Saturday, 16 June 2012

Experimental food

There was a bag of five, red and green peppers on my shopping list last week. You will have noticed it if you read the list on my food diary. They were reduced from £2 to 20p. I don't do many stir fries so I needed a way to use the peppers up before they became wrinkly. Whenever I steam them with other veg, the skins always seem tough, and I hate tough skins on anything. Tomato skins seem to be tough these days and I don't enjoy them as much as I used to. I usually chew for a few minutes and spit them out. Yuk, horrible.

Anyway I came up with this idea to use up the peppers, because I do not throw food out, no matter how cheap it is. First chop them up into a pan. Add water, not too much. Then I added turmeric, garlic granules, black pepper, some other spices, and boiled them for ten minutes.

Then I zapped it with the stick blender, and put some in four plastic tubs to go in the freezer. I kept some back for my dinner tonight.

I steamed some potatoes and brocolli in another pan, again these were cheap from last weeks shop. Then I added these to the rest of the mushed peppers and put it on a low gas to warm through. Then added the last of the spinach. All the veg is nine days after the sell by date, perfectly edible. Just before serving I added four teaspoons of yogurt.

Result, a lovely tasty meal for a few pence. And more zapped peppers in the freezer to be used for soups and stews.

If anyone has picky eaters in the family this is the perfect way to get more veg into their diet without them noticing it. Be brave, experiment a little.

26 comments:

  1. This blog is the best ont' Net. Go Ilona!

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  2. MQ - this looks lovely - but where is your protein ?
    I notice most of your meals consist of veggies served in various ways, which is good, but you must have protein ! it's the stuff of life, and if you don't incorporate it into your diet, the peppers won't be the only things that are going wrinkly !
    I'm a veggie myself, but always make sure each day I have one or more of cheese, eggs, powdered skim milk, nuts, legumes etc., and fish if you eat that ?
    Consider yourself told off !!

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    1. http://michaelbluejay.com/veg/protein.html

      Setting the record straight
      Vegetables have plenty of protein, and even potatoes are a complete protein

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  3. Thank you Wean :o) I had two scrambled eggs for lunch, and I can't stop nibbling cheese everytime I open the fridge. I eat a bit of fish, tins of tuna and mackeral, and frozen salmon steaks. And also beans.

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  4. That looks delicious! Did you remove the seeds from the peppers? Did the skins get chopped up by your stick blender? Maybe I should buy a stick blender...I have a regular blender, but so much stuff seems to get left in the container, it seems wasteful to use it.

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  5. Thank goodness for that ..........
    I had visions of you shrinking before our eyes and what would we do if we lost our Meanqueen ??
    I'm only thinking of your health MQ -

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  6. I had stir fries both yesterday and today, have loads of veggies in. Like Ilona I had eggs at lunchtime and yesterday I think it was cheese. Husband had prawns today and d'you know, I've completely forgotten what he had with his stir fry yesterday. It's my age you know/

    Your dinner looked very tasty and colourful, Ilona.

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  7. A handful of red lentils makes soups thicker and takes care of the protein element. Like you, I love my soups ;-)

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    1. Lentils of any color are not a complete protein. You must have two complimentary foods to form a complete protein. There is nothing else in the soup to form a complete protein.

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    2. Lentils are only "incomplete" because they lack just 2 Amino acids, methionine and Cysteine, both of which are found in peppers.

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  8. Yumm... I threw my wrinkly peppers into a soup....with the woppy carrots, and as Kath has just suggested..I added a handful of lentils...lovely thick soup...well its all gone!

    Keep up the good work.. you cheer my day!

    Vicky x

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  9. I stick my peepers in the oven when Im cooking something else till thay get a little singed, pop them in a plastic bag till they are cool and the skins peel off. Make lots of salsa with them, just skinned tomatoes, onions and a tiny bit of chilli, its lovely with salad's or baked potatoe and the colours brighten up a meal.

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  10. That is a very clever use of your peppers. I cannot stand to get red, green, or yellow peppers in my mouth even though I use them diced up or in strips for seasoning in so many things I cook. Maybe I will try whirring up a few to help me swallow them. Tat way I won't make a face or pick through my food.

    My Holy Trinity of seasonings are bell pepper, celery, and onion. So, I do use them lots.

    There are several cookboods out for mothers, showing them how to sneak vegetables into food. It seems like it would not take a whole book to figure this out.

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  11. When I make soup I always blend my son's portion because if he sees what veg is in it, he will pick out the ones he doesn't like and leave them on the side. Blended together though and he'll eat it without complaint.

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  12. You can char the peppers over a gas flame or roast in the oven, then put into a plastic bag to steam. You'll be able to peel the skin off and the insides are delicious.
    (Dead chuffed is a good thing, right? I'm from USA.) Like your blog.

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  13. I nearly always learn something here.

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  14. I also just chop the peppers and freeze, and take out as needed later (freeze uncooked). Great for putting in chili or stir frys, etc in the winter.

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  15. Very, very cool idea - never thought of doing that with peppers.

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  16. Yummy!

    Peppers are also lovely chopped into largeish chunks and tossed in a roasting tin with cherry tomatoes and halved mushrooms, a little oil and some black pepper and basil, and roasted at 180 for about half an hour, should you find yourself with a glut of those - can be eaten hot, or left to go cold and eaten on crackers, ryvita or toast, either plain or with a bit of cream cheese :o)

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  17. What a great idea. I hate to have to throw food out so always try to think of new ways to use it up.

    X x

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  18. Hi quinn. I didn't use the seeds in the middle. I figured they would just go straight through me and come out whole at the other end, so no point. If I use seeds out of a packet I pulverise them with a pestle and mortar first. The stick blender does a good job, it's not a cheapie so a bit better made and should last longer than my last budget one.

    I know there are lots of things you can do with peppers, thank you for your suggestions. But which ever way you cook them you always have the hard skins, which I can't abide, and I am not going to faff about peeling them. I don't use my oven and wouldn't want to pay for 30 mins of gas to roast vegetables. I look for the quickest and cheapest way to cook.

    Hi anon from the USA. Dead chuffed is the same as very pleased.

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  19. That looks delicious!! I have to admit, I hate wrinkly veg. Do you have any top tips for storing them?

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  20. I fry mine with onion and garlic until soft add cooked pasta, a tin of sweetcorn,a tin of tuna and cook until piping hot serve with a sweet chilli sauce delicious. I also do the same with spagetti bolognase(sp)Again fry with the onion and garlic plus carrots and then add other ingredients. I have never had peppers with hard skins in any recipe I use.

    Lentil and carrot soup is my favourite I have also been known to put in peppers or celery and blitz in my blender for really tasty soup. I always stock my freezer up with meals to take out and eat with hot bread from the oven.

    Brilliant blog as always
    Midlands Annie

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  21. I chop them up and put them with sliced courgette and wedges of onion in a roasting tray, drizzle with some oil and tomato puree and roast them slowly for about 30 minutes, the skins go wonderfully soft and it enhances the flavour, then you can eat them as they are and whizz up any leftovers for a veggie/pepper sauce. Also brilliant to use to top a pizza or add to a homemade quiche.

    What is this obsession with protein? Lots of vegetables have protein in them and we do not need to eat 'complete proteins' all the time. We all just do the best we can, especially us veggies.

    Sue xx

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  22. Looks lovely the pepper garlic blitzed, what a lovely colour, given me ideas for spaghetti bolognaise and soup. dip for celery to help stop eating crisps mmmmm

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