Boring Health Foods (You Haven’t Given A Proper Chance)
Everybody knows healthy eating is boring. A life of rice cakes, broccoli and lentils may make you live longer, but it also makes it seem like you’re living much longer. These foods are as dull as it gets and we all know it.
Right, so shut up a second. Do you actually know that all these foods are boring and gross, or are you going off what sitcoms and your memories of being a six year-old are telling you? What you think of as the most taste-bud-numblingly dull foodstuffs on the market can actually be delicious if you know what to do with them.
Broccoli is the nemesis of every small child who has to finish their vegetables before they’re allowed their ice cream. Interesting things about broccoli: It looks like tiny trees. That’s it.
But the fact is 99% of the broccoli you’ve ever eaten was probably cooked really badly. Most people have a nasty tendency to boil their broccoli to death, killing any flavour that might linger inside.
Knock your oven to a high heat (ideally around 425 degrees Fahrenheit) and take two kilograms of broccoli (two big bunches should do the trick) and cut it into florets. Make sure the florets get a chance to dry through if you wash it (to be honest, any bacteria will get killed off during the cooking, so you may as well skip it). Put the broccoli on a baking tray and sprinkle some olive, salt and pepper over the top along with a few cloves of peeled and sliced garlic (about four should do it).
Stick the tray in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes. When it’s ready to come out the tips of some of the florets will have begun to brown. When it’s ready, get it out and zest a lemon (this basically means “grate the skin off”) over the broccoli and once you’re done, slice the lemon in half and squeeze some juice out for good measure. Add one and half tablespoons more of olive oil and 3 tablespoons of roasted pine nuts, then a third of a cup of grated parmesan.
Serve this up with some sweet potato or rice and the end result is better than some steaks.
Yes, rice cakes on their own are dull, which feels distinctly unfair since they have the word “cake” in their name. But like Stone Soup, it’s not the rice cake that’s the snack, it’s the ingredients you add to it. Pile on the dips – hummus is a great one, as is guacamole or mango chutney. You can even spread Nutella or cream cheese over one without upping the calorie content too much. Think of the rice cake as your snacking canvas, and paint a picture of flavour across it.
Lentils may never live down being the staple food of Neil the hippy in The Young Ones. However lentils, along with whatever vegetables you can lay your hands on, can make a great base ingredient for all kinds of vegetables casseroles and soups. Lentils on their own may be boring, but mixed with some other ingredients lentils can be the glue that brings a bunch of different flavours together.