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Fast/Fresh/Flexi Cooking Tips – Impromy

Fast/Fresh/Flexi Cooking Tips

Hard Boiling Eggs

To make hard boiled eggs simply bring a small saucepan of water to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and gently lower in the room temperature eggs. Cook for 9 minutes then remove the eggs from the hot water and cool them in a bowl of ice water until required. Crack the shells under water as this helps to peel off the shell.

 

Konjac Noodles

Konjac is a pasta-like product made from the root vegetable Konjac. It is very low kilojoule and can be enjoyed as a free food. Konjac products are also allowed in Control day meals. A range of Konjac pasta, noodle and rice products are available in most supermarkets (check out the health food aisle – a common brand is Slendier) and these can make a great base for Control day meals.

 

Cauliflower Rice

A number of the Flexi & Impromy Program recipes call for the inclusion of Cauliflower rice. You may also wish to use it as a base for recipes of your own. To make it simply place 2 cups of roughly chopped cauliflower florets in a food processor and pulse until it reaches a consistency resembling rice. Place in a microwave safe bowl, cover with plastic wrap or a microwave safe lid and cook on high for 1 minute until steaming. Stir then microwave for a further minute until tender. Cauliflower rice can be used as the base for a stir fry, curry or vegetable stew. Stir through herbs such as parsley or basil for extra flavour.

 

Dukkah

Store-bought Dukkah can be used in any recipe that calls for it, or you can easily make your own. NB: Dukkah should not be used in Control recipes as it contains items that are not on the free food list.

Ingredients:
¼ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground coriander
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp salt
2 tsp sesame seeds
35g (1/4 cup) shelled pistachio nuts finely chopped

Method:
Combine all ingredients and mix well.

A Few Cooking Tips

• Invest in a good non-stick pan, this makes cooking without oil much easier. Ceramic and stoneware are great options.

• Only turn heat up to medium on pan to prevent damaging the non-stick surface.

• When sautéing vegetables add a splash of water or reduced-salt stock to the pan and cover with a lid, this is called steam frying- a great way to cook without oil.

• When roasting, place vegetables on baking paper to prevent them sticking to the roasting dish.

• Grilling or barbequing is a great mess-free way to impart a smoky flavour to veggies. Try making up mixed veggie kebabs or putting slices of zucchini, eggplant, or whole field mushrooms on the grill

• Hard herbs or those with woody stems e.g. rosemary, thyme, oregano and marjoram can be added at the beginning of cooking, such as in roasting, or sautéing, whereas soft herbs e.g. basil, coriander, parsley and mint, are best added at the end of cooking so they keep their flavour and delicate texture.

• Try purchasing a mandolin or vegetable spiralizer to make creating interesting shapes and textures a breeze e.g. shaved fennel, zucchini noodles.

• Tinned vegetables can be a good alternative to fresh or frozen- look for no added salt varieties.

• Vegetable always taste better when they are in season. Try to be inspired by what is abundant in the store or market to guide your control day meals. Eating in season is a money saver as well as tasting great.

• If you are cooking for others, try selecting recipes which can be modified for others by adding some lean protein and a side of carbs while you enjoy your version so you don’t have to create two separate meals.

• There is nothing more frustrating than buying fresh herbs only to have them wilt before you get to use them. To lengthen the life of your fresh herbs follow these steps:
– Wash herbs in cold water, cleaning any dirt and then drain (or spin in a salad
spinner).
– Loosely wrap herbs in some damp paper towel and place them into an airtight
container or zip lock bag in the fridge

Control Days – Get Adventurous

In our Recipes section, you’ll find a great selection of Control Day recipes, designed to make delicious meals using only Free Foods. Why not be brave and use these recipes as your base and get creative with your flavour combinations.

Here are a few suggestions to help get you started:

Ras El Hanout

This is a Moroccan spice blend that translates as ‘top of the shop’. This spice blend has as many as 23 different spices so it’s a great one to purchase rather than make yourself. Goes well with hard veggies e.g. cauliflower, pumpkin, parsnip, eggplant and works well in roasting or a veggie stew.

Baharat

A Lebanese blend of 7 spices including paprika, pepper, cumin, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and nutmeg. Try this sprinkled on veggie kebabs cooked on the grill or barbeque.

Garam Masala

An Indian spice blend that’s a bit more interesting than generic curry powder. Try adding this one to sautéed mushrooms, cabbage or a mixed veggie curry.

These are a great shortcut to add flavour to a meal and a good starting point if you’re not confident making your own combinations. Source out these spice blends from ethnic grocers or markets.

Keen to get even more adventurous? Take a look at the Flavour Table in the Flexi Getting Started Guide for more ideas!