Home Seasonal Cooking Guide Seven veggie treats for holiday meals

Seven veggie treats for holiday meals

Go Veg

This holiday season go veg and relish some very exotic fare. Cook veggies like carrots, potatoes, spinach, broccoli, eggplants, and pepper in flavor some oils and cheese. Douse them in herbs and spices to add a kick. You can prepare most dishes in a jiffy. Even if some of them cook over extended minutes, the ingredients have only been left to roast, bake or simmer. This doesn’t require you to toil around for long hours. So help yourself to some veggie treats this holiday season.

1. Name of the dish: Baked vegetables

Baked Veggies

a. Complexity level: moderate

b. Time taken: 40 minutes

c. Ingredients: carrots, zucchini, potatoes, capsicum, milk, butter

d. Process:

Melt butter in a pan and dust it with some wheat flour. Brown the flour and then add milk, a spoonful at a time and keep stirring. Blend well to avoid lumping. Add in salt, pepper, sugar and aji-no-moto when the sauce begins to thicken and bubble. Steam the veggies and preheat the oven. Butter the baking tray and add vegetables topped with sauce and grated cheese. Bake for 20-30 minutes till vegetables are cooked thoroughly. Jab with a fork to check if vegetables are soft and cooked through.

2. Name of the dish: Mango salsa

Mango salsa

a. Complexity level: easy

b. Time taken: 15 minutes

c. Ingredients: mango, peach, cucumber, onion, etc

d. Process:

Fruits are sweet and yummy. For this dish just dice mango into bite sized cubes. You can also cube other veggies and fruits. Anything that goes with mangoes like peppers, jalapenos, cucumber, peach, pineapple, cilantro and onion can be used. Season with dash of lime juice, salt, pepper, and chilli flakes. You can also sprinkle olive oil or vinaigrette.

3. Name of the dish: French fries

French fries

a. Complexity level: easy

b. Time taken: 20 minutes

c. Ingredients: potatoes, oil

d. Process:

Peel and cut potatoes into thin strips. Soak then in cold water for an hour. Heat oil and deep fry till juicy and golden brown. Serve hot with ketchup, thousand island, chilli sauce or mustard. Don’t forget to sprinkle salt and pepper over them.

4. Name of the dish: Braised tofu and mushroom

Brasied tofu and mushrooms

a. Complexity level: easy

b. Time taken: 20 minutes

c. Ingredients: tofu, mushroom, broccoli, bok choy

d. Process:

Heat sesame oil in a pan and toss chopped ginger and garlic for 30 seconds. Then add oyster sauce and stir. After 30 seconds add mushrooms and baby broccoli. Stir for 4 minutes and then add in bok choy. After another 2 minutes, add tofu and soy sauce. Cook for 2-3 minutes then sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.

5. Name of the dish: Cheese fondue

Cheese fondue

a. Complexity level: moderate

b. Time taken: 30 minutes

c. Ingredients: cheese, wine, brandy, milk

d. Process:

Take a pot and rub it with garlic. Pour wine and let it bubble. Then add in the shredded swiss cheese and some milk. You can also add flour for thickening. Mix in cornstarch with brandy and blend it in. You can add a number of flavorings to this cheesy hodgepodge – mustard and Worcestershire sauce or nutmeg and hot pepper sauce. Simmer till all the ingredients have fused together. Place it on a low heat burner and relish with crusty bread, raw or grilled veggies, marshmallows, etc.

6. Name of the dish: Lasagna

Veg lasagna

a. Complexity level: moderate

b. Time taken: 60 minutes

c. Ingredients: eggplant, spinach, tomato sauce, lasagna sheets

d. Process:

Heat garlic in hot oil and sauté eggplants for 5-7 minutes till they soften. Blanch spinach in boiling water. Preheat the oven and then spread tomato sauce mixed with Italian herbs at the bottom. Top with ricotta cheese and lasagna sheet. Then add layer of cooked eggplant and spinach sandwiched between lasagna sheet, ricotta and tomato sauce. Top with some mozzarella and bake for about 40 minutes.

7. Name of the dish: Gravy

Veg gravy

a. Complexity level: moderate

b. Time taken: 30 minutes

c. Ingredients: vegetable stock, onion, soy sauce, garlic

d. Process:

For thickening a roux made from cornstarch or wheat flour is used along with vegetable stock. Sauté garlic and onions in oil and then add the roux and vegetable broth. Next throw in the nutritional yeast and soy sauce along with sprinkling of salt, pepper, spices and herbs as desired. Simmer till the blend turns viscous. You can serve this gravy with breads, rice, mashed potatoes, pies, grilled or roast veggies. You can also use it as a dip for salads and raw veggies.

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