Get healthy in 2015 with recipes considered to be power food by different ethnic New Zealand communitiesVegetarian chef says mixing veges by hue helps create nutritious and balanced meal
Vegan Thai chef Kevin Cometouis says when he wants to cook a health-boosting vegetarian dish, he uses his eyes.
"We can get the healthiest meal on the planet if we use our eyes to choose what we eat," he said.
This dish, he says, consists of five different-coloured vegetables which are stir fried using an Asian soy paste.
"A healthy vegetarian meal doesn't have to be fanciful or complicated, eating a meal of different coloured vegetables is the easiest way to ensure you have a balanced and healthy one," said Mr Cometouis, owner of Sunflower Thai Vegetarian restaurant in central Auckland.
For today's eggplant dish, he chose yellow/red capsicum, orange carrot, green snowpea, white button mushrooms and fresh basil leaves.
According to website vegetables.co.nz, red vegetables are "phytonutrient-packed" as are white vegetables.
Yellow and orange vegetables are high in antioxidants particularly carotenoids, which is where vegetables like carrots get their colour from.
Greens are generally full of vitamins, minerals, and disease-fighting phytochemicals.
Mr Cometouis said for most Asian vegetarians, tofu is an important source of protein and iron.
The prepared vegetables are quickly steamed and then removed while "half cooked" to retain their nutrients, Mr Cometouis said.
Then they are put into a quick stir fry with Kimlan soya paste, and mixed with fresh basil leaves before serving.
Thai rainbow vegetarian stir fry
• 1 eggplant cut into chip-sized bars
• 1 full hand of basil leaves
• 4 vegetables of different colours; carrot (red), snowpea (green), button mushroom (white) and capsicum (yellow)
• 1 diced hard tofu
• 1 tablespoon Kimlan soy paste*
• 1.5ml water
• 1 tsp sugar
• 1.5 tbsp vegetable oil
* available at Asian supermarkets
1. Steam the eggplant and vegetables until they are half cooked, then remove and set aside.
2. Heat vegetable oil in a frying pan and add vegetables and tofu to fry.
3. Add water, sugar, Kimlan soy paste and stir fry for two minutes.
4. Finally add the basil leaves, stir well for another minute and serve hot.
Sunflower Thai Vegetarian Restaurant is at Shop 6/50 High St, Auckland Central. Phone: (09) 302 0616.
Click here to see more vegetarian recipes on bite.co.nz
Roast vegetable salad with Tahini and yoghurt dressing.
• Monday: Kitfo (Ethiopia)
• Tuesday: Haejangguk (South Korea)
• Wednesday: Bheja fry (India)
• Thursday: Herbal duck (China)
• Today: Rainbow stir fry (Thailand)
• Tomorrow: Oysters with coriander dressing (NZ-Fusion)