Fast Healthy Food

Vegetables - the dreaded word - comes under the heading of fast healthy food.

Let us show you how to keep vegetables 'friendly'.

Because there is so much food information that we would like to pass on to you, we have also designed three other pages.

These cover green vegetables then fruit and finally Eggs, Cheese, Bread, etc. etc.

Many people, in particular men, are unable to think of vegetables as fast healthy food, read on and let us show you how.

For the sake of those who are in a rush, each tip has the subject matter highlighted so that you can quickly search for your particular need saving you time and energy. Our aims are to save time and money.

FAST HEALTHY FOOD

1. First of all, make sure you store your fast healthy food correctly. It is disappointing to see your food go mouldy or rot before you have time to cook it. If you have a vegetable crisper container in the fridge, make good use of it.

To keep carrots fresh, cut the green foliage tops off before storing.

Pack mushrooms in a paper bag before refrigerating.

Don't put uncooked potatoes in the fridge, keep them somewhere cool and dark. Putting potatoes in the fridge can cause a rise in the levels of acrylamide when the potataoes are baked, fried or roasted at high temperatures. Acrylamide is a chemical found in food, first discovered in 2002 by Swedish scientists and can cause cancer in animals. So play safe!

2. For a quick supply of roast potatoes, par boil and roast double your usual quantity. Drain them on kitchen paper. Cool and then store in plastic bags in the freezer. Parsnips can be treated in the same way.

If you do this double sized batch you will save money because of the energy saved on your fast healthy food.

3. Creamed potatoes can also be frozen. Prepare a batch, then use an ice-cream scoop to set out individual portions on a plate or chopping board.

Flash freeze as they are on the board or plate. When frozen, remove from the board and store as above.

This tip is a life-saver when you are in a desperate rush to get a meal on the table. Defrost them in the microwave, then beat with a spoon and serve. Definitely fast healthy food.

Again cooking a double portion will save money, time and effort. For a pleasing change, add some chopped chives or parsley when creaming the spuds.

Don't do a Delia and buy frozen creamed potatoes.

Gastro Grub is all about comfort food, made from scratch, with love, and run by a professional chef. Take a look and get inspired!

Humble creamed potatoes, see picture below, can be made to look like a very special food for a dinner party. Buy a large piping nozzle and bag,(if you have a strong, clean plastic bag - use this instead of buying a piping bag) and pipe your potatoes into shapes or mounds, then decorate with chopped parsley. Yes, it takes a bit of effort to produce this good food, but the result can be stunning for the old humble potato.

You don't need a large garden to grow your own potatoes. Take a look at our Gardening Diary for inspiration on tomatoes and other vegetables. Grow your own very fast healthy food.


5. The variations on mashed potatoes are almost endless. Cook some potatoes and swede, (cut into small pieces) together and then mash in the usual way. Or try adding a little


grated nutmeg or
horseradish or
grated cheese with finely chopped garlic or
cooking a small onion in with the potato or
mustard or salad cream or
a beaten egg and so on ad infinitum.

Boiled parsnips and potato creamed together make another interesting variant. The choice is yours!

6. Another way to save money on time and energy (fuel) is - instead of cutting potatoes in the normal fairly large quarters prior to boiling, try slicing them cross-ways into slices about 1/4" thick. Cook in the normal way. This method will cut cooking time down by at least a 1/3rd of the normal time. This method makes the potatoes easier to mash and cream. Two tips for the price of one here on this fast healthy food!

When entertaining, these sliced potatoes give a different eye appeal to the food. Put a couple of sprigs of mint on top of the potatoes as a garnish, or sprinkle with chopped parsley. Any left-over potato slices can be sautéed for a future meal. All designed to save you time and money!

7. Baked Potatoes AKA Jacket Potatoes are renowned for variations on a theme. Definitely easy food. Whole business enterprises have been based on this version of the humble spud. Fillings are a matter of personal choice. Grated cheese. coleslaw, ham, sardines are just a few.

Why not try

grated cheese and spring onions
cottage cheese and fresh pieces of pineapple
coleslaw and a few prawns
or sausages
baked beans
corned beef
scrambled egg
left-over curry or mushrooms
tuna and so on ad infinitum.

For baked/jacket potatoes with a difference, cook as usual. When done, quarter the potatoes using a sharp knife for a clean cut, place in a dish and cover with chopped spring onions followed by a layer of grated cheese. Brown under the grill. These are Superior Potato Wedges!

Why not send us your idea for baked potato fillings?
Definitely fast healthy food.

Just go to Contact Me and quite literally 'spill the beans'.

8. When Brussel sprouts are bought on a stalk they also keep better in a jar of cold water in a cool place. They will last for weeks stored in this manner. Asparagus can also be kept in the same way but for a shorter time.

9. When cooking carrots and broccoli for a meal, slice the carrots julienne style (strips) add them to the boiling, slightly salted water and bring back to the boil. Toss in the broccoli (cut individually into small florets), bring back to the boil again and cook for approximately 3 minutes. (if you are using an electric cooker, make use of the residual heat here.) If you have a steamer, use this for the same effect. Test with a fork and serve. When tipped into a serving dish or onto a plate, the colour contrast in the mixture is mouth-watering. Another version of fast healthy food.

10. French beans also combine well with carrots. Two items cooked in one saucepan saves on fuel, washing up liquid, effort and your energy at the end of a day. It also makes sticking to your ‘five a day’ routine easier.

Brussel sprouts can also be cooked with carrots, but slice the carrots in rounds and add the Brussel sprouts at the same time as the carrots.

11. For the real enthusiast there are always young nettle tops which can be used in soups, salads, etc. Use the 'dead nettle' with little white flowers and paler green leaves rather than the stinging nettle.

To make soup use a selection of vegetables - carrot, celery, swede, garlic clove, some cooked rice and seasoning and the necessary very large handful of fresh nettle tops or leaves. In other words a vegetable soup with nettle tops added. These young nettle leaves can be added to salads, pizza toppings, pasta etc, and are tasty.

More recipe inspiration can be found right here.


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12. If you buy watercress in fresh bunches (not pre-packed in a polybag) you can either store it in the fridge or keep it fresh by cutting off the bottom ¼” stem and place in deep water in a wide necked jar. Keep out of direct sunshine.

13. The watercress may develop roots when kept in water as above, this can be grown on if you have a source of fresh running water. A real cut-and-come-again crop. You could be ready to take a crop in about two weeks. It will survive the winter and start to flourish again in the spring.

Before adding to your salad or soup, put the freshly picked watercress shoots into a bowl of cold, salted water in case there are any lurking unwanted inhabitants!

A cautionary tip here - the running water really must be running and fresh then you will really have fast healthy food.

14. Freeze and store surplus cooking apples every year and use either of these two methods:

a. Peel, core and slice the apples into a bowl of cold water containing a little salt to prevent browning. Drain and dry on paper towels. Layer into a plastic bags and after each two or three inches of apples, sprinkle with granulated sugar. Seal bag and freeze. These can then be cooked at a later date in different ways.

b. Peel core and slice apples into a bowl of cold water. Heat just enough cold water in a pan to cover the bottom of the pan, add the drained sliced apples with sugar to taste. If liked add either a few cloves or a handful of sultanas. Cool then freeze in a plastic container.

Before you buy/store/cook any food, consult this site and make sure you get the best value for your money.
Eat fast healthy food throughout the year.



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