Less Chopping, More Flavor - You don't have to chop the veggies into small even pieces! Here's why:
I love chopping veggies at the end of a work day — the movement is relaxing, the colors inspiring. Chopping does not have to mean a lot of work. It’s really not necessary to chop them into small, evenly sized cubes. This is usually done to make food cook evenly, and blend the flavors. But this can produce an unexciting even appearance and boring texture. A bonus to minimal chopping is that each vegetable holds on to its own flavor, enhanced by the others. You do have to allow more time for them to cook, but you can relax and do something else while supper is cooking. To start, you can poke through your pantry, fridge and freezer and see what inspires you. Preheat the oven to 375*.
What’s on hand in the pantry?
I always keep potatoes, onion, garlic, carrots on hand (read “A well Stocked Pantry”) The frosty looking red balls in the photo are frozen tomatoes; this is an amazingly easy way to store tomatoes – just wash, dry, pop into a freezer bag. They are easy to roast, or when they are part way thawed, toss them in a blender to use for intensely flavored tomato sauce. The garlic is from Patti’s garden.
I Just cut the potatoes in half, minimally sliced the garlic and onions. There would have been more carrots, but Frodo kept begging for them. I added the onion skins and carrot ends into my frozen bag of veggie scraps for making stock.
Pepper and Coriander (and take a stroll in your garden while veggies roast!)
Tonight for seasoning I simply used pepper and Coriander. I set the timer to check on progress in 40 minutes, and went out for a walk in the garden – amazingly beautiful this spring. I pulled a few weeds, including some wild onions for another day, and planted some Russian Kale in a planter by the back steps for lovely color and shape. I had noticed some sliced baby portabellas in the fridge — and added these to the roasting veggies when the timer went off; fork testing the potatoes, I added 20 more minutes. It really doesn’t have to be precise, it’s hard to overcook the veggies, and if you undercook, they’re just a little al dente (and when you reheat for lunch tomorrow, they’ll be perfect).
Fruit and Garbanzo Salad
I decided to balance the veggies with a fruit on Romaine lettuce salad – organic black berries, mandarin oranges and red cabbage.
Garbanzo beans on the salad rounded out the meal. Such a colorful salad (think vitamins and antioxidants!).
Delicious with garbanzos and Fig Balsamic dressing
Just as I finished the salad the timer went off, the roasted veggies were smelling delicious.
The Coriander and pepper on the potatoes were wonderful. The roasted garlic, delicious. The tomatoes had mixed in beautifully, and the mushrooms were just right. And cooking without oil, makes clean up a breeze.
Ingredients and Directions for Roasted Vegetables:
Preheat to 375*
Potatoes, carrots, onions – minimally chopped
Add Garlic (chopped or powdered), pepper, coriander
Cook 40 minutes
Add baby portabella mushrooms for 20 minutes.
DO NOT use oil. You can cook on a cookie sheet or in a pyrex dish
It’s easy to clean up,and more flavorful and healthier without the oil.
Romaine lettuce, Red cabbage
Low Fat Balsamic Vinaigrette