ROAST VEGETABLES ~ TRENDING!

‘The BEST’ OVEN-Roasted VEGETABLES!

CHANGE THE WAY YOU ROAST VEGETABLES: For goodness sake! After making over 1,000 meals with roast veggies, I started experimenting and made some modifications. I knew I had a winner when I got huge compliments for  my ‘new’ roasted vegetables. It is still my all time favorite veggie recipe!  One reason is that it’s so easy to make! At a dinner party, one of my friends proclaimed  “These veggies are so good. I cant believe how good they taste!”  The potatoes are crispy,  yet soft and  fluffy on the inside.  The red peppers were especially a big hit.  I have been asked to share this recipe with you. I hope you enjoy it!


.
print_recipe
.
.

INGREDIENTS

1 medium potato* (any kind),  cut into 1  inch cubes
1 yam* peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
1 carrot and/or parsnip peeled and sliced into 1 inch slices
6 brussels  sprouts
1/2 head garlic, cloves separated and skins removed
2 large shallots, peeled and quartered ( sweet or red onions  )
2  red and/or yellow bell peppers, cut lengthwise into 1  inch strips
1/2 cup Calamata olives, pitted
2-4 tablespoons olive oil ( more oil, the better )
2 sprigs of FRESH Rosemary or Thyme
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black
* If you decide to leave the  skin on large tubers before roasting,  wash and scrub well. Soak in cleaning vinegar for at least 15 minutes before chopping.

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 450 F degrees(232 C ) and prepare vegetables.
  2. In a large bowl, toss potatoes, yams, carrots and brussels sprouts with  olive oil and salt.  Add to roasting pan and roast in the oven for 20 minutes

    Cubed Potatoes, Yams, Parsnips & Carrots

  3. Add garlic and shallots to  the pan  and toss with the other vegetables. Roast for 20 more minutes

    Garlic And Shallots

  4. Add chopped bell pepper and olives to the pan and sprinkle with black pepper.  Add 2 rosemary sprigs on top of the vegetables. Return to oven
  5. Cook for 20 minutes longer until vegetables are nicely browned but not charred. Because the peppers are only cooked in the last  20 minutes, they are still juicy, tender and tasty.  As all oven temperatures vary, please check the vegetables as they roast.

Fresh Rosemary

TIP:  Make sure you use FRESH ROSEMARY (or thyme – if you don’t have rosemary on hand ). Rosemary needs to be fresh, or not at all. When chopping vegetables err on the larger, chunky  side.  You can always  substitute/add your favourite veggies.  Keep in mind  THE 20 – 20- 20  MINUTE ‘Roasting’  Rule: The firmer vegetables go in first. Then, add the onions and garlic with the most tender vegetables in the final 20 minutes: mushrooms, green tomatoes,  peppers.

VARIATIONS
1.  I add baby turnips  if they look especially fresh and small at the market that day.  As you know, this recipe bakes in 3 BATCHES. The hard root vegetables are roasted first.

Turnips

2. The softer onions and garlic are next in the next 20 minute intervals.

3.  In the third and final stage,  the lighter,  succulent vegetables are added. Friends ask me how my roasted peppers stay so juicy and tasty?   They are only roasted for the last 20 minutes.  The peppers add such a great flavour  and sweetness to the mix.   Try the black olives. If you are not a fan, just  leave them as the flavour is very complementary to the mix. Please  try them before you pass judgement.

Oven Roasted Vegetables

The great aroma for these roasted vegetables comes from  the garlic and shallots along with the rosemary of course. HINT: Use up what you’ve got. Look in the fridge and pantry and roast it!


THE POWER OF ROOT VEGETABLES
The starchy root veggies will satisfy your sweet tooth. You not only feel fuller afterwards, weight loss benefits prevail.
From their high-fiber content to their many nutrients, root vegetables boast  a long history of medicinal and dietary uses.  These vegetables can be served cold as well.  They sell these cold  at those expensive gourmet shops.  Cooked and then cooled potatoes (as well as quinoa, barley and rice). All have resistant starch.  Resistant starch burns more slowly and helps you lose weight. They appear to help you burn fat up to  24 hours later. Why?  No one knows. But what is known is that once resistant starch gets to the colon, your body ferments it and produces an anticancer agent called butyrate – yet another health benefit.

