Recipe: What the Heck Is a Melange . . .

. . . and What’s It Got to Do with Fast and Healthy Meals?

Lately, my friend Ray has been talking a lot about his “melange.”  You, like me, may be wondering what he’s talking about, so I did some investigative work.

Melange, a French word, means “a mixture, often of incongruous elements.” Pretty perfectly describes Ray’s melange, an odd mixture of everything from yams and cauliflower to green beans and cabbage.

Here’s what Ray has to say about his curious combo and why it’s such a valuable cook’s trick:

My aversion to salad making got me melanging. I like making big batches of food that can last a week, but salad always seemed to be a one-meal-at-a-time thing. Not my forte.

Breakfast Sandwich with Melange

Quickly fortify an easy breakfast sandwich with some finely chopped melange

However, a salad with a veggie melange in the fridge takes literally one minute. Tear up some lettuce, add melange, sprinkle something crunchy on top (e.g., pumpkin seeds), dash on some dressing, and you’re good to go.

As time went on, I started finding other uses for this refrigerator resource. I chop it up finer and add to a sandwich or to an omelet that can go inside a breakfast sandwich.  Sometimes I just eat it straight with a glob of cottage cheese on top (Betsy’s Special).   I like that it takes less than an hour and it’s healthier eating for several days.

So after all that ramble, here’s the “recipe.”  It’s pretty loose, just think in terms of categories.  There are three (root, cruciferous, raw) and a pound of each is a good ratio for a week’s worth of easy, healthy meals:

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pound root vegetables (yams, rutabagas, parsnips, carrots, beets, etc.) cut into bite-sized cubes
  • 1/2 large or 1 small red onion, roughly sliced into strips
  • 1 pound chopped cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage) or other veggies of similar cooking time (green beans or asparagus)
  • 1 pound raw vegetables (I stick to grape tomatoes and cucumber, sprouts are great, whatever your pleasure, not too crunchy)
  • 1/4 cup oil and vinegar-type salad dressing (I like balsamic or some kind of gingery-soy, anything but creamy or sweet)
  • Salt, pepper, fresh or dried herbs, spices to taste

DIRECTIONS

Get a big steamer started while you cube the root vegetables. I’m a skin-on guy, your preference.

Put root veggies in to steam then slice and add the red onion.

Chop up the cruciferous veggies and throw them in.

Steam for 10 more minutes and then set steamed veggies aside to cool.

Once cooled, mix in raw veggies and toss with dressing and spices. Refrigerate.  Use creatively.

Happy Melanging!

Mary’s Note:  As winter comes on and it’s bearable to turn on the oven again, consider roasting the root vegetables and onions instead of steaming.

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4 Responses

  1. Thanks for putting this up, Mary! The bagel breakfast sandwich is a staple around here, son Will’s favorite. Can’t let the chickens get ahead of us! Mary’s too modest to admit it, but she’s become quite a good bike mechanic!

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  2. […] I’m not going to kid you: I enjoy ingesting the food units. Why? Maybe it’s because the local TV station regularly suggests You Gotta Eat, or maybe because the local River Beach Pub is just that good, or maybe because I have two copies of the Culinary Cyclist. Who knows? And who knows what the heck a melange is, besides Ray Keener? (Everyday Good Eating) […]

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  3. […] earlier post described a friend’s go-to trick for making tasty, healthy food fast:  melanges.  For me, […]

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