Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Method: Roasting Vegetables

I wanted to start this blog for a variety of reasons. First, I love to share inspiration and recipes with friends and family.  I am notoriously bad at actually sending recipes when asked for them, so this seemed like a logical step... a bit of accountability, if you will. :-)  Second, I hope to find inspiration from others who love and write about food.  Finally, I hope that some of my healthier eating tricks discovered over the years are helpful to my friends who would also like to eat healthier. Hence the inspiration for this post!

I have the best intentions with food. I would love to make healthy, sustainable, delicious food EVERY night.  Unfortunately I can also be very lazy!  I often don't want to spend lots of hours after work making a gourmet meal.  BUT, I also don't like eating out every night. So, I've tried to come up with some methods for healthy and easy meals I can use on "lazy" nights.  One of the tricks I have started to use really often is roasting vegetables.  It seems very simple and obvious, but it was a revelation to me when I realized I could spend 5 minutes chopping veggies, a couple minutes boiling pasta and still have a delicious healthy meal in the end.

Roasting vegetables has quickly turned into one of my favorite ways to cook them--even when I have time! They make a quick and easy vegan meal by tossing the roasted veggies with pasta or quickly stir frying with cooked quinoa or rice. For instance, I recently made a really quick dinner by first chopping broccoli, bell peppers and fennel bulbs, then tossing them with olive oil, salt and cayenne pepper.
Then, I roasted them at 425F for 30 minutes on a cookie sheet.  The roasting gives vegetables a nice caramelized flavor with a bit of crispiness on the edges, while at the same time mellowing out some of the bitter notes that many veggie haters dislike.

 To finish the meal, I simply tossed the veggies with cooked whole wheat pasta, a bit of the pasta water and some olive oil. Easy to fit into my after work schedule and eaten happily, even by the meat eaters!

Some helpful links!
1 green generation : basic veggie roasting tutorial.
The Amateur Gourmet : My absolute favorite broccoli recipe ever.  I have eaten a giant plate of these babies for an entire meal.
carnivorous/cruciferous: Spicy garlic kale chips : Think you hate kale?  Or Spinach? Try.  Try try try.

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