Roast Winter Vegetables on the BBQ

Ratatouille ~ With Pizzaz

I am so in love with the beautiful flavour of the fresh tomatoes that linger on in the season that I had to make some to enjoy them.  So I decided to make ratatouille.   In the beginning of the process the eggplant got charred to carbon in  literally minutes in my Vulcan convection air oven.  So not to give up I moved to a frying pan and made the ratatouille anyway substituting poblano peppers for the eggplant.  My Italian friend said it was the best ratatouille she had ever had!  Gone was the bitterness that was imparted by the eggplant and the heat of the poblano was not really noticeable.  It added just a background of mild heat and umami if you will.  We used this as an accompaniment for our meal and as a filling for our omelets the next morning.  Yummy!  Here is the recipe. Yet another healthy sugar free, gluten free one.
print_recipe
.
.
INGREDIENTS
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 sweet onion
4 cloves garlic
2 zucchini
1 tablespoon lemon thyme
1 yellow bell pepper
1 poblano pepper
2 tomatoes (skin removed)
IMG_1270

INSTRUCTIONS

1)  Dice and saute onion in oil a few minutes until translucent
2)  Dice and add garlic and saute for a few minutes longer
3)  Dice zucchini and add to pan  along with the lemon thyme
4) Next add diced yellow and poblano peppers and saute a few minutes longer
5)  Dice the tomatoes and add to the pan.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Cook a few minutes longer.
IMG_1273

The resulting ratatouille will taste more like vegetables and is not dripping in tomato sauce.  It lacks the bitterness that eggplant imparts.  It is so fresh, tasty and versatile.  Serve it with your meal, in your lasagna,  and in your omelets.  Adding this with cheese to your morning omelet will also enhance the flavours and it is great for single servings and it has multipurpose uses.  This is for the “who’s- got-time?” – to cook – crowd  but we want to eat tasty and healthy food!

IMG_1298 IMG_1299
IMG_1304 IMG_1307

Oven-dried Tomatoes

These are so easy to make and freeze to enjoy throughout the year.  Great on salads, sandwiched, pasta. pizza.  The flavour is concentrated.
INGREDIENTS
6 to 8 tomatoes, slices about 1/2 inch thick
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, fresh oregano, fresh basil, whatever you have
1 tablespoon  olive oil
DIRECTIONS
1.  Preheat oven to 250 F or 120 C
2.  Place sliced tomatoes on a baking sheet  on a piece of parchment or silpat sheet.

Sliced fresh tomatoes with salt, pepper, herbs, olive oil

Sliced fresh tomatoes with salt, pepper, herbs, olive oil

3 Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt pepper and fresh herbs.
4.  Bake for one to two hours checking every half hour until pieces have shrunk slightly, edges are shriveled and juices no longer run.  They are not completely dried but are still juicy.

tomatoes that have been backed and out of the oven

Sun (oven) Dried Tomatoes

5.  Cool slightly and put into glass jars covered by olive oil.  Leave about 1/2 inch of head room and freeze if you will not use them up in the next week or two.  Yummy!

Oven-dried tomatoes in glass jar with olive oil and thyme

Oven-dried tomatoes in glass jar with olive oil and thyme

The EGG Factor -Mayonnaise

Who wrote the book, Great Eggspectations? Charles Chickens!

Summertime craves mayonnaise in cold potato salad, creamy coleslaw and more.  They all start from the simple egg.  The most healthy and versatile food. Homemade mayonnaise is easy to make and better than store bought ( no preservatives ). The flavour is just outstanding!  Mayonnaise is  a “mother”  or  base for Rémoulade, Tartar sauce, Green Goddess Salad Dressing,  Aioli and others.  Historically, it was a tradition in France that  the man of the house made mayonnaise by hand with a whisk, every Sunday.
When I first made this at my neighbour’s place for a dish that she was serving to her guests I showed her how to make it as I was doing it. She thanked me but commented that she really wasn’t interested.  She doesn’t use mayonnaise and she would never make it. That was a year ago.  She now makes it regularly and uses it as a sauce base for  salmon and other dishes. Still raves and shares her recipe with others….spreading the news!

The beauty of home made mayonnaise is not only about the incredible flavour, it is also because of the lack of preservatives and the health benefits.

Natural mayonnaise ingredients and the sauce itself.

print_recipe

..

MY MAYONNAISE Recipe
RECIPE
Ingredients
1 to 1 1/2cups of avocado oil (or light olive oil)
1 egg
1 tsp mustard
2 tsp lemon juice
1/8 tsp salt (optional)
pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)

avocado_oil

DIRECTIONS
1.  Start with all your ingredients at room temperature.  ( eggs need about 30 minutes to come to room temperature ).
2.  Combine the egg with mustard and lemon juice in the bowl of a food processor or  blender/
3. Slowly add the oil in a very thin stream –with the processor running.  Keep beating or whisking at a high rate.
TIP: Processor: Pour  oil into the pusher tube, streaming  through the small hole until completely combined.  If your pusher tube does not have a hole, just drill a very small hole in the tube.

Homemade mayonnaise is so easy and so, so good. Daniel Neman shows how to make it in Prep School.

 

This automatically produces a thin stream of oil to pour out.  You don’t have to stand there dripping the oil by hand.
4.  Add the rest of the ingredients near the end and blend together.
.

FIXING RUINED MAYO:  Your mayo may separate during or after it had been refrigerated. Refrigerated separation is a quick fix.  Add a tsp of water and whisk it back into a creamy texture.  If your mayo separates during the making process then add a tablespoon of warm water to a warmed bowl and pour the broken mayo slowing into the bowl as you whisk or use a blender.  James Peterson recommends adding another egg yolk.

