Recently I had the great pleasure of speaking at a conference for freshly minted student magazine editors from around Australia. In my capacity as former Farrago co-editor, I was on a panel with two editors I admire very much, Voiceworks’ Kat Muscat and The Lifted Brow’s Sam Cooney, and our brief was to share tips on managing volunteers and reassure the students that everything was going to be fine. We had so much advice, and they had such well-considered questions, that we ran slightly over time and I ended up leaving out some advice that might be relevant to your life whether or not you are a student editor. And many of the editors have released their first issues of the year already and are doing brilliantly without this tip. But here it is, in case you need it later:
If you Google “what are the best vegetables”, the answers you get will mainly be variations of “spinach/dark leafy greens and carrots”.
I am not a nutritionist, so maybe there is another vegetable that is better for you, I don’t know, but what I do know from extensive experience is that if you’re ever feeling tired from your demanding job and a bit yuck from eating campus takeaway food for lunch and proofreading lollies for snacks, and you turn to Google to find out how you can make yourself feel healthier in the most efficient way, these are the suggestions it will give you. I spent so much time trawling through slabs of information about vitamins and carbohydrates that it probably would have been more efficient to just go to the supermarket and buy whatever vegetables were closest to the front. Let me save you that time.
The “dark leafy greens” that search results recommend will vary, and include English spinach, silverbeet, kale and exotic varieties I haven’t seen in the supermarket/fruit shop. At my local fruit shop an entire kilo of carrots costs $2 and a big bunch of greens is about $3, depending on the season. ALSO did you know you can totally just wash carrots and chop them and leave the skin on, you don’t have to peel?
If you decide you would like to eat some carrots and dark leafy greens, here are some things you can do with them:
- Stir fry: add your preferred meat/tofu, throw in other veggies if you like, drizzle some combination of soy sauce/sweet soy sauce/oyster sauce/sweet chilli sauce, and serve with brown rice.
- Curry: add carrots and greens to Thai curries with a base of red/green curry paste and coconut milk, or add them to Indian curries with a base of tomato, stock, yoghurt and spices. Again, brown rice.
- Spaghetti bolognese or chilli con/non carne: add heaps of carrots and greens to your pot of bolognese sauce. If you find a good brand of wholemeal pasta, please let me know.
- Salad: fill a large bowl with baby spinach. Peel and grate the carrots if you can be bothered, or just rinse them and slice into rounds. Add other things that are colourful to make it look nice eg beetroot, roast pumpkin, yellow capsicum, avocado, olives, etc.
- Scrambled eggs: crack a few eggs into a frying pan, add (soy) milk, whisk it around with a fork, add leftover spinach-carrot-etc salad.
- KALE CHIPS OH MY GOSH: I have recently discovered the whispers are true and you can make chips out of kale. Cut the stems out, put them on an oven tray, brush lightly with olive oil and salt, and bake until crisp.
- Carrots and hommus: Cut carrots into sticks and serve with hommus instead of eating junk snack food. Actually you don’t even need to bother with the chopping part if you are eating this alone. You could make hommus yourself but the supermarket-brand ones are pretty cheap and good.
Also there are some days when eating cake will make you feel better than eating vegetables and brown rice. Remember that’s okay too.
What are your top recipes for food so healthy it makes you feel better? Or, what other advice do you have for incoming student editors?