One of the things about living alone (albeit temporarily!) is that you still go gorocery shopping as if you are buying for two. Your shopping autopilot just seems to reach automatically for so many apples, so many courgettes, so many salmon fillets…
This means that, quite often, you have leftover bits and pieces. Half an onion here, four runner beans there – just random bits and pieces that aren’t enough to make a dish. So every once in a while I have to make up some way of using up random vegetables. Over a weekend, it’s likely to be an omelette or a frittata; on a weeknight it’s almost sure to be a stir-fry.
Savoy cabbage is a member of the brassica family and, as such, is packed with a wonderful array of nutrients and antioxidants (in fact, per weight it contains more Vitamin C than oranges, and high levels of beta carotene). Factoid: the darker outer leaves contain more Vitamin E and calcium than the paler inner leaves. Cabbage also contains a factor called Vitamin U which helps to heal stomach ulcers. Most of the healing properties attributed to cabbage are a result of its high sulphur content, but it is also the sulphur that produces the unpleasant and penetrating smell if cabbage is cooked for too long.
The name Savoy refers to a region in the Alps between France and Italy, thought to be either the region where this particular type of cabbage originated or became popular. Its leaves have a blistered or wrinkled texture (compared to smoother green, white or red cabbages) and the leaves are usually far less tightly packed. It is considered sweeter and more delicate than other cabbages, but beware – it shares the tendency to make consumers, umm, gassy because of the indigestible cellulose that it contains.
So without further ado, here’s what I did to get my greens and clear my crisper drawer in one fell swoop. It’s easy, quick, delicious – and good for you! Feel free to substitute whatever vegetables you have rattling around in your fridge – get creative!
SAVOY CABBAGE, COURGETTE & RUNNER BEAN STIR FRY
1 small or half a large onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 medium courgette, sliced
4 runner beans, chopped
3-4 Savoy cabbage leaves, cut into 1cm strips
vegetable stock powder
Heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a large frying pan. Add the onion and garlic and sautee over medium heat until soft and translucent.
Add the runner beans and courgette and continue to sautee for a further 3-4 minutes. Add the cabbage, stir fry for another minute, then add enough water just to cover the base of the pan. Sprinkle half a teaspoon of vegetable stock powder over the vegetables and steam fry until all the water has evaporated and the vegetables are tender but retain some crunch. If you wish, grate a little Parmesan cheese over the vegetables and serve hot.
I am submitting ths recipe to the lovely Suganya of Tasty Palettes, who is hosting the second round of Vegan Ventures this month in honour of it being Vegan Month! And there’s still time to participate until the end of the month, so get cracking. Can’t wait to see the roundup