Low-Waste Broccoli Tater Tots (So Vegan)
Just like your parents told you, it’s good to eat your greens. Years ago, all children and adults would sit at the dinner table (no TV) and eat their greens, just like they were told. From cabbage to spinach to Brussels sprouts, to the occasional salad.
Note that if you are on heart or blood-thinning medication, you may not be able to go overboard, due to vitamin K, but in moderation they should be fine. These recipes also tend to add things like onion, garlic, mushrooms, and sometimes vegan meats, so keep them away from pets. Some greens (like watercress) are also toxic to pets.
The Veg Box focuses on 10 ways to prepare 10 vegetables for 100 recipes in all: aubergine, beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrot, cauliflower, courgette, leek, mushroom and potatoes. For carrots you can make:
- Carrot & Sesame Burgers
- Roasted Carrot Tagine
- Chewy Flapjacks with Carrot & Pistachio
- Easy One-Pan Courgette Pizza
- Courgette Crepes with Spinach & Ricotta
- Courgette & Lemon Loaf Cake with Lemon Curd
But today for many, the only ‘green’ is a slice of lettuce in a McDonald’s burger. Other greens are often sold in frozen bags, tins or as a tiny add-on to meal (like a bit of spinach on pizza). This Cheesy Vegan Spinach Artichoke Dip (Minimalist Baker) is a simple cashew cream sauce with nutritional yeast, sauteed shallots, garlic salt and pepper.
Proper greens are tasty and healthy, so here are some ways to make it easy to add them to your meals. We will focus here on seasonal greens native to England, so they are easier to find in shops and greengrocers, if you have one left. You can then pick up a bunch of whatever you find, and quickly knock up a nice meal or side dish.
Greens are high in calcium, so eating more of them is also a good way to get strong bones, without the need for dairy. Although dairy has calcium, it also has high acid, which releases calcium from your bones to neutralise it. If you think that’s bunkum, think of Asian women (who eat little dairy but lots of greens and have strong bones, due to regular exercise). And western women (who guzzle down dairy but little greens and don’t exercise much, and have lots of osteoarthritis).
Most people only try artichokes in a can, and that’s fine too. Or you could eat them fresh, in the form of Jerusalem artichokes, which are often served with vegan Hollandaise sauce. Artichokes are unbloomed relations to sunflowers, and have been eaten since humans began eating food. Don’t cook them in aluminium, as they will turn your pans grey. If you fancy eating this perennial thistle, here are recipes to get you started.
Jerusalem Artichoke Lentil Burgers (Full of Plants) are made with green lentils, mushrooms, chestnuts and cranberries. A Christmas burger, if ever there was one.
Asparagus is not the most popular vegetable among the great unwashed, but quite popular in ‘high society’. That’s a shame because it’s a nice nutty taste and easy to grow here. Related to lilies, onions and garlic, it makes many people’s pee smell, but nobody knows why.
Creamy Asparagus & Pea Soup (Minimalist Baker) features sauteed garlic and shallots, with creamy almond milk, lemon juice and a cheesy nutritional yeast.
Broccoli means ‘little flower’ and is an Italian vegetable, related to cauliflower. It’s heaped in calcium and really quick to cook.
Low-Waste Broccoli Tater Tots (So Vegan) are made with potato, broccoli, onion or nutritional yeast. Serve with ketchup or vegan mayo.
These are indeed from Belgium, and usually people who say they don’t like them, are because they are cooked too much, producing a sulphur smell.
5-Ingredient Brussels Sprouts Tater Tots (So Vegan) are made with potato, garlic cloves, shallots and a red chilli.
Brussels Sprouts Bhaji (Full of Plants) are sure to convert the curry-loving man over. These are fried chickpea flour balls that are crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, packed with shaved Brussels sprouts. Served with a creamy vegan mint yoghurt dipping sauce.
Sauerkraut is the granddad of all green veggies, and can also be fermented to make sauerkraut, which is good for your gut. It’s easy to cook, nice with a little black pepper. Spring Greens are just the first cabbages of the year, more tender and sweet.
Spicy Cabbage Stir-Fry (The Simple Veganista) is an Asian dish with pepper, carrots and green onions, seasoned in a tasty sauce.
Quick Citrusy Cabbage Slaw (Minimalist Baker) is served with a bowl of fluffy rice and smoky black beans and citrus beet relish.
Courgettes (called zucchini in the US) are little marrows, and very popular in Mediterranean cuisine. It’s kind of like a summer squash, and used to make the French dish ratatouille. You can stuff larger marrows.
Easy Caramelized Sesame Zucchini (Full of Plants) marinates in garlic and ginger and onion.
Creamy Zucchini Pesto with Noodles (The Simple Veganista) steams courgettes and adds basil, garlic and tahini for a thick paste.
Easy Vegan Zucchini Fritters (Minimalist Baker) are made with superfood quinoa and onion and onion, along with spinach. Made up with chickpea flour, serve with dill, lemon wedges and a vegan yoghurt sauce.
Cucumber is very nutritious, despite being mostly water. It is sometimes icky to people with sensitive tummies, so check first. Pickled cucumbers are gherkins.
Creamy Cucumber Gazpacho (Full of Plants) is a light refreshing summer soup with basil pesto, miso and coconut milk (Biona is free from monkey harvesting).
Radish & Cucumber Salad (The Simple Veganista) features peppery radish and cooling cucumbers, with fresh dill and protein-rich chickpeas, with apple cider vinaigrette.
Kale is another calcium power-house. Not as many people like this by taste, so here are some recipes to help disguise it. Sorry kale, but that’s just the way it is. It doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy it, and some people love it! It’s simply a very strong taste, and people not used to it prefer to tone things down a bit!
Lemony Kale, Leek & White Bean Soup (The Simple Veganista) is a hearty stew loaded with nutrients, easy to make and ready in half an hour. Garlic Mushroom Kale with Linguine (The Simple Veganista) uses white and shiitake mushrooms.
Lettuce is again very nutritious, despite being high in water. This is one of those ‘dirty dozen’ that often gets sprayed with chemicals, so try to find proper organic lettuce. Don’t store lettuce near apples or bananas, or it will go off quickly due to ethylene gas.
Garden Salad Lettuce Wraps (The Simple Veganista) wrap cucumber, carrots, tomatoes, chickpeas and coriander in romaine hearts, and includes hummus and hemp hearts, with salt and pepper.
Grilled Romaine Caesar Salad with Herbed Beans (Minimalist Baker) has a smoky charred flavour, with lemon-herb white beans and a flavourful quick dressing.
Peas are often grown at home, and very tasty indeed. Not only are they high in vitamins, but 100 calories of peas has more protein than a whole egg or a tablespoon of peanut butter.
Broccoli & Pea Soup (Crowded Kitchen) is very easy to make, and you can use fresh or frozen vegetables. This soup tastes amazing.
Easy Vegan Mac 7 Cheese with Peas (The Simple Veganista) uses a cashew cheese sauce with miso and mustard with onion powder and garlic, salt and pepper.
Rubber beans are also grown very widely in England. Originally grown only as a decorative plant, today they are a favourite for veggie roast dinners.
Vegan Green Bean Casserole (The Simple Veganista) wraps fresh green beans in a mushroom gravy and tops with crispy baked onions.
Spinach is very high calcium and iron, though not the most iron-high green veggie (despite what Popeye says). It does have iron but kale, Swiss chard and collard/beet greens have more.
Spinach & Mint Lasagna (Full of Plants) is a vegan Italian main meal that swaps tomato sauce for this instead, with mushrooms and chickpeas.
Swiss Chard and Beet Greens are pretty similar (it’s not Swiss but derived from beets). These are quite bitter so again, use them in recipes, if you are not used to eating lots of greens.
This is a strong-tasting salad vegetable, and very high in iron. This is popular in Italy and related to cabbage – one of the oldest veggies known to man.
15 Minute Watercress Soup (Salted Mint) is thick and nourishing soup, which includes creamy potatoes and peppery greens.
A Celebration of Greens Pie is from the Mediterranean book Nistisima. It’s like a Greek spanakopita, crammed with courgette and spinach, and topped with sesame seeds.
Summer Garden Soup is a pretty lunch made with broad beans, new potatoes, fennel and fresh herbs.
Super Green Pasta is silky and creamy, all because of – a pot of hummous! This also means it has plenty of protein and calcium.