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Stir fried vegetables

Serves 4

Vegetables are an excellent source of nutrients, antioxidants and fiber but beware of how you cook them as the nutrients can be easily destroyed. Steaming vegetables is the best way to preserve nutrients. Stir frying in extra virgin olive oil, instead of sunflower oil or other oils has been shown to retain all their nutritional value, especially Vitamin C.
A combination of vegetables to obtain a multicoloured dish is best for health. Broccoli and cauliflower contain a group of metabolites called glucosinolates. The enzyme myrosinase in these vegetables, transforms the glucosinolates, into sulforaphane upon damage to the plant (such as from chewing) resulting in a powerful anticancer activity. Broccoli is perfectly cooked when it is brilliant green and tender-crisp. Remove from heat at once and serve. Cauliflower is also done cooking when it is tender-crisp. Both are delicious with sesame oil. Sesame oil is a great source of highly absorbable calcium and vitamin E, known for its antioxidant activity. Bean sprouts is ideal especially in stir fries with broccoli. Mung bean sprouts are a rich source of protein and vitamins A, B, C, and E. In just one cup of mung bean sprouts, there are 3 grams of protein and 0 grams of fat. Since sprouts can sometimes harbour bacteria, it is important always to rinse them thoroughly before using. Red peppers and carrots, give the red and orange colour to this dish. These are also a good source of vitamin C, thiamine, vitamin B6, beta carotene, and folic acid.  Red peppers also contain a large amount of phytochemicals that have exceptional antioxidant activity and lycopene. Garlic can provide a powerful cancer-protective effect to the body. Garlic contains two main medicinal compounds: allicin and diallyl sulphides, which can help boost the immune system and to fight off cancer. Find out more in "Is Your Food Killing You?"

10 florets of broccoli, sliced down the middle of each floret
10 florets of cauliflower, sliced down the middle of each floret
1 red pepper, sliced into trianglular shapes
2 carrots, peeled and cut into triangular shapes
300 g bean sprouts, remove tails and wash; drain well.
1 pip garlic, peeled and chopped (leave a few minutes after chopping to allow for the enzymes responsible for the formation of the biologically active compounds to work)
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt to taste

Steam the broccoli, cauliflower and carrots over a steamer of hot boiling water until just tender but still crisp. This should only take about 5 minutes. If you do not have a steamer, add a very small amount of hot boiling water in a large pan, add broccoli and cauliflower, cover and cook over a low to medium heat for 5 minutes. Do not throw away the water used for boiling if using this method (this should only be a tablespoon or so). In the meanwhile, in a frying pan add olive oil, garlic and peppers and cook these covered, over a medium heat for 3-5 minutes until the peppers are tender yet crisp. Add the steamed vegetables (and water from the boiled vegetables), bean sprouts and sesame oil. Cook covered for another 2 minutes over low heat, sprinkling some water to prevent sticking to pan if required. Season to taste and serve immediately.