The Imperfect Digest

Educating and connecting our community.

Your Top 5 Cooking Questions, Answered

Your Top 5 Cooking Questions, Answered

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Every week we get dozens of excellent cooking questions from our community. To help make your next meal a little easier and more delicious, here are your top 5 cooking questions answered! 

When should you use olive oil or another oil for cooking or roasting?

Due to its herbaceous flavor and low smoke point, olive oil is best for salad dressings and drizzling over finished dishes. For sautéing or roasting veggies, you want an oil with a neutral flavor and a high smoke point like avocado or grapeseed oil. 

If you’d like to learn even more about picking the best oil for your needs, check out our blog post all about cooking oils!

What’s the best thing to do with zucchini?

Since zucchini has a fair amount of water in it, we recommend a high-heat application like roasting or grilling. Try cubing it and roasting it or halving it and grilling it, going heavy on the spices since zucchini has a pretty mild flavor otherwise. You also can't go wrong baking it into muffins or bread

How do you get protein from vegetable-based meal? 

  • Incorporate a hearty and protein-rich grain like quinoa, farro, or brown rice.

  • Add some beans or lentils! Beans are an excellent source of protein or fiber.

  • Try a plant-based protein like tofu, tempeh, or seitan.

  • Top with an egg (if you eat eggs). 

  • Remember that vegetables have protein, too! Protein-rich veggies include potatoes, broccoli, and spinach.

What do you do with carrot tops?

Carrots are in the same plant family as parsley, and their tops taste a whole lot like parsley. This makes them perfect in a chimichurri, pesto or tabouli salad! 

Want advice on using other vegetable scraps like leek greens, fennel tops, and beet greens? Check out our blog post all about cooking root-to-leaf!

How do you roast sweet potatoes so that they’re crispy but not burnt? 

  1. Cut them into pieces that are the same size. If you cut them unevenly, the smaller pieces will burn before the bigger ones finish cooking. 

  2. You should roast them at a lower temperature than other potatoes because of the higher sugar content (try 375 degrees for 20-30 minutes).

  3. Add enough oil to coat them thoroughly. Oiled potatoes simply brown better. 

  4. Don't crowd the pan or tray. If the pieces are too close together they'll steam instead of browning. 

If you’re hungry for even more tips for cooking with sweet potatoes and other Imperfect staples, check out this blog post all about avoiding veggie burn out!

To get even more cooking tips from us, be sure to follow us on Instagram and check out our weekly “Open Kitchen” stories!

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