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!


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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

Exotic Leftover Turkey

THE NEW COMFORT FOOD
The Christmas Turkey brings to life family gatherings. Such a warm and loving atmosphere of uncles, aunts and good friends. The turkey was enthusiastically embraced as a Christmas tradition and it was considered an “exotic bird”, especially by the upper crust in England during the 16th century. In 1950 turkeys became affordable for the middle class. By making a Thai turkey dish from leftovers may also be considered exotic – for now.
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LET’S EAT…SIMPLE.

leftover_turkey

Turkey Leftovers

I make my leftover Thai turkey every year now. First, I make sure I buy a large enough turkey so I can get about a pound (.46 kilos) of leftover, tasty turkey meat. I have two great meals from one turkey every year. Too tired to cook? Freeze leftover turkey and make this delicious, nutritious meal another day! Make it once and you will enjoy the tantalizing flavours with rich creamy coconut milk. Your family will love it!
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img_4370INGREDIENTS
2 tablespoons avocado oil
1/2 cup chopped shallots
1 large red bell pepper, cut into strips
2 medium carrots, trimmed and shredded
2 teaspoons minced garlic
3 tablespoons easy home-made  or jarred Thai Red Curry Paste
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 teaspoons palm sugar or light brown sugar
1 (14-ounce) can coconut milk
1 pound left over turkey, cubed or strips
3 tablespoons chopped Thai basil leaves
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Cooked jasmine rice, accompaniment
Sprigs fresh cilantro, garnish
INSTRUCTIONS
1. In a large wok or saute pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat.
2. Add to the pan shallots, saute a few minutes
3. Add to the pan garlic and saute a few more minutes.
4. Add to the pan shallots, bell peppers, and carrots.

Easy Sliced Red Peppers

Easy Sliced Red Peppers

5. Stir-fry until soft (2 to 3 minutes).
6. Add the curry paste and cook, stirring, until fragrant (30 seconds to 1 minute).
7. Stirring, add the fish sauce and sugar, then add the coconut milk and bring to a boil.
8. Simmer until thickened slightly (about 2 minutes).
9. Add the turkey, stirring  (about 5 minutes).
10. Remove from the heat and stir in the basil and cilantro.
Serve over jasmine rice, garnished with cilantro sprigs.
Optional: Add more greens such as leftover peas, spinach, bok choy, celery or kale.

Red Thai Curry Chicken with Jasmine Rice

Red Thai Curry Turkey with Jasmine Rice

In Thailand, POPULAR dishes using red curry paste cooked in coconut milk and are added to meat such as chicken, beef, pork, duck or shrimp are fabulous.

ALTERNATIVE COOKING METHOD
If you are using raw chicken or turkey, you can use a Pressure Cooker to prepare your Thai Red Curry in about 30 minutes
didyouknow
DID YOU KNOW?  Turkey is an excellent source of lean protein and selenium and a good source of vitamin B6.  Selenium is involved in thyroid hormone metabolism, antioxidant defense systems, immune function and DNA repair.  Turkey is also rich in vitamin B3, which helps to control insulin and blood sugar.

HAT2FOOD TIPS: If you don’t have fish sauce handy you can use anchovies. My mum always had fish paste in the frig. She bought it in a squeezable tube and kept it in the door of the frig. She would also keep anchovies in a small glass jar tucked away in the frig. They really come in handy. Hard boiled eggs with anchovies on toasted rye bread was a typical treat in our house.

SPECIAL FESTIVE COLOURS for your Exotic Leftover Turkey. Add green peppers for a MERRY CHRISTMAS and enjoy  the holidays with FESTIVE, ‘HEALTHY’ RED AND GREEN PEPPERS!
red_green_peppers

Roasted Tomato and Red Pepper Soup Recipe

A lovely fresh, sweet tomato and red pepper soup. Red pepper and onion and lots of garlic cloves add immensely to the flavour.  Enjoy the fresh taste of tomato soup in the dead of winter with this freezer friendly Garden Fresh Tomato Soup Recipe.

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tomato-soup_ingredientsINGREDIENTS
2 pounds ( 1kg) ripe tomatoes
7 oz (200gm) cherry tomatoes
1 red bell pepper
1 red onion
4 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
2 cups water
1 cup red lentils
3 tablespoons  balsamic vinegar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 tsp fresh thyme
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
Garnish: pumpkin seeds/purple basil /avocado
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DIRECTIONS
1)  Pre-heat the oven to 400F (200C)
2)  Place the olive oil in a baking dish or a large enameled cast iron soup pot on top of the stove and heat on high.
3)  Slice the tomatoes in 1/2 and place cut side down in container to sear the tomatoes.
4)  Cut the onions in quarters and place in dish.
5)  Quarter and de-seed the red pepper and place in the dish along with the garlic cloves and cherry tomatoes.
6)  Sprinkle with salt, pepper, balsamic vinegar.
7)  Place in the preheated oven for 20-30 minutes until juices run from the tomatoes.
8)  Remove the dish from the oven and transfer to a soup pot if it is not already in one.
9)  Add the lentils, stock, water, thyme, basil  and simmer for 30 minutes.
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10) Blend the soup in a food processor or blender or with a stick blender. My friends and I like a chunky texture to the soup. I puree part of the soup and combine the rest.  After I taste the soup I may add a teaspoon of salt. This will vary each time you make this soup. It depends on the flavour of your ingredients that day.
11)  Reheat your finished soup in the pot and serve.
tomato-soup+fix

You can serve this soup cold on a hot day like a gazpacho in southern Spain.  I encourage you to enjoy this versatile freezer friendly soup hot on a cold winter’s day!

HAT2FOOD TIP:  No need to sieve the soup. It’s a waste. Tomato canneries do not take the seeds out, why should you. Use a drizzle of chilli-infused oil at the roasting stage ( Step #7 above).  Add a couple of cayenne chillis from your garden, or if you have them on hand. Before freezing your soup, you need to chill the soup.  Never put hot food directly into the freezer. To store your soup, I use freezer friendly mason jars. For good Freezer Tips, please click here. If you are taking this soup out from the freezer, you can use it as a base and add additional vegetables, beans or rice – in a pinch, if you are having a lot of guests that day – more than you expected!

Celery, Apple, and Fennel Slaw

This is the perfect slaw for Green Goddess dressing. Fennel is a delicious alternative  giving this a slightly sweeter, milder taste than the traditional cabbage. You have all your GREENS together with an accent of red.

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RECIPE
Ingredients
3 celery stalks, thickly sliced diagonally, plus 1.4 cup loosely packed celery leaves
2 small fennel bulbs, thinly sliced crosswise plus 1 tablespoon chopped fennel fronds
1 firm apple (such as Pink Lady, Granny Smith, or Gala) julienned
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro or parsley
1/2 cup green goddess dressing
1/2 red pepper thinly sliced

Preparation
Combine the first three salad ingredients and 1 tablespoon of the herb and toss with dressing.
Garnish with sliced red pepper and the remaining tablespoon of cilantro or flat leaf parsley and serve.

I used the green goddess dressing for this salad. Fennel, apple, celery and red pepper.

I used the green goddess dressing for this salad. Fennel, apple, celery and red pepper.

HAT2
FOOD TIP: After preparing the mayonnaise add the ingredients for the green goddess dressing right into your blender. Use some for this salad and refrigerate the rest to use as a dip, or for another salad or to serve with fish, meat or chicken.