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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.

I love yellow beetroot. I love purple beetroot too, but the yellow beetroot stain your clothes less. 
After roasting one for my veg bowl up there, I thought I'd try salt-baking another one. I've never tried salt baking anything before, but I'm intrigued to find out if it was worth the effort.

Most of the recipes I saw involved making the crust with salt and egg whites, but I found this one that was salt, water and flour. I made up the dough, wrapped the beetroot in its little briny coat and baked til the skewer I stuck in it didn't meet with any resistance.

I waited for the crust to cool and then broke it open, took off the skin of the beetroot, and tucked in. 

Aaaaaaand - it was a bit disappointing. It was SO salty. All I could taste was the salt, not the lovely beetroot underneath. Sure the texture was interesting and definitely different to the non-salt-baked version, but the taste? Yeesh. I could feel my blood pressure being pushed skywards with every bite.

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.

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  1. That's too bad that the flower sprouts were a flop! I've been hearing so much buzz about them. Luckily, we still have Brussels sprouts and kale, and like you, they are two of my all-time favorite vegetables.

  2. I love that bit about the five colors; a good rule of thumb!

  3. I've not heard of rosetta sprouts but from your description I think I'll just stick to kale and brussels sprouts. I love cauliflower — especially roasted or in curries. Did the salt seep into the salt-baked beets or was it just on the surface. Were you supposed to rinse it?

  4. I found those sprouts in M and S. I quite liked them in a roast dinner but we did have a load of kale with it too. I'm still waiting to discover those B vitamins mushrooms you blogged about. They don't seem to have reached Northern M and S yet!

  5. I've seen those little brussels-kale babies, but only at the super market in a plastic package that I found a bit off-putting. Even though you didn't love them, I have a feeling that I'll still have to try them myself... just because. I'm also such a fan of yellow beets - I love that they are usually a little bit sweeter and less earthy, and (like you) I love that they don't stain the bejeezus out of everything they touch. The five colors thing is cool. I definitely did that with tonight's dinner. At least 3 colors at lunch. :)

  6. I am indeed admiring your ginger bikkies. And a bit bemused by salt baking - I have only heard of baking in a pile of salt - had it once in a restaurant and it was great but a long time ago. Never seen the kale sprouts before but who thinks kids would love it - I have a sneaking suspicion it would not help sylvia - though she does love her brussels sprouts and broccoli so is probably not the target market for converting to greens. I think greens-haters hate with their eyes and I just think it looks too leafy to feel like comfort food for kids. I try to do the eating the rainbow thing at least at dinner - it always looks so pretty - I would welcome those vegies and rice.

  7. Ah yes, I've been hearing quite a bit of buzz over these kale/brussels hybrids, sometimes referred to as "lollipop kale" or "BrusselKale" depending on who's doing the marketing. Glad to know I don't need to rush out and buy them. I'm more than happy to try new vegetables, thrilled even, but this just seems like more hype than substance. No matter, the preparation sure sounds delicious!

  8. Those flower sprouts sound interesting! I'll have to keep an eye out for them. That gobi aloo saag looks beautiful!

  9. Salt baking is all new to me. That curry is to die for! I love spinach in curries and I don't make it often enough. I always forget to add the spinach. ha! I'll be waiting for the biscuit recipe, I do love a good ginger(less) snap!


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