Cooking at my house is never hard and it doesn’t take a long time: otherwise I wouldn’t be able to write this blog while taking care of  three babies.  These basic cooking methods will help you prepare foods faster.

 

Grains

Use organic, unrefined grains.  Wash your grains in cold water.  Afterwards, soak them in water for 6 to 12 hours.  This process activates digestive enzymes.  Drain your grains, pour new water over them and let the water boil.  After the water boils, reduce heat and let the grains simmer for about 10 more minutes, until they become soft.  Sometimes you need to let the grain stay covered for sometime before serving.  Do not mix the grains while cooking, as it may make them mushy. I like to cook a lot of grains, and freeze the unused portion. This way, I can make sure I have at least half the dinner ready, once I thaw the grain in a microwave.

 

Vegetables

Sautéing

Add one inch of water to the skillet and bring to a boil.  Add thinly sliced veggies and let simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.

 

Stir-frying

Heat your skillet.  Lightly oil it. I like organic extra virgin olive oil, unrefined sesame oil or coconut oil for stir-frying, as the fatty acids in these oils tend not to get easily destroyed by high temperatures. Other oils can turn toxic, while heated. If you are using Bragg’s sauce and garlic, add them now.  Place thinly sliced, harder vegetables in the skillet.  Mixing the vegetables constantly, add softer vegetables every few minutes.  The process shouldn’t take you longer than 5 minutes, leaving the veggies wonderfully crisp.

 

Steaming

Fill a pot with two inches of water.  Bring it to a boil.  Add a basket, filled with vegetables, cover and let steam for about 5 to 25 minutes, depending on the hardness of the vegetable you are steaming. Steamed veggies are considered flavorless diet food by many. I make my steamed veggies exciting by adding a bit of extra virgin olive oil and Bragg’s Aminos to them. Also, pieces of nuts or seeds and sweet cranberries or raisins can go a long way with kids. Adding a bit of tahini dressing to steamed vegetables makes them extra yummy, in my opinion.

 

Roasting

Preheat oven to 375°F.  Put vegetables in a baking dish, lightly coating them with olive oil and adding some spices.  Depending on the texture and size of your vegetables, it may take 45 to 60 minutes for them to roast. For spices, I like (surprise) Bragg’s, a bit of unsulphured molasses and rosemary. I also like roasting fresh garlic. Some cinnamon can go a long way, especially if roasting sweet root veggies.

 

Sea Vegetables

Adding sea vegetables to your meals can enrich it with multiple minerals and vitamins, especially the vitamin B group and calcium.  There are major types of edible seaweed, and each requires a different preparation method.  The best way to eat seaweed is with toasted sesame oil, sesame seeds, miso, rice vinegar, Bragg’s amino acids, grated garlic and ginger.  For a simple salad, try combining diced carrots and cucumbers with arame and some sesame oil.

 

Nori can be eaten dry.  Just break it into little pieces and add them to your salads, soups and grains.

 

Kombu can be rinsed and added to any soup.  It enriches the stock with minerals and gives the soup a richer flavor.  You can also add a two-inch piece of kombu to the water when you are cooking dry beans which make beans easier to digest.

 

Dulse can be lightly fried and used in place of bacon in a sandwich with some vegetarian mayonnaise.

 

Arame and Wakame need to be soaked before use.  Follow the directions on the package.  After soaking, try adding these seaweeds to your favorite salads or try sautéing them with carrots and onions.  Add some roasted sesame oil and toasted sesame seeds.

 

 

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