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Thank you to all who have offered advice to Young Mum, who is looking for creative and delicious ways to add silver beet into the meals of her youngsters. Well, the oily rag community has again come to the rescue. We have been inundated with wonderful responses, many coming from Whakatane, which is showing itself to be the oily rag capital of Oilyragaroa!
Hammelschwanz from Whakatane suggests, “In answer to young mum whose children do not like silverbeet I would suggest to make a thick white sauce with whole milk and add finely pureed silverbeet or spinach. The creaminess hides that 'teeth blunting' feeling, serve the vegetable with mashed potatoes and a fried or poached egg. Try and add a little vegetable stock powder or nutmeg to the blended vegetable and sauce mix.”
LandP writes, "Young Mum wanted a recipe for silverbeet which her youngsters will enjoy. What follows works just as well with Spinach and is delicious. Here are the ingredients for a meal for four: 750 grams of silverbeet, 2 eggs, 6 tablespoons flour, 500 grams cottage cheese, 1/4 teaspoon salt, nutmeg, freshly ground pepper, and 1½ cups grated tasty cheese.
“Wash the silver beet, trim & chop finely; cook & drain squeezing out excess water. Beat eggs & flour together until smooth, add silverbeet, cottage cheese, salt, nutmeg & pepper combining them well. Put into a well greased 23 x 34cm baking dish sprinkling more grated cheese over the top. Bake uncovered at 180 degrees for 45 minutes; it can be eaten hot or cold. A decadent option is to chop & & precook a couple of rashers of bacon sprinkling these & the bacon fat over the top a little prior to serving.”
Lorraine Barnes suggests “This is a useful way to use as little or as much silverbeet as you prefer. I add 4 leaves of finely chopped silver beet to a batter mixture made up of 3/4 cup flour, 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, and 1 or 2 eggs all whisked up and thinned with milk to the right consistency. Fry in a little hot oil. It’s lovely with tomato sauce, which should appeal to children.” [Who can disagree with that – adding tomato sauce to anything usually does the trick!]
G M from Christchurch has a tip for spinach (which could also be used for silverbeet). “Chop the stuff up finely as if it is parsley and sprinkle it in everything...muffins with cheese, quiche type recipes, sprinkle on spuds, add loads to salad, add to soups, casseroles. The flavour is negligible but that iron goodness is incorporated into lots of food.”
From tips on using silverbeet to tips on makeup! Auntie from Timaru writes, “This tip is actually from an English actress. The only product she uses to remove make-up and moisturise her face is grape seed oil. Have used it myself for ages now and it's perfect. I have used baby oil as well, but my eyes always felt gritty afterwards. I have even used the grape seed oil on my hands and arms. Don't use too much and rub it in well.”
Staying with facial care, in this case your snozzle, L.M. from windy Wellington writes, “A good nasal spray can be made by mixing 640 ml of warm water with 1/2 teaspoon baking soda and 1/2 salt. Irrigate [which sounds a little agricultural] nostrils (tip head forward, keep mouth open, pump water up nostril using plastic squeeze bottle) to help relieve sinus symptoms and flush flu virus from your system.”
There we are - lots of ways to make silverbeet more acceptable to reluctant palates, and some health and beauty tips for good measure.
Frank and Muriel Newman are the authors of Living off the Smell of an Oily Rag in NZ. If you have a favourite tip then share it with others via www.oilyrag.co.nz or post it to Living off the Smell of an Oily Rag, PO Box 984, Whangarei 0140.
* Frank and Muriel Newman are the authors of Living Off the Smell of an Oily Rag in NZ. Readers can submit their oily rag tips on-line at www.oilyrag.co.nz. The book is available from bookstores and online at www.oilyrag.co.nz.