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Vegetables

101

Contents

Vegetables.....................................................................................................................................................3
TheNutritiveValueofVegetables............................................................................................................3
Vitamins....................................................................................................................................................3
VitaminA...............................................................................................................................................3
VitaminC...............................................................................................................................................4
Thiamine...............................................................................................................................................4
Riboflavin..............................................................................................................................................4
FolicAcid...............................................................................................................................................4
Minerals....................................................................................................................................................4
Iron........................................................................................................................................................5
Calcium..................................................................................................................................................5
Carbohydrates...........................................................................................................................................5
Sugar.....................................................................................................................................................5
Starch....................................................................................................................................................5
Cellulose................................................................................................................................................5
Fat.............................................................................................................................................................5
Protein.......................................................................................................................................................5
Water........................................................................................................................................................5

TheClassificationofVegetables...............................................................................................................6
ByThePartofthePlantMethod..........................................................................................................6
ByColourMethod.................................................................................................................................6
ByFlavourMethod................................................................................................................................6
ThePrinciplesofPreparingandCookingVegetables...................................................................................7
ForMaximumRetentionofNutrients......................................................................................................7
ForMaximumRetentionofColour...........................................................................................................8
Chlorophyll............................................................................................................................................8
Carotenoids...........................................................................................................................................8
Flavones................................................................................................................................................8
Anthocyanins........................................................................................................................................9
VegetablePreparationMethods...................................................................................................................9
ServingVegetablesRaw............................................................................................................................9
BoilingVegetables...................................................................................................................................10
SteamingVegetables...............................................................................................................................11
PressureCookingVegetables.................................................................................................................11
BakingVegetables...................................................................................................................................11
RECIPE:BakedPotatoesandToppings(4servings)...............................................................................12
BakedPotatoes...................................................................................................................................12
SaucyPepperandSausageTopping....................................................................................................12
BroilingVegetables.................................................................................................................................13
PanorStirFryingVegetables.................................................................................................................13
RECIPE:StirFryGardenVegetables(4servings)....................................................................................14
TimetoCook...........................................................................................................................................14

Vegetables

Theimportanceofvegetablesinourdietcannotbeoveremphasized.Vegetablesprovidevitaminsand
mineralsthatarenecessaryforgoodhealth.Theyalsoprovidecolour,flavour,shape,andtexture
variationstoourmeals.Inspiteofthevarietytheycanaddtomeals,vegetablesoftenreceive
indifferenttreatmentinthekitchen.Useofvegetablesininterestingwayswillincreasethenutritional
andaestheticvalueofthefoodsyouprepare.
Vegetablesaredefinedasanyherbaceousplant,annual,biennial,orperennial,whosefruits,seeds,
roots,tubers,bulbs,stems,leaves,orflowerpartsareusedasfoodservedmainlywithanentre.Itis
thelastportionofthisdefinitionwhichhelpstoeliminatesomeoftheconfusionoverwhetherafoodis
afruitoravegetable.Forexample,atomatoisthefruitofaplant,butitisclassifiedasavegetable
becauseitismainlyeatenwithanentre,whilepumpkinsandrhubarbarefruitsbecausetheyarenot
normallyeatenwithanentre.


The Nutritive Value of Vegetables

Vegetablesprovidelargeamountsofthreevaluablenutrients,namelyvitamins,minerals,and
carbohydrates.Thenutritionalcontributionofthedifferentvegetablesissovariedthatitisimportant
toserveavarietyofvegetablestoensurethatallthenecessarynutrientsareincludedinthediet.
Becausevegetablescontainlittlefat,theyarelowincalories.Inaddition,whenservedwithoutbutter,
theycontainnocholesterol.Giventhewidevarietyofwaysvegetablescanbeprepared,theycanadd
muchtoamealinthewayofnutritionalvaluewithoutaddingmanycalories;thismakesthemastaple
fortheweighconscious.Toinsurethatallofthevaluablenutrientsarepresentinthevegetables,itis
importanttomakesurethattheyarefreshlypicked,properlystored,andeatenraworwithaslittle
cookingaspossible.


