Saturday, April 09, 2011

Making Vegetable Stock

Still on the healthy diet kick here...and seeing/feeling results. So I jump start things periodically to keep the momentum.

One strategy is Meatless Monday. Piece of whole wheat toast and some fruit for breakfast. Big salad for lunch. Veggies for dinner...maybe a piece of steamed salmon if I'm hungry. And fruit and veggie snacks throughout the day.

Once snack I'll have is a little homemade vegetable stock in a coffee mug and warmed in the microwave. Goes down easily and gets me a serving or tow of vegetables and all the concomitant good stuff like vitamins and minerals.

Plus it's good to have around anyway. Add a few chunks of veggie and you have soup. Use it to cook your rice or couscous and you've got even more flavor in the dish.

Anyway, here's how you do it....

First off, brown your vegetables for added complexity of taste. Heat a little olive oil in the stockpot and throw in a small onion, chopped. Cook until onion begins to brown, about 8 minutes. Add in a couple of stalks of celery and a couple of carrots that you've cut into 1/2 inch pieces. Throw in a pinch of garlic pepper and cook, stirring every now and then, until the veggies are tender and very lightly browned.

Pour in 8 or so cups water. (You want the vegetables to be covered by an inch or so of water.) And add several sprigs of your favorites herbs. Parsley, basil, thyme and cilantro are all fair game. Throw in a dried bay leaf if you have one. And I love a small handful of whole peppercorns in there. Adjust to your taste....

Bring the whole thing to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer and let it go for 45-50 minutes.

Strain through a fine sieve and store. It's good in the fridge for 3-4 days and in the freezer for up to 6 months.

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