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Vegetable twists: how to jazz up your vegetable sides

04 January 2018

Dress up your meat and two veg by giving your vegetable sides a makeover.

Glazed carrots
Carrots with a sweet and spicy glaze make a delicious alternative to plain boiled carrots

Instead of plain peas…

Try a mix of peas and broad beans. Before serving, stir in crumbs of crispy bacon (or crumbled dry-fried pancetta) or a dressing of good olive oil, lemon juice and finely chopped fresh mint.

Instead of baked potatoes…

Bake sweet potatoes and serve cut open and topped with butter or soured cream and chives. Sweet potatoes bake much quicker than ordinary ones, and are a healthy option, too.

Find out how to cook sweet potatoes

Instead of boiled carrots...

Strain while al dente and set aside. Heat some butter in a pan, stir in some warm spices eg cumin, cinnamon and ginger with a pinch or two of brown sugar. Stir the carrots in to glaze.

Instead of mashed potato…

Instead of mashing, leave skins on, boil till soft, strain, add butter and bash - known as ‘smashed potatoes’ in posh eateries.

Find out how to make a spicy potato and parsnip mash

Instead of boiled white cabbage…

Cook the finely shredded leaves in butter, adding caraway seeds, or fennel or cumin seeds, and a splash of water. Alternatively, stir in some crispy bacon bits or finely chopped chorizo.

Instead of boiled cauliflower…

Transform dull cauliflower by roasting. Break cauliflower into florets and roast with a drizzle of olive oil, salt, pepper, and a pinch of nutmeg if you like.

Try this recipe for roasted cauliflower and blue cheese salad

Instead of fried mushrooms…

If you aren't a fan of soggy mushrooms try roasting a tray of mixed mushrooms with oil and garlic until browned.

Instead of raw tomatoes…

Douse cherry tomatoes on the vine with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and roast in the oven for 10 to 20 minutes.

Instead of ordinary roast potatoes…

Try making hasselback roast potatoes by thinly slicing the potatoes three quarters of the way through to create a fanned top. This creates more surface area for an extra crispy roast potato.

Try this recipe for roast hasselback potatoes

Instead of boiled Brussels sprouts…

Stir-fry quartered sprouts for a few minutes so they retain their fresh flavour and keep some crunch. Add chopped chestnuts or pancetta for extra flavour.

Instead of boiled green beans...

Steam to preserve vitamins. Add chopped garlic, some slices of lemon or lemon zest and a sprinkle of chilli flakes for added flavour.

Instead of boiled broccoli…

Stir-fry broken up florets with chopped fresh chilli, garlic and a dash of soy sauce for an Asian-inspired side.

Find out about the different ways to cook broccoli

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The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.

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