼ cup lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, crushed
¼ teaspoon each: thyme leaves,
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 teaspoon each: sugar, Dijon-
style mustard freshly ground black
pepper to taste
¼- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
Salad: 1½ cups sliced frozen green
1-2 tablespoons water
3 cups sliced, cooked chicken
freshly ground salt and pepper to
To make the dressing, whisk the
lemon juice, garlic, herbs, sugar,
mustard and pepper in a small
bowl. Gradually whisk in the oil
until well mixed.
Stand for at least 30 minutes for
the flavours to infuse.
Place the beans in a microwave-
proof bowl. Add the water and
sugar. Cover and microwave on
high for about 5 minutes, until hot.
Drain and cool.
Combine the chicken and beans
in a bowl. Toss with the dressing.
Chicken & green bean salad
A super soup for friends and family.
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