Asian Secret #25 Making Vegetables Taste Good

Cauli-sausage! Yum!

Boiled peas and carrot cubes might be easy to make, but they taste like wet socks to kids and not much better to adults. If you have children there’s a way to get them addicted to vegetables and I believe Koreans, Japanese, and Chinese have the solution.

The #1 best way to get kids to eat vegetables is to connect them to their favorite meats. Try cooking sliced pork, sausage, steak, or chicken with almost any vegetable you plan to serve. Blurring the flavors of these two foods will get any meat-eater to eat all their veggies.

If you’d like help with the first dish, try my great Cauli-sausage recipe. Continue reading Asian Secret #25 Making Vegetables Taste Good

Compost Pile = Healthy Eating

Compost Bowl

Do you have a compost pile? If you aren’t sure what this is, don’t worry; I’m willing to bet that most people don’t have one.

Eating properly will yield dead leaves, peelings, and leftover stalks. You can also include coffee grinds and tea leaves. (See right pic from Sustainable Suburban Gardening) Anything that comes from nature and is not used should go into your compost pile. If you don’t have a compost pile then you most likely eat most vegetables and meats from a can or other packaging. Frozen foods create paper and plastic waste, rather than natural waste.

When you eat healthy meals, or someone else prepares them for you, a compost pile is bound to appear. Prepare for it by using a large reusable container with a cover. If you come from my hometown, Weare, NH, you’ve probably got a proper place to dispose of your compost once it is created: the forest, a field, or even your own garden. Mixing compost with recyclables is lazy and leads to the overflowing of landfills. Take a minute and consider what is leaving your household on a daily basis. Then, you’ll be one step closer to living a healthier life.

Amaranth (Green Vege) Dish

Amaranth (Green Vege)

Living in Asia really opens your eyes to the true variety of vegetables in the world. You will find at least 20-30 different leafy greens in any given market place. I honestly had no idea 5 years ago about half of the things I eat on a weekly/biweekly basis now. One of these leafy greens has a deep green color and is quite appetizing. “Amaranth”or “Xian Cai” (苋菜) which comes in a few colors, looks most like a kind of salad leaf you might see in a slightly sophisticated salad back home.

So, here are the simple steps cooking up this delicious green!

1~ Pour some oil into the base of the wok or pan. When hot, toss some chopped garlic into the oil and let simmer.

Amaranth in Wok

2~ After the garlic starts browning, pull the chopped garlic out and put aside. Toss two full handfulls of vege into the wok per person. It will shrink, so put a lot in!

Finished Cooking!

3~ Shift around with a spatula for a couple minutes. You could add some other flavorings if you want (like Chicken broth granules). Also, you could add the garlic bits back into the dish when you serve, but again, its not necessary.

Simple Chinese Cabbage Dish

Example of Fried Cabbage, but I don't use bacon...
Example of Fried Cabbage, but I don’t use bacon…

Ingredients– In order of use: Sesame Oil (Lee Kum Kee), Garlic, Ginger, Head (or half head) of cabbage, Soy Sauce (Lee Kum Kee), Water (if needed)

1~ Warm up a wok or pan with sesame oil.

2~ Throw in a few slices of garlic (don’t waste your time by mincing), also add 1 or 2 slices of skinned ginger. Let them brown slightly.

3~ Throw in chopped up, or ripped apart, pieces of cabbage. Half a head for 1-2 people. Full head for 2+ people. Cover pan while you get Soy Sauce ready.

4~ Pour in soy sauce. Just enough to give each leaf a coating. Cover and cook a few minutes. Shovel around in the pan so that everything gets attention from your ingredients.

5~ When leaves are smaller and stalks are looking browner (from soy sauce), turn off heat. Use spatula to shovel out the cabbage from the sauce into a serving dish. Put it on the table and get the next dish started!

* If the dish is too salty, add some water to smooth out the impact of the soy sauce.