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A beginner's guide to vegetable recipes

Vegetables are plentiful, cheap and healthy. They provide us with many nutrients and vitamins and can be the basis of many a delicious meal, but to many people, they are boring and tasteless. Vegetables don't have to be like that! This article will show you how to create tasty vegetable dishes.

How to cook vegetables

Our grandparents used to cook almost all of the goodness out of vegetables. If you look in old cookery books for how to cook vegetables, they will generally tell you to cook them for far longer than is actually necessary. Most pre-packed vegetables come with cooking instructions these days and this can be a good place to start if you are new to cooking. Generally, if you steam vegetables, they will cook quicker and retain more of their flavour. Cooked vegetables should be fairly firm and not mushy. If you do boil vegetables, then try and use the cooking water as the basis for gravy to ensure that you are getting the maximum nutrients from your food.

Glazed carrots

The next time you are cooking a roast or a pie in the oven, you might want to try this delicious and easy way of cooking carrots. Peel the carrots and cut them into wedge-shaped pieces. Melt 25g of butter in a casserole dish, toss the carrots in the butter for two minutes, season with pepper and then cover the carrots with a little cold water. Put the lid on the casserole and then place it in the oven and let it cook for 45 minutes. This way of cooking carrots makes even old carrots taste deliciously sweet. This method can also work for other root vegetables such as parsnips and turnips but depending upon the size of the chunks, they might require up to an hour's cooking.

Italian savoy cabbage

Cabbage is not a popular vegetable, yet it is one of the healthiest ones around. The reason most people don't like cabbage is because of its bland taste. This vegetable recipe will solve that problem for you. Italian savoy cabbage is a Tuscan recipe which lifts cabbage from the everyday into something special. Shred one Savoy cabbage. In a frying pan, heat 4 tbsp olive oil, add four crushed cloves of garlic and fry until the garlic turns golden. Add the cabbage and stir thoroughly. Cover the pan with a lid or foil and leave to wilt completely - this takes four to five minutes - stirring every now and then. Once the cabbage has wilted and has begun to go brown around the edges, remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper. Serve.

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