the pure core organic life mirror

cooking vegetables and greens

many vegetables and leafy greens are best when lightly cooked, retaining their most vibrant colors, textures, and nutrients, while making them tender and easier to digest... there are many ways to prepare them - steam, boil, fry, mash, bake, mixed with grains and beans, etc. - but generally, the simplest preparations with the fewest ingredients are always the best... in most cases, stalks and skins are edible and highly nutritious - exceptions are things like winter squash, yam, sweet potato, and eggplant skins, or anything that is too hard or woody to consume

leafy greens like kale, collards, swiss chard, spinach, mustard, dandelion, escarole, endive, etc. are delicious when lightly steamed in a little water, or a bit of oil and water... begin by cleaning your greens well - rinse them with cool water and check for any unusable leaves or stalks... place greens on a cutting board and slice down the middle of the leaves, chopping the rest into even bite-size proportions... you can also strip the leaves from the stalks and break them as you would lettuce, if the stalks are too woody and thick... for one bunch of greens, add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of pure water to a large pan (preferably cast iron) and bring to a boil on high heat... add greens to water and cover, bring heat down to medium high and let simmer for a few minutes... stir greens, or flip them so the underside that is cooked first is over the less cooked greens - and keep an eye on them, stirring again as needed, to keep the best coloring... there is a perfect point where they are tender enough to eat, and still radiantly green... take a taste to test it as you go, and when they are done, add a few sprinkles of sea salt, shoyu, ume plum vinegar, or gomasio and mix well

many greens are also delicious when cooked in olive oil - add 1 to 2 tsp. of olive oil (or whatever you prefer) to a large pan, heat on medium high until the oil is thin and coats the pan evenly... add the chopped greens and stir well... then add 1/8th to 1/4 cup of pure water and cover... let simmer on medium high or medium heat (depending on the type of greens) for a few minutes, and continue checking and stirring frequently until they are tender... lastly, add a few sprinkles of your preferred salt seasoning or any other spices you might like to add

head veggies like cabbage, cauliflower, and broccoli are delicious when cooked in basically the same manner - wash and check the head / flower - chop head or cut flowers into bite size proportions, and saute in a bit of water or oil with seasoning and enjoy

root vegetables like carrots, beets, radishes, turnips, rutabaga, parsnips, kohlrabi can all be cooked this way as well, and are delicious mixed in with just about anything

onions, green onions, scallions, leeks, chives, celery, garlic, parsley, and fresh herbs are excellent additions to any veggie medley - these are best when lightly sauted in a little oil, until they are gently cooked - seasoning the oil with their essence, before adding the other veggies

potatoes - red skin, russet, sweet potatoes, yams, etc. are delicious simply baked in their skins... wash potatoes well with a natural vegetable brush, and remove any spots or eyes... pre-heat oven to 375° and place potatoes directly onto rack (for sweet potatoes and yams, use a large baking tray or pan, as they will drip sugar everywhere)... cook for 20-40 minutes, depending on the size of the potato... to test, stick a fork in one to see if is tender...

summer squash (yellow, crookneck, zucchini) can be cooked much like greens - with a little water, oil and seasonings, and are great when added to any veggie medley... zucchini is highly versatile, and can go in everything from stir-frys to breads and cakes

winter squash (acorn, butternut, spaghetti, hubbard, pumpkin, etc.) is best when steamed in the oven - wash squash with cool water, slice down the center and remove seeds... place squash in a baking dish with 1/4 cup of pure water, with the open-side in the water, and bake at 375° for 30 to 50 minutes, depending on the squash type and size... stick a fork in to test tenderness

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