Mixed vegetables refer to ready to use combination of cut vegetables. The vegetables may be chopped, sliced, cubed or in juliennes. The typical vegetables included in mixed vegetable are cauliflower, carrots, cabbage, French beans and peas. Several different dishes are called "mixed vegetables"; they all consist primarily of different kinds of vegetables cut into pieces and mixed together, then either served as-is or else cooked, typically by sauteing.When you prepare recipes that include a variety of types of vegetables, you receive the nutritional benefits of each. You will have created not only culinary masterpieces but also foods that work together to increase your health.
Blanched mixed vegetables
Cut the vegetables in pieces. Blanching can be done by boiling or steaming. You'll need to decide which vegetables should be blanched or boiled first. Blanching can help make certain vegetables like asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower or green beans more appealing and easier to eat. Most other vegetables don't require blanching, but the above are likely to taste a little better and are more digestible if they have been cooked slightly for minute or two. You don't want to blanch vegetables like mushrooms, tomatoes, celery, radishes, or carrots. The process would involve putting the vegetables separately in a wire basket, submerge them completely in the boiling water, cover with a lid, and blanch for 3-4 minutes. To blanch by steaming, put the vegetables in a steamer basket and suspend it above an inch or two of boiling water. Cover the pot, and begin timing(3-4 minutes) as soon as steam starts to escape from under the lid. With either method, shake the basket a couple of times to ensure that all vegetable surfaces are exposed to the heat. After the allotted time, remove the basket, and plunge the vegetables into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Once cool, remove them, drain thoroughly and add to your recipe.
Boiled mixed vegetables
Boil the mixed vegetables in salted water for 10 to 12 minutes or till they are soft. Drain them and pour water to stop the cooking process. They are used in recipes like parathas, snacks, starters and main course.
Boiled mixed vegetable cubes
Take vegetables like carrots and French beans and green peas. To cut carrots cubes, peel and discard the stem. Place on a chopping board and cut the peeled carrot into halves from the centre lengthwise. Take each halve and make vertical slits lengthwise. Combine all the vertical slits together and make horizontal slits breadth wise to get cubes. Keep aside.
To cut French beans cubes, place them on a chopping board and start cutting horizontally approx. ½ inch size or as per your recipe requirement. To boil the vegetables, boil enough water in a deep pan, add little salt and add the cubed cut carrots, French beans and green peas. Cook for 3-4 minutes, drain and use as required.
Chopped and boiled mixed vegetables
Chop the mixed vegetables and boil them in salted water for 10 to 12 minutes or till they are soft. Drain immediately and pour some water to stop the cooking process. Used in recipes like parathas, snacks, starters and main course.
Chopped and parboiled mixed vegetables
Parboiling is a cooking technique in which vegetables are partially cooked in boiling water, but removed before it is cooked all the way through. To parboil chopped mixed vegetables, boil enough water in a deep pan, add little salt, add the vegetables and cook for 2-3 minutes. Drain and use as required.
Chopped mixed vegetables
All the vegetables should be washed very well since the leaves and stems tend to collect sand and soil. Before washing, trim off the roots and separate the leaves. Put the washed vegetables on a chopping board and chop them in small 1-2 inch sized pieces. The chopped vegetables can be prepared by blanching or boiling.
Diagonally cut and boiled mixed vegetables
Take vegetables like carrots and French beans and green peas. To cut carrots diagonally, peel and cut the carrot into half vertically. Place one half on a chopping board and using a sharp knife, make series of diagonal cuts so as to get diagonal slices of carrots. Keep aside.
To cut French beans diagonally Place them on a chopping board and slice them diagonally at an angle into about 5 cm. strips or as per your recipe requirement. To boil the vegetables, boil enough water in a deep pan, add little salt and add the diagonally cut carrots, French beans and green peas. Cook for 3-4 minutes, drain and use as required.
Diagonally cut and parboiled mixed vegetables
To cut mixed vegetable diagonally, take each vegetable individually on a chopping board, peel if required and using a sharp knife, make series of diagonal cuts so as to get diagonal slices of those vegetables. To parboil these vegetable pieces, boil enough water in a deep pan, add little salt and add the vegetable pieces, one by one and cook for 2-3 minutes. Drain and use as required.
Mixed vegetables cubes
Turn the vegetables on their side and make a series of slices. Lay the vegetable slices on top of each other and make a series of lengthwise slices, (½ inch slices for smaller cubes, 1 inch slices for larger cubes. Make a series of ½ inch or 1 inch crosswise cuts through them and it will fall away into cubes.
Shredded mixed vegetables
The vegetables can be shredded coarsely in a shredded or manually, using a sharp knife. Cut them in thin slices and then break up the pieces in shreds using fingers. Shredded vegetable is used as a garnish, in coleslaws or merely to reduce the cooking time. The shredded mixed vegetables can be prepared by blanching or boiling.
How to select
Look for vegetables that have fresh,firm, unwilted with no signs of yellowing or browning. The cut mixed vegetables should be displayed in a chilled section in the refrigerator case to prevent them from wilting, spoiling and becoming bitter.
· Mixed vegetables are best used as stir fry, salads, sandwiches and can even be made into gravies and curries.
· Drizzle blanched vegetables with olive oil and lemon juice.
· Serve steamed mixed vegetables with black-eyed peas and brown rice for a Southern inspired meal.
· Use lightly steamed, cooled and chopped mixed vegetables as a filling in your sushi vegetable rolls.
· Healthy sauté mixed vegetables with tofu, garlic and crushed chili peppers for a meal that will definitely add spice to your life.
How to store
Store unwashed mixed vegetables in a damp paper towel in a plastic bag. They should be placed in the refrigerator crisper where they will keep for three to five days, but the sooner they are eaten, the better their taste and health benefits would be.
· Vegetables are an excellent source of folate and a very good source of vitamin B6, both of which are needed to keep levels of homocysteine, a potentially dangerous molecule, low.
· The vegetables are rich in fiber, carotmoids, antioxidants, calcium, iron, zinc and Vitamin C
· In addition, mixed vegetables are a very good source of riboflavin, another important B vitamin for cardiovascular health since it is necessary for the proper functioning of B6.
· It would be better to buy whole vegetables and then mix them together at home than buying chopped and prepared 'chilled' bags of mixed vegetables. These pre packaged cut vegetables aren't as healthy as most have lost their nutritional value due to the length of time it has taken to prepare and package them.