Vitamins

Mostvegetablescontainsomethiamine,niacin,andfolicacid.Somealsoprovidegoodsourcesof
VitaminAand/orVitaminC.Thefollowinglistwillgiveyouaguidetovitamincontentofsomecommon
vegetables.
Vitamin A
Foundinabundanceinleafygreenandbrightorangeoryellowvegetables.Someexamplesare
carrots,broccoli,spinach,kale,sweetpotatoes,wintersquash,andparsley.

Vitamin C
Foundintomatoes,greenpeppers,asparagus,andvegetablesofthecabbagefamilyincluding
greencabbage,broccoli,brusselsprouts,cauliflower,andkale.Potatoesarealsoagoodcourse
ofVitaminCwhentheyarefreshlydug,butsincemuchoftheVitaminCislostthrough
oxidationduringstorage;olderpotatoesarenotasgoodasource.
Thiamine
Presentindriedpeas,beans,lentils,andpotatoes.
Riboflavin
Foundinleafygreenvegetablesandasparagus.
Folic Acid
Foundinmushrooms,asparagus,broccoli,limabeans,andspinach.

Minerals

Thetwomostimportantmineralsfoundinsignificantamountsinvegetablesareironandcalcium.
Iodineisalsofoundinvegetablesifitwaspresentinthesoilthevegetablesweregrownin.Vegetables
alsohelptomeetthebodysneedforthetraceelements:sodium,chlorine,cobalt,copper,magnesium,
manganese,phosphorous,andpotassium.

Iron
Foundingreenvegetables,legumes,andpotatoes.
Calcium
Foundinleafygreenvegetables,carrots,andturnipgreens.Spinachcontainsanappreciable
amountofcalcium,buttheoxalicacidinspinachcombineswiththecalciumtoforman
insolublesalt,calciumoxalate,whichcannotbeabsorbedbythebody.

Carbohydrates
Foundinthreeformsinvegetables:assugar,starch,andcellulose.
Sugar
Foundinfreshyoungvegetableslikecornandpeasaswellasinsweetpotatoesandbeets.
Starch
Presentinpotatoes,parsnips,corn,andbeans.

Cellulose
Foundinallvegetables,especiallyincelery,cabbage,beets,andgreenleafyvegetables.
Althoughcellulosehasnofoodvalue,itsfunctionistoaddbulktothedietwhichisnecessaryfor
theproperfunctioningofthedigestivetract.

Fat
Notfoundtoanymeasurableextentinanyvegetableexceptolivesandavocadoes

Protein
Foundinallvegetables,butinsomeitisinverysmallamounts.Theproteinfoundinallvegetables,
exceptthatinsoybeans,isclassifiedasanincompleteproteinbecauseitdoesnotcontainallthe
essentialaminoacids.Driedvegetables,suchaspeasandbeans,docontributelargeamountsofprotein
andareagoodwayofextendingtheproteinintakefromanimalsources.Soybeansareanexcellent
sourceofcompleteproteinandhavebeenusedinthedietsofthepeopleofEastAsiaforcenturiesto
supplementtheproteinintakesfromanimalsources.

Water
Alargecomponentofallvegetablesiswater.Leafygreenvegetables,likelettuce,canbeasmuchas
95%water,whilebakedpotatoesare75%water,andbakedsweetpotatoesareonly64%water.
Thenutrientswegetfromvegetablesdependtoagreatextentnotonlyonhowtheyarepreparedbut
onhowtheywerecaredforduringtheirtriptothemarket.Timeandtemperaturearecrucialtothe
retentionofnutrients.Vegetablesmustberefrigeratedassoonaspossibleafterpickingandmustbe
rushedtothestoresiftheyaregoingtobehighinvitaminsandminerals.Whencookingvegetables,itis
importanttodosoinsuchawaythatthenutritionalvalueisretained.
Youshouldeatatleasttwoservingsofvegetableseveryday.CanadasFoodGuiderecommendsatleast
twoservingsofavarietyofvegetables,preferablyleafy,greenoryellow,andfrequentlyraw.Planto

includethevegetablesthataregoodsourcesofVitaminsAandCinyourmealsandsnacks.The
CanadianCancerSocietysuggeststhatweincreaseourconsumptionofbrassicavegetables(broccoli,
cabbage,brusselsprouts,cauliflower,rutabaga,andturnip)becausethesevegetablesmayreducethe
incidenceofsometypesofcancer.

