Mincing Matters!

If you have a hand mincer or a small food processor that minces vegetables, you can make a variety of really interesting dishes, leaning on the textural quality that mincing yields. When mincing onions, you can add garlic, ginger, turmeric root and coriander leaves for a really tasty base to soups and casseroles; you can make stuffing that melts in the mouth; you can turn out delicious pasta sauces with tiny pieces of mushroom and onion and red pepper; or bakes and soups with celery or baby marrow. Even such humble vegetables as carrots, turnips and beetroot, finely minced, can add texture and colour to a sauce, mayo, stew or salad.

Soups 
Minced onions, both red and white, make a good start. Add garlic and fresh herbs - thyme, rosemary and sage for French flavours, or basil and parsley for that Italian taste, or coriander for Eastern flair. Fry the lot gently in olive oil until limp, then add diced carrots, potatoes, celery and leeks. Braise a while, then add boiling water (if you like stock, add it now) and cook on medium heat until the veggies are soft.  Season with Himalayan salt and black pepper and serve with swirl of coconut cream. Oh yum!

Pasta Sauce Supreme 
Mince 2 onions with 2 cloves of fresh garlic and a bunch of fresh flat parsley or basil, depending on what you prefer. Mince 500 grams of nice fresh button or brown mushrooms. Gently fry the minced onion and garlic in olive oil until wilted, then add the mushrooms - they will yield a lot of liquid, which is perfect for the sauce. Allow to cook until mushrooms are done. Add ½ cup of ground almond or ground cashew powder and stir in to soak up the mushroom stock. Season well, adding spices such as sweet paprika or smoked paprika, or cayenne pepper, as liked. Add 1 tablespoon of nutritional yeast flakes. To get the sauce to the desired consistency that is nice and fluid, but with the ability to coat the pasta, add a few tablespoons of the water you have cooked the pasta in. Toss the cooked, drained pasta in the sauce, adding a little more pasta water to separate the pasta. Sprinkle more of whatever herb you used and serve hot. Hand round the vegan parmesan – a simple combination of ground sunflower seeds, garlic salt and nutritional yeast.

Quick and Easy Stuffed Pepper Halves 
Cut peppers down the middle and scoop out the seeds and membrane. Rub each half with a little oil and flash cook under a hot grill, cut side up. Reserve. Fry 1 minced onion with minced garlic and lots of parsley. Then add 2 tablespoons of tomato paste and a little water and allow to simmer for a while. Season. Pour 1 cup of boiling water over the tomato/onion mix, and when boiling, turn off the heat. Sprinkle cous cous into the mix until you can see that there is just a little liquid left on top. Put the lid on the pot and leave for 10 minutes. Fluff up cooked cous cous with a fork and season well with more salt, pepper and any other spices of choice – you can try summac, the Turkish spice that gives a lovely lemony zing to your dish. Pile the cous cous high into the pepper halves, sprinkle with ground sunflower seeds, drizzle with olive oil and return to the grill for a minute to heat through and form a tasty crust. So good with creamy hummus, a green salad, and freshly warmed pita bread!  

Minced Salad for Elderly People 
Teeth don’t always manage to chew the fresh foods that are so good for us as we get older! Mincing vegetables makes it possible to eat fresh crunchy vegetables without having to chew so hard and using a good creamy dressing makes it easier to swallow too. Try mincing soft Chinese cabbage and sweet red peppers, with a creamy cashew dressing. This is easily made by soaking 1 cup of cashew nuts and blending in a high-speed blender with 1 cup of water, 2 tablespoons each of fresh lemon juice and olive oil, and Himalayan salt of course. Minced baby marrows make a delicious salad, especially if left to marinate in a little lemon juice and salt. Try combining leafy greens with cucumber and a little red cabbage.

So good for the digestion too!   


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