Broken Mayo: Looks Like Pancake Batter

Julia Child suggests a teaspoon of prepared mustard. Why did the mayo separate? This may occur when you add in the oil too quickly or the initial ingredients were too cold. It is not because you added too much oil.  Heston Blumenthal  tested this theory.  However, it only works well with a cement mixer.  Heston’s mayo recipe is half way through this video—> Heston’s eggs and mayonnaise recipe.  If your mayo is too thick add a splash of water or  lemon juice  and whisk it into a fluffy texture.

Total time under 5 minutes, makes 1 1/2 cups.
Refrigerate for 4-7 days. It won’t last that long!

HAT2FOOD TIP: Blanch your egg in the shell in hot water for 10 seconds. Then, quickly place the egg in icy cold water bath.  Blanching destroys some surface bacteria (in theory).  If you add blanched basil leaves, (add with the egg), when making your mayo – they stay green in the mix. Otherwise the basil will quickly turn black.

Mayonnaise:  Green Basal, Garlic And hot mustard powder & white pepper

IMMERSION BLENDER: If you use an immersion blender, start by keeping the blade at the very bottom of the exact fitting container – Use a mason jar or a glass measuring cup. Start with slow pulses. For best results, make sure you start by dripping in the oil very slowly. The first 30 seconds is critical. If you use this method with a mason jar, all you need to do is add the lid and pop your mayo in the fridge.

WHISK METHOD: The challenger’s mayo – the best workout for your upper arms. Substitute 2 egg yolks for one egg if using the manual method.  Also use only one cup of oil.

Eggs are a Nutrient Powerhouse
Intolerances aside, eggs are a great food.
Yes, the fat is all in the yolk; and all the nutrients.
One egg provides:
• 245 IUs of vitamin A
• 37 IUs of vitamin D
• 19 mg potassium
• 25 mcg folate
• 22 mg calcium

The Perfect Egg

didyouknow2DID YOU KNOW:   The Choline in eggs helps make phosphatidylcholine to benefit your liver, nervous system, and brain.  According to Dr. Jonny Bowden in his book The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth.

Solution: Buy The Best Eggs, Cook Them Right and Eat Infrequently

Sun Dried Tomato Dip

HEALTHY  ‘TASTY’ DIP
sun-sdried-tomato_dipNow that you have made your decorated goat cheese, you can make a tasty and healthy dip to serve with it. The dip is very versatile.This dip is great with crudités or crackers, on sandwiches, or with cold meats. It can be made a day or two in advance and served at your chalet, lake house, sailboat or right at home. People always enjoy this combination goat cheese /sun dried tomato spread. This pairing pops with flavour and is a big hit with my friends.  I am often asked where I bought it!  Instead of crackers or I prefer sourdough baguette slices. Crisp and tasty. Although crackers have evolved to gluten free and no preservatives which you can buy at your local supermarket. I find that most of these healthy crackers are very flavourful and will change the taste of my goat cheese / sun dried tomato dip.  Over my years of reading about healthy foods, I would always come across the information that with respect to bread, we should eat rye bread or sour dough. I was puzzled by the sour dough as it was white bread after all. Then one day I came across some information that explained it.

RECIPE
Ingredients
1 package (3 1/2 oz) sun dried tomatoes
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup loosely packed basil leaves
1/4 cup loosely packed flat leaf parsley
2 garlic cloves peeled
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar substitute (optional)
1 green onion coarsely chopped including green tops

Directions                                                                                                                                                                   

sun-dried-tomatoesCombine all ingredients in a food processor.  Use the pulse feature until everything is chopped to a coarse consistency not liquid.  Refrigerate until needed.  The flavour is even better the next day.  Serve at room temperature over goat cheese with toasts or crackers.

This is a tasty dip and will keep in your fridge for 7 to 10 days, limited only by the freshness of the herbs.  You can then make this in advance or use up the left overs as a salad dressing, to toss your vegetables and some more olive before roasting or add to a soup for more flavour.  The addition of mayonnaise or buttermilk will transform any leftover dips into sauces or salad dressings.

EVENING OUT:  I just brought the sun dried dip to a birthday party last night.  I paired it with a goat cheese log rolled in herbs.  There were herb crackers and whole wheat sourdough croutes.  This was a big hit!  People kept going back again and again for more.  They were addictive.  This was more popular than the smoked salmon platter!

didyouknowFOOD FACT: The acid in the sourdough slows down the absorption of the bread. That is how the San Francisco gold miners were able to sustain themselves all day long with just a loaf of sourdough bread. Hence the San Francisco sour dough loafs. The flour/simple carbohydrate  is broken down into sugar which starts even in the mouth with salivary amylase and eating a slice of white bread is not so different than having a piece of pound cake as far as your body is concerned.

Do you want a piece of white bread? Then…eat sour dough bread. It is healthier!