The Classification of Vegetables


Vegetablesmaybeclassifiedanumberofways,bythepartoftheplantusedforfoodorbytheircolour,
flavour,orprincipalnutrient.Thefollowingtablewillgiveyousomeexamplesoftheseclassifications.
By The Part of the Plant Method
BythePartofthePlant
Root
Tuber
Bulb
StalkorStem
Fruit
Leaf
Flower
Seed

By Colour Method
ByColour
Red
Green

Yellow
White

By Flavour Method
ByFlavour
Strongflavoured
Mildflavoured

Examples
Beets,carrots,parsnips,turnips,radishes,
horseradishroot,andrutabagas.
Potatoes,yams,andsweetpotatoes
Onions,leeks,shallots,andclovegarlic
Celery,asparagus,andchives
Tomato,cucumber,zucchini,eggplant,peppers,
squash,andpumpkin
Spinach,lettuce,cabbage,endive,brusselsprouts,
parsley,watercress,chard,andkale
Cauliflower,broccoli,andartichoke
Peas,beans,lentils,soybeans,andcorn

Examples
Beets,radishes,redcabbage,andredonions
Broccoli,brusselsprouts,escarole,peas,beans,
spinach,lettuce,cabbage,endive,chard,
watercress,andkale
Carrots,squash,sweetpotato,andrutabaga
Cauliflower,parsnip,potato,onion,andturnip

Examples
Cauliflower,onion,turnip,garlic,brusselsprouts,
broccoli,kale,andleeks
Carrots,beans,peas,corn,andsquash

The Principles of Preparing and Cooking Vegetables

Ifrawvegetableshaveahighernutritionalvaluethancookedonesandmostvegetablescanbeeaten
raw,thenwhycookvegetablesatall?Therearemanyreasons:

Cookingvegetablessoftensthecellulose,makingthemeasiertodigest.
Thestarchgranulespresentinthevegetablesaregelatinized,makingthemmoreappetizingand
digestible.
Theflavorismodified,makingitmoreacceptable.
Theappearanceandcolorchanges,makingtheproductmoredesirableinsomecases.
Themicroorganisms,whichmaybepresentonthevegetables,aredestroyed.Stilllonger
cookingsterilizesvegetables,makingthemsafeforinfantsandyoungchildren.
Driedvegetableshavetheirmoisturereturned,makingthemedible.
Thevarietyofcookingmethodsaddsvarietytothewaysvegetablescanbeserved.

For Maximum Retention of Nutrients

Avoidpeelingvegetableswhereverpossible.Ifthevegetablesneedtobepeeled,usethe
sharpestknifeorpeelerandtakethethinnestpossiblepeeling.Mostofthevaluableminerals
andvitaminsinvegetablesarelocateddirectlyundertheskin.
Donotpreparevegetablesaheadoftime,andleavethemsoakinginwateruntilcookingtime.
Thewatersolublenutrientswilldissolveinthewater.
Useaslittlewateraspossible.Thisreducesthelossofthewatersolublenutrients.Usethe
waterfromthevegetablesingravies,sauces,orsoups.Trynottopourthesewatersoluble
nutrientsdownthedrain.
Coverthepotwithaclosefittinglidwhenvegetablesareboiledorsteamed.VitaminCis
destroyedifexposedtotheairduringcooking.
Donotcutorslicevegetablesintothinslices,especiallyacrossthefibres,Carrotsandparsnips
arebettercutintolengthwisepieces.Thegreatertheamountofcutsurfaceexposedtoairorto
cookingwater,thegreaterthelossofnutrients.SomemineralsandVitaminBandCarewater
soluble,andthiamineandVitaminCaredestroyedbyoxidation.
Havingthewaterboilingbeforeaddingthevegetable,andreturnthewatertotheboiling
temperatureasquicklyaspossiblesincethisshortensthecookingtime.Itismostimportant
thatthevegetablesbecookedfortheshortestpossibletime.Overcookingdestroysmore
VitaminC,thiamine,andriboflavin.
Donotaddbakingsodatothecookingwater.ThisalkaliwilldestroythethiamineandVitamin
C.
Donotletthecookingwaterforvegetablesboiltoorapidly.Simmeringtemperaturesare
perfectlyadequate.Hardboilingtendstobreakdownthestructureofthevegetable,exposing
morecellstotheliquidandincreasingthelossofnutrients.
Donotstirthevegetablesunlessnecessary.Airthatisworkedintothevegetablesincreasesthe
lossofVitaminC.Mashingandwhippingareparticularlydestructive.

