Friday, October 30, 2015

Eat Your Veggies

In the countdown to a sugar overload holiday, Halloween consider the value of Eat Your Veggies. 
Roasting vegetables is a cooking technique that draws out the natural sweetness of vegetables. Although dry roasting is easy and keeps things oil free, you can add oodles of flavor and glamour to your veggies by lightly coating them with a good quality oil and spiking them with herbs. And its an easy way to prepare side dishes. 
Roasted Vegetable Medley
Cook's notes:If ever a plate of roasted vegetables will make you forget the meat, it is this one. Roasting sweetens and concentrates the flavors, and the Parmesan and pine nuts add body, while the lemon zest adds zing. Recipe serves 4-6.
  • 2-pounds vegetable medley — broccoli, cauliflower, broccoli and carrots
  • 5 mini colored sweet bell peppers, stemmed and halved
  • 1 red onion, peeled and sliced into 8 wedges
  • 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided use
  • 3 big pinches kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 TB. parsley flakes
  • 1/2 tsp. each dried rosemary and thyme 
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • Zest from 1 extra large lemon (1 1/2-2 tablespoons zest)
  • optional 1/2 cup pine nuts or substitute toasted slivered almonds
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan shreds
  • Heat oven to 425 degrees. Line a large, flat baking pan with parchment paper.Place vegetable medley into pan, along with peppers and onions. Drizzle with 4 tablespoons olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, herbs and toss until coated.
  • Place garlic slices on top and roast for 25 minutes.
  • Remove from oven, add remaining tablespoon olive oil, lemon zest, toasted nuts and Parmesan shreds and toss with spatulas to mix.

Roasted Squash, Sweet Potatoes and Yukon Gold Potatoes
Recipe from Taste of Home
  • 3 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into small wedges
  • 2 medium sweet red peppers, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cubed
  • 1 medium red onion, cut into wedges
  • 3 TB. olive oil or Herb Olive Oil
  • 2 TB. balsamic vinegar or Cranberry Pear Balsamic
  • 2 TB. minced fresh rosemary or 2 tsp. dried rosemary, crushed
  • 1 TB. minced fresh thyme or 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 tsp.salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, combine potatoes, red peppers, squash, sweet potatoes and onion. In a small bowl, whisk oil, vinegar and seasonings. Pour over vegetables and toss to coat.
  • Bake, uncovered, 30-40 minutes or until fork tender, stirring occasionally.

Roasted Cauliflower, Brussels Sprouts with a Bacon Vinaigrette   
Cook's notes: Roasting Brussels sprouts with some cauliflower florets brings out their natural sweetness and nuttiness. Bacon elevates the dish to a new level with its savory flavor. Recipe adapted from Taste of Home and Betty Crocker. Serves 4-6.
  • 1 lb fresh Brussels sprouts, trimmed, cut in half
  • 2 medium heads cauliflower (about 2 lb each), cut into florets
  • 1/4 cup olive oil or Herb Olive Oil
  • 2 tsp. sugar, divided
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 10 slices bacon 
  • 2 TB. white wine vinegar 
  • 1 TB. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 TB.chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • Heat oven to 400 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. 
  • In large bowl toss Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, 1/4 cup oil and 1 teaspoon sugar. Spread vegetables in single layer. Sprinkle with minced garlic cloves.  
  • Roast uncovered 45 minutes but stirring after 30 minutes, until vegetables are tender and browned.
  • Meanwhile, in 12-inch skillet, cook bacon over medium-high heat 15 minutes or until crisp; drain on paper towels. Crumble bacon; set aside. Transfer 2 tablespoons bacon drippings to small bowl; stir in vinegar, 1 tablespoon oil, 1 teaspoon sugar, salt and pepper.
  • Drizzle vinaigrette over roasted vegetables. Add bacon, parsley, and thyme; toss to coat.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Maple Balsamic Vinegar 
Cook's notes: For all the Brussels sprouts haters out there, I urge you to try this combination. Anything you found bitter or flavorless about the little cabbages will be blown out the water by this sweet, salty, savory combination of flavors. Roasting the Brussels takes the bitter edge off of them that many find unappealing. Balsamic and maple are a power combination of flavors that work well together in so many dishes, including this one.
Recipe adapted from and
  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts, halved
  • 3 TB. balsamic vinegar
  • 1-1/2 TB. maple syrup
  • 1/2 TB. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/8 tsp. black pepper
  • 4 strips of bacon, cooked and diced
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl whisk together the balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, oil, salt, and pepper.
  • Add the Brussels sprouts to the balsamic mixture and toss them until they are completely coated.
  • Pour the Brussels sprouts out on the baking sheet in a single layer. Roast the Brussels sprouts for 30-35 minutes. Stir once during the baking time.
  • Place Brussels sprouts into a serving dish and toss them together with the cooked, diced bacon.

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