Best Vegetable Soups

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Which is the heartiest of vegetable soups?

Eating vegetable soup is a great alternative to eating a fried snack, such as churro. But will it get hard to find the right vegetable soup at the supermarket when, like me, you are a fussy eater and absolutely cannot compromise on your choice of vegetables? Not at all. There is always a good variety to choose from and if you change the different types of veg-based soups that are around (in the supermarket) then it will also not get tedious for you to gradually increase your daily intake of vegetables in an appetizing angle. My picks for the top vegetable soups:

  1. Amy’s Kitchen Organic Gluten Free Rustic Italian Vegetable Soup (includes: onions, tomatoes, olive oil, courgettes, mushrooms, chickpeas, garlic and brown rice)
  2. Batchelor’s Cup a Soup Golden Vegetable (includes: onion, carrot, swede, turmeric and parsley)
  3. Ainsley Haririott Cup Soup Cream of Wild Mushroom (includes: dried mushrooms, ground black pepper and dried parsley)
  4. Ainsley Harriott Caribbean Butternut Squash Cup Soup (includes: butternut squash powder, dried vegetables and chilli powder)
  5. Heinz Classic Potato & Leek Soup (includes: leeks, potatoes, black pepper, cornflour and onions)

Getting Kids To Eat Vegetables

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Be smart (as a parent) and think about why improvising with what you want is a great idea

Thinking up ways to feed your kids healthy food seems like a lot of work because children have this tendency to desire to shun food which have vegetables in them. But it does not have to be so hard, as long as you are smart about the recipes you choose for your kids’ meal plans. Also, if you just teach your children that eating vegetables is a really good thing to do and that eating it with your favorite foods does not mean that the dish is unappetizing at all, it will widen their taste palette for the future and really help them avoid cultivating a tendency to just run away from the sight of vegetables. Top ideas:

  1. Hamburger and coleslaw
  2. Potato chips
  3. Beef and vegetables tortilla wrap
  4. Beef noodles (with vegetables)
  5. Large tomatoes (stuffed with vegetable fried rice)
  6. Vegetable sandwich (with cheese slices)
  7. Cheese (and spinach) toast
  8. Breaded cauliflower
  9. Sweet potato chips
  10. Vegetable soup

Sweet + Salty

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Sweet and salty tastes are best kept separate in cooking

I am not a big fan of the sweet and salty combination of taste for food. I think that roast pork is a lot better without the apple because the meat is already juicy, fatty and tender (on the inside) for the roast to be sufficiently tasty; there really is no strong need to have a portion of the apple with pieces of fried pork. Sweet and salty, in my opinion, are better when they don’t go together because it makes the dish more appetizing that way, even when, like me, you too only like to add salt to taste in all of your cooking; the taste combination almost takes the spotlight away from the deliciousness of the most regular of dishes.

Table Manners

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Good table manners is best when it comes naturally

Learning the difference between a fork and a spoon is learning that is probably best left for children to learn in their households. I have always found this idea that a child should go to a good charm school to learn it as really absurd because unless you are from a culture, where you eat your food with your hands or with chopsticks, instead, the idea begs the question why there would be a need to learn table manners in an establishment of that kind. Also, certain dishes are really hard to eat with cutlery, such as a veg tortilla wrap or barbecued chicken wings, so there isn’t as much of a need to be perfect with the use of cutlery as it might seem like when you are at a restaurant, where I feel being comfortable and polite is more important than appearing very obviously just too well-learned over why the butter knife is different from the table knife rather than being a natural at it. It really helps to fit into a dinner arrangement that way because that arrangement could even include people from all walks of life and, if you are lucky, then maybe even from around the globe.

International Food Cultures

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How food around the world can bring world peace

Food culture around the world is really varied: in Pakistan, sweetness is added to meat, whether it is an entire chicken or the Peshawari kebab, which has pomegranate seeds in them. In India, the cooking of chicken is mixed with some hotness instead, as exhibited in the Chettinad chicken or the butter chicken. What food sometimes does is that it shows that cultural variations might exist in between nations but with food, influences of modern cultures cross borders and go over even to cultures that are quite conservative in nature.

It is fascinating to have food exhibit a little bit of ‘world peace’ in that way – cultures such as that of Pakistan doesn’t shy away from the fact that other developing nations can actually influence its food culture, which happens in the middle of sprouting of ideas that individuality in food cultures isn’t important for nations which do not have shared (modern) cultures. It is a really nice picture of cultural differences getting wonderfully respected and harmonious relationships existing in-between nations, in spite of all the many challenges.

What To Do With Oats

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Eating right doesn’t always have to mean a compromise and that’s where oats come to the rescue

Packed with vitamins, fibre, iron and antioxidants, oats is the ideal choice when attempting to lose some holiday weight. The carb has a tendency to keep you fuller for longer – none of those added worries of what to eat inbetween a bowl of oats if you have a busy day coming up, and your breakfast consisted of only a serving of oats and milk, sprinkled with nuts and fruits.

Oats is also gluten-free, which means that it’s an ideal replacement for the more traditional carbs in your lunchplan, such as white bread or rotis: going gluten-free actually means there is a greater assurance that your body is burning fat because of what you choose to eat. There are so many ways to eat oats – I think my favourite would be to substitute breadcrumbs, to cook fried food, with oats. But other equally good options include:

  • Using oats to make your favourite fruit-flavoured smoothie.
  • Whipping up a veg-based soup, with added thickness – a generous helping of oats (crushed into powder-form) will really help get the thickness for your soup.
  • If you love quinoa, then you can mix quinoa and pieces of seasonal veg available at your grocer’s, with oats, to create a different kind of alternative dish to the more traditional rice normally reserved for lunch and dinner.
  • Cook pilaf with oats, instead of rice. Seasonal veg, salt to taste, and the chicken broth will make for an interesting combination with the carb, that is actually much lower in calories than brown rice, which can easily make a great pilaf.