March 16, 2011

Great ideas from Kitchen Wizard Mari

Health Care Without Harm and the Bay Area Physicians for Social Responsibility hosted a conference on March 5 at Children's Hospital in Oakland — "Food Matters." Physicians and other health care professionals gathered to learn more about the impacts of our food system on our collective health and the health of the environment. For my part of the program, I talked about our work at Kaiser Permanente to bring good food to more people through our farmers' markets, etc. Presenting with me was Dr. Jen Matthews. a newly minted pediatrician at CHO, who had met with me as a resident to get ideas how to start a market at her hospital. I can't even begin to tell you how wonderful it is to be able to work with young doctors like her. She has created a lot of good things for her own hospital's community.

Attending the conference was Mari Mari@KitchenWizardMari.com. Here is her response to my post about blanching veggies before roasting — much more practical and with great ideas to save time.

Dr. M, great to meet you at Food Matters last Saturday!

I'd love to share my secret to make your trick even faster and double as two meals or more.

Chop twice or three times more vegetables (best if they are different kinds) as much vegetables than you are planning to eat today.

Once veggies are chopped, boil about 1/4 cup of water in a large frying pan (no oil). Add a little bit of salt (optional). Add the veggies and immediately cover with a lid. They will be steamed to crisp tender in about 2 minutes. No need to use the ice bath, nor drain. They are brightly colored and ready to be eaten or roasted.

How to make this into 2 more meals easily ...

  • Day 1: These steamed vegetables can be eaten as it is, or with dressing as hot salad, dress with hummus, pesto, sesame dressing, mayo etc.
  • Day 2: You can roast the leftover steamed veggies the next day, as instructed in the blog.
  • Day 3: Add broth (& optionally other veggies/meat, etc.) and make it into a soup. If you puree the leftover soup, you have 2 kinds of soup!
  • Day 4: If you still have leftover, you can use them to make pasta, gratin etc... (you can also add broth to pasta leftover and make soup).
  • By doing the prep in a larger batch, it's easier to eat more vegetables everyday — even for busy people!