Cookonlyenoughforonemeal.Reheatedvegetableslosefoodvalue.Cookedvegetables
shouldbestoredcarefullyiftheyaretobesavedbecauseimproperlystoredvegetablescan
causefoodpoisoning.Tostorecookedvegetables,placetheminairtightcontainersinthe
refrigeratorfornotmorethanadayortwo.
Cookvegetablesasclosetoservingtimeaspossiblesotheydon`thavetosit,andcookthe
vegetablesjustuntiltheyarebarelytender.Overcookedvegetablestendtobemushyand
boring.Neverletthevegetablesstandinthecookingwater.Theyshouldbedrained
immediatelywhentheyareready.
Bake,steam,orstirfryvegetablestoretainmoreoftheirnutrients.
Buyonlytheamountoffreshvegetablesthatcanbestoredproperlyandusedwithinashort
time.
Donotovercookvegetables.

For Maximum Retention of Colour

Cookedvegetablesmusthavegoodcolouriftheyaretobeappetizing.Thefourcolourclassificationsof
vegetablesarered,green,yellow,andwhite.Thecolourofeachoftheseclassificationsistheresultofa
pigmentintheplant.Itistheretentionofthesepigmentsduringcookingthatisnecessaryforgood
colour.

Chlorophyll
Chlorophyllisthegreenpigmentinplants.Whenheatedinanacidsolution,thegreencolour
turnstoadrabolivegreencolour.Topreservethebrightgreencolourofvegetables,cookthem
uncoveredforthefirstfewminutestoletthevolatileacidsthatformescape,thencoverand
simmerjustuntilthevegetablesarebarelytender.Thecookingtimemustbekeptasshortas
possible.Todothis,addthevegetablestoboilingsaltedwaterandkeepthetemperatureat
simmering.

Carotenoids
Carotenoidsaretheyellowandorangepigmentsfoundinsuchvegetablesascarrots,sweet
potatoes,andwintersquash.Thesepigmentsarealmostinsolubleinwaterandarestableto
heat,acidandalkali.Therefore,itismoredifficulttoruinthecolourofthesevegetables.
However,ifyouovercookthevegetable,thecellularstructurebreaksdownandcarotene
escapesintothecookingwater.Youcanseethishappeningifthecookingwaterturnspale
yellowororange.

Flavones
Flavonepigmentsoccurinthewhitevegetables,suchascauliflower,onions,andpotatoes.
Thesepigmentsaresolubleinwaterandifovercooked,willturnabrownishgrey.Theywillalso
discolorrapidlyiftheyarecookedinchippedenamelorironcontent.Aswithallvegetables,the
cookingtimeshouldbekeptshort.

Anthocyanins
Theanthocyaninpigmentsareresponsibleforthered,purple,andbluevegetables.These
pigmentsarereadilysolubleinwater.Thisisthereasonbeetsshouldbecookedunpeeled.Acid
inthecookingwaterhindersthesolubilityofthepigments.Forthisreason,vinegarortart
applesareoftenaddedtothewaterthatisusedtocookredcabbageorbeets.Theacidinthe
appleandvinegarkeepsthecolourbright.Tomatoesarenaturallyacidicsotheyretaintheir
colourwhencooked.

Beingawareoftheseprinciplesofvegetablecookerywillhelpyoupreparevegetablesthatretainthe
maximumamountoftheiroriginalfoodvalue,colour,flavour,andtexture.

Vegetable Preparation Methods

Thereareanumberofwaystopreparefreshvegetables.Theymaybeservedraw,boiled,steamed,
pressurecooked,baked,broiled,panorstirfried,cookedinthemicrowave,orbarbecued.NOmatter
whatmethodofpreparation,thefirststepisalwaystocarefullywashthevegetablestoremovedirt,
pesticideresidues,insects,andbacteria.Dirtleftonthevegetablesgivesthemagrittyunpleasant
texture.Noonewantstoeatvegetablesthatarenotthoroughlyclean.


