Tuesday 29 October 2013

Vegetables for Lunch

Most weeks, the youngster and I visit my good friend Lon. She has the most amazing vegetable garden, and we are extremely lucky to be able to enjoy the tasty things she grows, and the fresh eggs from her chickens.

Yesterday there was plenty of green things ready for picking, plus lots of eggs. The kids got eggy toast for lunch, while we investigated things to do with a pile of green vegetables. There was rainbow silverbeet (swiss chard), sprouting broccoli, English spinach and green spring onions. There was also some fresh pineapple that the kids had been snacking on. The finished result was two delicious vegetarian main dishes that certainly got us well toward our 2 & 5 a day!

Japanese Braised Silverbeet with Egg and Sesame
This first dish combines the earthy flavour of silverbeet with the sweet and salty flavour of miso paste. I love the rainbow variety of silverbeet with its brilliant red and yellow stalks. Silverbeet is so easy to grow, you can even grow it in a tub in the tiniest garden and be rewarded with masses of fresh crisp leaves.

Japanese Braised Silverbeet with Egg and Sesame

Serves 2-3

1 bunch silverbeet (swiss chard)
2-3 green spring onions
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp miso paste
2 tsp mirin
2 tsp cooking sake
1 tsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame seeds
2 tsp sesame oil
2 eggs, lightly beaten

Remove the stalks from the silver beet and chop into 1cm pieces. Tear the leaves into rough pieces. Slice the green sprin onions into 1cm lengths on a diagonal.

Heat a wok or frying pan over a medium-high heat and add the vegetable oil. When the oil starts to shimmer, add the silverbeet stalks, onions and miso paste. Stir constantly to break up the miso paste and prevent the vegetables from burning. Add a splash of water if necessary. Once the stalks have started to soften, add the silverbeet leaves. Once the leaves have wilted, add sake, mirin, sesame oil and sesame seeds. To finish, pour over the beaten egg and stir through. Remove from the heat when the eggs have just cooked.

Spicy Pineapple and Broccoli Noodles
This second dish bears a similarity to Singapore noodles. Feel free to use a hot curry powder, or add extra chilli.

Spicy Pineapple and Broccoli Noodles

Serves 2-3

100g bean thread noodles (cellophane or glass noodles)
2-3 green spring onions
2 cups chopped fresh pineapple
1 bunch sprouting broccoli (or 1 bunch broccolini), chopped into 5cm lengths
2 handfuls english or baby spinach
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp mild curry powder
1 tbsp fresh chopped mint

Soak the noodles in boiling water until they are softened, and drain.

Heat a frying pan or wok over a medium high heat. Add the vegetable oil. When the oil starts to shimmer, add the onions, broccoli and pineapple and cook for 3-4 minutes until the broccoli stems have started to soften. Add the curry powder and stir through. Add the remaining ingredients and cook until the spinach has wilted. Serve immediately.

No comments: