Veggies in the Spotlight
As you can imagine, there’s a small obsession with food in Drop Chef HQ. We’re always keen to bring you interesting recipes and creative ways to use seemingly “normal” ingredients. At the moment, our focus in on potatoes, spinach and carrots. These veggies have been around for years and each week we’re aiming to show you how to cook with them in ways you may not have known possible. And they don’t just taste good, they are packed with vitamins and minerals too!
The humble spuds are a member of the nightshade family, along with aubergines and tomatoes. Potatoes originated in South America and have been grown in Europe since the 16th century.
“Floury” potatoes such as Maris Piper are ideal for mashing and baking while the “waxy” varieties such as Charlotte are suited to potato salads. Have you tried the Apricot and Plum Chicken with Broccoli and Baby Potatoes from Drop Chef? This is a meal made in heaven!
Did you know?
Rooster and Kerr\’s Pink are the two most important varieties of potatoes grown in Ireland. Meath, Dublin and Louth are the key production areas.
A versatile vegetable used in various cuisines across the world, spinach is not just loved by Popeye the Sailor Man. With its distinctive flavour, spinach is often considered one of those “love or hate” vegetables. The leaves can be eaten raw in a salad or wilted in hot dishes such as curry or dahl. Spinach has one of the shortest cooking times of all vegetables. Its volume reduces dramatically during cooking – a 450g bag may look like loads but it will be likely be just enough for two people.
Food for thought
Spinach leaves are bright green when young and deepen to a more intense green colour when older.
The Indian Dahl from Drop Chef is one of my favourite vegan meals. The lentils and cashews are sources of protein while the spinach is a good source of iron.
Good for the eyes they say. There’s truth in it. Vitamin A, found in carrots, is required for the body to synthesise rhodopsin, the pigment in the eyes that operates in low-light conditions. Without it, the deficiency disease of vitamin A, Night Blindness, may develop.
Grated carrots are wonderful veggies to add to salads, injecting vibrant colour and crunchy texture to the dish. In the Drop Chef Buddha Bowl, grated carrot perfectly absorbs the salad dressing and is a wonderful contrast to the soft chickpeas.
If you’re feeling adventurous in the kitchen and fancy your hand at a spot of baking, why not whip up a carrot cake! I use the recipe from Avoca and have shared on my blog
Carrots come in lots of colours – orange, yellow, red, white, even purple and black.
Amy Meegan, BSc (Hons) Human Nutrition, UCD