Serving Vegetables Raw

Youcanservemanyvegetablesraw,andthe
CanadaFoodGuiderecommendsthatyoudo
serveonevegetableraweachday.Fresh
saladgreens,celery,cucumber,radishes,
tomatoes,peppers,turnips,carrots,cabbage,
cauliflower,andbroccoliaresome
vegetablesthataredeliciousraw.
Cruditsorrawvegetablesarebeingserved
asappetizers,snacks,andpartyfavoursall
overCanada.Theyareagreatwaytoinclude
arawvegetableinyourdailydiet.Crunchycruditsaresatisfyingaloneordippedinflavorfulsauces.
Theyarelowincaloriesandhighinvitaminsandminerals.Rawvegetablesarecolourfulandattractive.
Eventwoorthreedifferentvegetables,suchascelerystalk,carrotssticks,andcauliflowerfloretscan
provideavisuallyappealingandtastysnackorfirstcourse.Vegetablesofvariousflavoursarecolours
canbearrangedonplatters,orincrockerydishes,orcanbetossedtogetherinabigsaladbowl.The
vegetablesareusuallyservedraw,butsomearebetteriftheyarebrieflybalancedinboilingwateruntil

theyarejusttendercrisp.Anexampleofavegetablethatisbetterblanchedispeapods.Theyarea
brightergreenafterabriefblanching.Dipsforcruditscanbeeitherhotorcold.Hotdipscanbe
servedinafonduepotiftheyneedtobekepthot.Alldipscanbeservedinhallowedoutvegetables
suchasgreenpeppers,tomatoes,zucchini,orcucumbers.AroundloafofcrispyFrenchbreadcanalso
behollowedouttomakeanunusualcontainerforadip.Breadsticksandcrackerscanaddinterestand
flavourvarietytoanyarrangementofcrudities.
Rememberthatdips,althoughdelicious,canaddinhugehiddenamountsofcalories.Lowcalorie
ingredientreplacementsshouldbeconsidered.


Boiling Vegetables

Thisisthemethodthatisusedmostoftento
cookvegetables.Unfortunately,israrelydone
inawaythatretainsthemaximumnutrients.To
boilvegetablessotheykeeptheirnutrientsand
attractiveappearance,useasmallamountof
waterandasaucepanwithatightfittinglid.
Generally,allow120250mL(1/2to1cup)of
waterforsixservingsofvegetable.Bringthe
watertoaboilandthenaddthevegetables.If
thevegetablesareputincoldwater,theysoak
longerandlosenutrients.Coverthepan,bring
thewatertoaboilagain,thenreducetheheat
toasimmer.Cookonlyuntilthevegetablesarejusttendercrisp.Somevegetablesrequireslightly
differentmethods.Potatoes,becauseoftheirhighstarchcontent,shouldbecookedinalargeramount
ofwater.Ideally,theyshouldbecookedwholewiththeskinslefton.Theskinshelptoretainthe
nutrientsinthepotatoes.Theyareeasytopeeloffaftertheyarecooked.
Spinachandothercookedgreensshouldbecookedinthewaterthatclingstotheirleavesafterwashing.
Nomorewaterneedstobeadded.
Tomatoescanusuallybecutintopiecesandcookedinthejuicesthatflowout.
Trynottousesaltwhencookingvegetables.Youwilldiscoverthetrueflavourofvegetables.Most
Canadianseatfartoomuchsodiumandeventhislittlereductiononoursodiumintakewillbeneficial.
Neverusebakingsodatoshortencookingtimeortoretainthegreencolourofvegetables.Bakingsoda
destroysimportantvitaminsandtheflavourofcookedvegetables.


Steaming Vegetables

Steamingisanutritiouswaytocookvegetablesbecausethe
vegetablesarenotinwater.Thisreducesthelossofmanyofthe
watersolublenutrients.Steamersareavailableinmanytypes,some
forrelativelymodestcost.
Tosteamvegetables,bringasmallamountofwatertotheboilina
saucepan.Placethevegetablesinthesteamerandplacethe
steamerovertheboilingwater.Makesurethatthewaterdoesnot
reachthesteamer.Coverthepanimmediatelywithatightfitting
lid.Cookonlyuntilthevegetablesaretender.

