Healthy Saturday: A Twenty-Minute Vegetable Delicacy, Serving One or Two People
· Tomatoes, 2
· Peppers, Jamaica hot peppers, 3
· Onions, 2
· Broccoli, 3 heads
· Spinach, 1 bag,
· Two bottles of water, 1000 ml, or 4 cups of water
Do not add salt
Total calories: about 500-600
Other requirements: basic cooking skills
Switch on the stove or set the tripod ready. Pour water into a medium-sized pot placed over the heat, to about one-third full.
Rinse the tomatoes and cut them up. I like my tomatoes in chunks, so I first cut them in multiple vertical planes before cutting them in horizontal planes. You will apply this cutting skill to the onions and pepper too.
Add the chopped tomatoes to the pot. Two big ripe tomatoes would be all you need for one person. If any family member plans to share with you, they need to tell you in advance so that you can use an extra tomato.
Time spent preparation ingredients, which is two to four minutes, is all that is required between adding one element and another.
Next, I cut the peppers like I did with the tomatoes, slicing them vertically and then horizontally. Consider putting the pepper on a flat surface when cutting with horizontal strokes. Eye irritation is always what to watch out for while cutting pepper. Hand washing with soap and water afterwards also reduces contact with the eyes.
Add the chopped pepper to the pot. Stir a little.
Do the same for the onion. Peel two or three outer layers, and cut them up just like you did with the tomatoes. Drop them in the cooking pot and wash your hands to avoid further eye irritation.
Two or three heads of broccoli will do. Rinse them and cut them into florets directly into the pot. Stay focused; do not get splashed with the steaming hot broth. All parts of the broccoli can be used. Push them into the heart of the soup by holding them down with any available cooking instrument, a spatula or a fork, or a knife. Never use your hand, unless you are a grandmother from Africa desensitized to burns.
Add the spinach last. Always remember to rinse well before use. A bag of spinach will get the pot to the brim, but do not worry – the contents will shrink as they cook.
The time from start to finish – tomato to spinach – is about thirteen minutes. Cover the pot with a lid after another brief stir and turn down the heat. Allow an extra seven to ten minutes for the soup to simmer. Total estimated cooking time is twenty to twenty-five minutes.
Now test for readiness. Grab a chunk of broccoli from the pot, and put on a plate. Allow a moment for heat to fade. Pin the chunk with a fork, cut and taste portions. The broccoli should be firm like a hardboiled egg white.
Some people like to eat when food is blistering hot; I am not that brave, so I wait until my portion tempers down. Eating small portions at a time gives me the opportunity to go back and forth between the kitchen and living room, where I watch the Saturday European soccer on the television.
Use a fork to eat the broth. Drink directly from the bowl afterword — ‘nyoomynyoonyomi.’
Ingredients for this recipe are available in the produce section of most stores. Stop and Shop and Big Y are my favorite shopping places. My trips are usually on Saturday mornings after playing pickup soccer.
Do not wait another day. Try my recipe today. Experience the mouth-watering savor as the strong aroma of pepper, the balanced taste of broccoli and spinach coruscates with the refreshing tang of tomatoes and the decimal bite of onions.
And one more reason. My home-made broth loaded with minerals, vitamins, fibers and antioxidants, add vigor, focus, and sanity to your body and your mind.