Food & Drink Magazine

Packing a Flavor Punch!

By Yonni @vegandthecity
For some people, one concern about embarking on a vegan diet is boredom ~ eating fruits and vegetables without a wide knowledge of how to prepare them makes some people worry about always opting for something steamed or roasted.  Knowing what flavors to add can really make a difference and get you thinking in more creative ways.
In a book called The Flavor Bible, the authors outline the benefits of edible bulbs, vegetables in the allium family, that are said the reduce risk for certain cancers, are high in anti-oxidants, and are generally just great flavor boosters!
I made a list of some you may or may not be familiar with, a bit about their taste, and how you can easily add them to your meals today:
Scallions (green onions):
These offer a mildly bitter flavor, but their beautiful white and green stem serves as a pretty garnish as well.  Make your own miso soup (or add water and mushrooms to instant) and add some thin slices of scallion to float on top.
A skinner, all green version of a scallion, you get a slightly zestier bite.  Try pairing it with Tofutti sour cream and some shredded soy or rice cheese atop a baked potato.
Picture a smaller, pinker bulb of garlic with a sweeter taste that reminds me more of a mild onion.  You can mix it into vinegar or mustard-based dressings if using it raw, or sautee it and toss it with roasted brussel sprouts and salt to taste for an extra kick of savory flavor.
Garlic Scapes:
These green, curled stalks are the shoots that grow atop garlic bulbs.  They have a bit of a woody texture, but you can slice up the bulbus part and sautee it with any of your other vegetables for enhanced flavor.  They are great with stewed or roasted tomatoes ~ they flavor the sauce and, if you don't cut them too small, you can remove them if you prefer to just have their essence left behind.
Unlike the others, these look more like a stalk, but they have a wonderful, earthy flavor.  They hold onto their dirt so be sure to peel the layers and clean them thoroughly before using them.  Once you do, toss them in olive oil and kosher salt to roast, sautee them with onions and cabbage and toss them over pasta, or puree them into a potato leek soup!
By the way, if you tend not to use onions because you hate to cry, just toss the onion into the refrigerator for a half hour before cutting and peeling.  It's an amazing remedy to stinging red eyes!

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