PressureCooking Vegetables

Vegetablesproperlycookedinapressurecookerusuallyhavegoodcolourandflavourbecausethe
cookingtimeissoshort.Nutrientretentionisalsogoodbecausesolittlewaterisused.Themajor
problemwithpressurecookingisthatofovercookingbecausemostvegetablesonlytakeafewminutes
tocook.Inapressurecooker,however,afewextraminutescanturnavegetableintoamushymess.
Thepressurecookerisbestforvegetablesthathavelongercookingtimes,suchasdriedbeansand
lentils.Followthemanufacturersdirectionscarefullywhenusingthispieceofequipment.Thiswillhelp
preventsteamburns.

Baking Vegetables

Thisisanexcellentmethodofpreservingwatersoluble
nutrients.However,VitaminClossesaregreatbecause
ofthehightemperatureused.Bakesvegetablesusually
retaingoodflavourandcolour.Bakingisalsoconvenient
becausemanydishescanbeservedintheirbakingdish.
Somevegetablesneedtobecleaned,peeled,andcutintoservingsizedpieces.Theseareplacedina
lightlybutteredcasserole,seasoned,dottedwithbutterandsprinkledwithasmallamount15to25mL
(12tbsp.)ofwater.Coverthecasseroleandbakeuntiljusttender.Thevegetablesshouldbestirredor
turnedduringbakingtopreventtheirbottomsfrombecomingbrown.Thecorrecttemperaturefor
bakingvegetablesisdeterminedbythespecificvegetable.Checkacookbookforthecorrect
temperaturetouse.

Vegetablessuchaspotatoesandsquashcanbebakedwiththeirskinslefton;simplywashthoroughly,
pricktheirskinsifnecessary,placethemdirectlyontheovenrackorinashallowpan,andbakeuntil
tender.Potatoskinsmustbeprickedwithaforkorknifetoallowthesteamtoescape.Ifthepotatoes
arenotpricked,theymayexplodeintheoven.
Abakedpotatocanbecomeasatisfyingfamilysupperwiththeadditionofatastytopping.Justadda
fresh,crunchysaladandabakedfruitdessertwhichhasbeencookedintheovenalongwiththe
potatoesandyouwillhaveawonderfulmeal.

RECIPE: Baked Potatoes and Toppings (4 servings)

Baked Potatoes

4largebakingpotatoes

Scrubthepotatoeswellandpricktheskinswithafork.Brushtheskinslightlywithbutter
ifdesired.Bakeina2000C(4000F)ovenforaboutonehouroruntilsoft.Justbefore
serving,cutadeepcrossinthetopofeachpotatoandsqueezeitlightlytoopenthecut.
Spooninatoppinglikethefollowingrecipetocreateawellbalancedmeal.

Saucy Pepper and Sausage Topping


375g
Italianstylesausages
15mL
VegetableOil
50mL
Choppedonion
1
Clovemincedgarlic
2mL
Driedoregano
1mL
Salt
2
Dicedtomatoes
1each
Red&Greenpepper
10mL
Cornstarch
15mL
Water

lb.
1tbsp.
cup
1
tsp.
tsp.
2
1each
2tsp.
1tbsp.

Cutthesausagesintobitesizedpieces.Heattheoilinafryingpanandaddthesausage
pieces.Cookuntilthesausageiswellbrowned.Addtheonion,garlic,oregano,andsalt.
Cook,stirringoccasionally,untiltheonionissoft.Coreandslicethepeppersandaddthem
withthedicedtomatoestothesausagemixture.Coverandsimmerfor10minutes.Mix
thecornstarchandwaterandaddtothesausagemixture.Cook,stirringconstantly,until
themixtureisthickened.Continuethecookingforabouttwominutesmoretoensurethat
thestarchiscooked.Tasteandadjusttheseasonings.Spoonoverthebakedpotatoes.
101BakedPotatoToppingIdeas:http://www.squidoo.com/bestbakedpotatotoppings

Broiling Vegetables

Thisisagoodwaytocooksomevegetablessuchastomatohalves,eggplantslices,zucchinihalves,and
mushroomcaps.Thesevegetablesarenotonlynutritiousbutarealsoanattractiveadditiontothe
dinnerplate.
Tobroilvegetables,brushmeltedbutteronthevegetable,seasonandifdesiredaddatoppingofbread
crumbsorgratedcheese.Placeonthebroiledrack68cm(23in.)fromtheelement.Broiluntilthe
vegetablesarejusttenderandthetoppingislightlygoldenbrown.

