It’s Instaveggie time!

fb18a0d02d3d235c2504419b56802bb1So yeah, as you’ve noticed in my earlier blog, I love my veggies.  I would say no to a  chocolate souffle any day to feast on a plate of grilled zucchini, broccoli, green pepper and asparagus soaked with balsamic vinegar and olive oil and a slight sprinkle of salt and pepper. YUM!  I’m weird, I’m not human, I’m sick.  Bla Bla Bla  I know, I get that often.

So it’s Ramadan time, and things can get quiet boring, especially if your living in the Gulf. Precisely, Qatar. There is absolutely nothing to do, when I say nothing, I mean NOTHING. The highlight of my day is my gym workout, which I do completely alone. I mean literally alone, I’m the only one there. No one steps foot in the gym during this time of year.

So I decided  to invest my time on something worthwhile and start cooking, and then write about my cooking to inspire and motivate myself. Then I took it a stretch further,  and now I’m a firm believer of Instagramming my meals. I will write about my meals, then Insta the hell out of every one. Good enough inspiration to get me cooking, no?

I was never a Instafoodaholic before, but I confess that I might have fallen victim to the growing food porn epidemic lately. I’m following every single Instafood account possible. From amazing-looking comfort food recipes to mouth-watering photos of meals from around the world, I’ve become an addict. I also believe that drool-worthy food porn shouldn’t be limited to calorie-heavy entrees and sugar-loaded pastries.  You can have the most exquisite and delicious veggie-based dishes and feel just as satisfied. I do vote that veggies should have a exclusive role in food porn!

So I am here to share and inspire you how to add more veggies into our repertoire of Instagramble recipes. I’ve been reading some of Amanda Cohen’s articles (one of New York’s fine chefs) and she has inspired me with some amazing vegetable recipes tips. I’ve listed some of her tips extracted from her latest article.  Read and experiment with some mouth watering dishes!

Think Low and Slow- Rule #1

Make it taste amazing: It may be simple—and pretty tasty—to roast vegetables in the oven for a half an hour and call it a day. But Cohen says that old standby can use an upgrade. Her solution: “Go low and slow.” Try tossing veggies (anything from beets and carrots to kale or spinach) in a little olive oil and salt and putting it in the oven at 150-200 degrees for around 1-1 ½ hours, until they’re almost dehydrated. “What you get is something that’s lost all water content and is really chewy with a really deep flavor,” says Cohen, similar to the texture of dried fruit.

Make it look amazing: When you transfer your veggies from the pan to a plate, use this plating tip from Cohen: use a circular mold or a tin can with both ends cut off to create a clean, neat stack on the plate. Then, Instagram away!

Double Up on Flavor- Rule  #2

Make it taste amazing: Think veggies are bland? Fight the urge to over-salt, and try cooking the vegetables in their own juices instead. Take something like carrots or spinach, and juice some of the vegetables while roasting the rest of the batch for 30-45 minutes at 375-400 degrees. Then, finish the veggies off on the stove by throwing them in a pan with their own juice and cooking that for a few minutes over medium heat. Add a tiny bit of olive oil, salt, and garlic to make a sauce out of the excess juice. No juicer? You can totally get away with using a store-bought vegetable juice, says Cohen.

Make it look amazing: If you add the vegetable juice at the end and don’t cook it too long, the colors will be more vibrant, says Cohen. “And if you’re taking pictures, you should always wipe up any splatters on the plate that make it look messy.”

Fire Up the Grill-Rule#3

Make it taste amazing: If the only veggies you’ve grilled are peppers and corn, you’re seriously missing out. You can use the grill to give beets, spinach, or kale that same great charred, smoky flavor. “Anything you can cook in the oven, you can cook on the grill,” says Cohen. Just pile them onto the grill and flip them once or twice, just as you would in a pan. You can also add a little olive oil and seasonings for added flavor.

Make it look amazing: Try not to move the veggies around too much so that you get those nice grill marks when they’re done.

Also for some more inspirational veggie dishes please check out these awesome recipes.  I stumbled across them on Cooking  So simple, yet so delicious!

Eggplant Zucchini and Tomato Tian

Charred Vegetable Salad

Zucchini with Peppermint

Roasted Root vegetables with Maple Glaze

Do something nice for your body, Eat green.


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