What do you get if you cross kale and brussels sprouts? This
After last week's gluttony, I thought I best show you that I do eat things other than cake, in case you were wondering whether I might get scurvy through lack of vegetables.
Look, here's my proof: a great big vat of curry.
It's gobi aloo saag right there. It's been a favourite of mine since I was a kid, when my dad use to make it for us on a Saturday. I make it a bit differently to he did though - I like to roast the cauliflower before I add it into the rest of the dish (inspiration courtesy of this recipe on the BBC).
Mr Flicking the Vs fears cauliflower (the only dinner I've cooked him which he admitted to not liking was a cauliflower curry) so this dish was pretty much mine, all mine.
Occasionally I ramble on about discovering a new vegetable, and you're probably reading this thinking: 'yeah, new to you, maybe, I've been eating monk's beard since, like, forever. Duh.' Well, here's a veggie that I reckon is actually pretty new as new goes. Do you recognise it?
Looks like a bit like purple kale, you might think. While it's not kale, there is a bit of kale in its family tree.
That bowl above is full of flower sprouts, also known as something like rosetta sprouts.
When I did a bit of Googling to work out how to cook them (which I Googled just after Googling 'what I have bought?') I found flower sprouts being talked up on a few websites as the vegetable that can get kids to like greens. How can they charm even the most hardened of green-dodgers, you may ask? It's because they're apparently a cross between kale and brussels sprouts without being too much of either. I didn't know that when I bought them, but it filled my heart with joy to read - kale and brussels must be two of my favourite vegetables in existence (and there's a lot of vegetables on my love list.)
Having stumbled on the official flower sprouts website (yep, there really is one), I decided to cook up some bubble and squeak cakes and stick a few flower sprouts in for good measure.
The end result? Sadly not as good as you'd hope. I love brussels, I love kale (is it a vegan thing?) but the reason flower sprouts are being pitched as right for children is that they don't really taste of either vegetable.
There's none of the irony tang of kale or the cabbagey fun of brussels. Flower sprouts are fine, but next time I want some green veg, I'll leave this one to the kids and pile my plate high with its ancestors.
Kale is never far away from my plate, of course. After all my sugar binge the other week, all I fancied was just a bowl of veggies. Sometimes, just roasting some and serving them with rice and lentils is all you need and all you want.
I was told once that in Japanese food should always have five colours on the plate for lots of interesting reasons. If you close your eyes and pretend the kale is black (well, it's a little overdone, so not such a massive stretch of the imagination) then I'd totally have aced the whole five. Whatever the origins of the practice, there's no denying that the more different colours you have in your diet, the more balanced diet you have.
Where am I going wrong? Here's a quick look at what I took out of the oven, all tips gratefully received:
And yeah, of course I didn't let a week go by without baking something to assuage the demands of my sweet tooth, the ferocious beast that it is.
I had to whip up another batch of ginger-less gingerbread biscuits. I will write down the recipe one of these days and share my lazy person's biscuit discovery. You can't go wrong with it - add a load of flour, you get a biscuit with a nice snap, add a bit less and you'll get a softer cookie type snack. What's not to love?
So, until I get around to posting the definitive recipe, you'll just have to admire these from afar.