Panor StirFrying Vegetables

Thismethodispopularbecauseitisquick,
itpreservesthecolourandflavourofthe
vegetableanditproducesvegetablesthat
aretendercrisp.Orientalcooksperfected
thismethodmanyyearsagoandnow
Canadiancooksareusingitwithgreat
success.
Properpreparationisthekeyinpanorstir
frying.Thevegetablesmustbeslicedinto
thinuniformpiecesforquick,evencooking.
Vegetablesthattendtobestringy,suchascelery,greenbeans,andbroccolistems,shouldbecutinto
thinslicesonthediagonalabout0.6cm(1.4inch).Slicingonthediagonalimprovestendernessby
exposingalargestcutareatotheheat.
Vegetablessuchascabbage,bokchoy,suichoy,andotherleafygreensshouldhavethemidribsandthe
stemendsremovedbeforetheyaresliced.Somevegetables,suchasmushroomsandpeapodscanbe
leftwhole,whileothersmustbedicedorchopped.Thetypeofvegetableandthesizeofthepieceswill
determinethelengthofcookingtimeneeded.Becauseeachofthevegetableswillneedadifferent
cookingtime,theyshouldbekeptseparate.
Whenstirfryingbesurethatthepanishot.Addonlyenoughoiltocoatthepanlightly.Whentheoilis
hot,addthevegetableswhichtakethelongesttimetocook,andgraduallyaddtheremaining
vegetablesinorderoflongesttoshortestcookingtime.Stirthevegetablescontinuously.Whenthe
vegetablesarealmostdone,placealidonthepanfortwoorthreeminutessothatthevegetablesfinish
enoughnaturalmoisturetocreatesufficientsteamhowever,highfibreandhighstarchvegetablesmight
needanadditionofaspoonfulortwoofhotwatertocreatethesteamnecessarytocompletethe
cooking.Thevegetablesarereadywhentheoutsideisjustdoneandtheinsideisalittlecrisp.

RECIPE: StirFry Garden Vegetables (4 servings)


15mL
VegetableOil
1tbsp.
500g
Diagonallyslicedvegetables
1lb.
75mL
Slicedgreenonions
1/3cup
1
Slicefreshgingerroot,choppedfinely
1
50mL
Vegetablestock(orchicken)
cup
15mL
Honey
1tbsp.
15mL
Vinegar
1tbsp.
15mL
Soysauce
1tbsp.
7mL
Cornstarch
1tsp.

Cleandiagonallysliceyourchoiceofvegetables.Therearemanygoodcombinations:
broccoliorcauliflowerandcarrotsorgreenpepper;asparagusorgreenbeansand
mushrooms;andcelery,beansprouts,andgreenpepper.Youcanusemostfreshvegetables
andsomecanned,suchasbambooshoots,waterchestnuts,orbabycornasstirfry
vegetables.Heattheoilinawokoraheavyskillet.Addthevegetables,startingwiththe
onesthattakethelongesttocook,stirringconstantly.Addthegreenonionandchopped
gingerrootandcontinuestirringuntilallthevegetablesarecoveredwithoil.Addthe
vegetablestock,thencoverandsteamfor2minutes.Mixthehoney,vinegar,soysauce,and
cornstarchtogether,andaddtothevegetables.Cook,stirring,untilthesauceisthickand
clear.


Time to Cook

Nowthatyouhavelearnedthesemethodsofcookingvegetables,youhavegoodreasonstotrynew
vegetablesandnewwaysofcookingthem.Alsorememberthatvegetablesthatarecookedplaindonot
havetobeservedplain.Theymaybeservedwithbutter,sourcream,lemonjuice,orawidevarietyof
sauces.Fresh,choppedmintorparsleycanbeaddedtosuchvegetablesaspeasorpotatoes.Just
beforeserving,vegetablescanbesprinkledwithpaprika,gratedcheese,choppedchives,chopped
parsley,toastedalmonds,sautedbread,orcrackercrumbs.