Rainbow Roasted Vegetables

“One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we’re doing and devote our attention to eating.” ~Luciano Pavarotti and William Wright, Pavarotti, My Own Story

These vegetables are almost too pretty to eat! I love how all the colors and flavors come together! It’s an easy side dish that looks magnificent on any plate! There really isn’t a set recipe for these. I seasoned mine with garlic and dill seasonings, but you could use any herbs you like, rosemary would be nice too! You can also add as much or as little of whatever veggies you would like, and you can make a lot of it or just enough for one!

Rainbow Roasted Vegetables
(serves a lot!)

Ingredients

Sweet potato, cut into 1 inch cubes

Yellow, red, and purple petite potatoes, cut in half (1/4 the larger ones)

Red onion, cut into large slices/chunks

Rainbow carrots, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces

Parsnips, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces

Olive oil

Dill, garlic powder, sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, to taste (or seasonings and herbs of preference!)

Method

1. Choose, wash, and prep your veggies. In the meantime, preheat your oven to 400 degrees and line a (or 2) baking sheet(s) with aluminum foil.

2. When veggies are prepped, add to a large mixing bowl and drizzle with olive oil and season them to your liking. Mix well.

3. Spread veggies in an even layer on the lined baking sheet(s). Roast for about 30 minutes, stirring about every 10 mins (and rotating top and bottom pans if you have two).

It’s as easy as that! Serve as a side dish at your house, or bring it as a fun side dish to your next dinner party! That’s what I did!

Our friends invited us over for dinner- I brought the rainbow roasted veggies which are featured here with Grouper with White Wine and Tomato Sauce, and Mushroom Quinoa Risotto. Delish :)

Red Carrots

This week’s foodie tip (sorry it’s a couple days late!) is to buy in-season, local produce from your local Farmer’s Market. Buying locally not only helps your local economy, but you can actually talk directly to the person that grew your food! You know where it comes from, how it was grown, and often times get some good tips on how to prepare it if it’s something your not accustomed to.

I got these beautiful red carrots from Trace, or as I also call her- “my lady.” I am a faithful weekly customer of hers (for 2 years now) because she always has the most fresh, beautiful, and tasty produce! I have used these red carrots as well as her “rainbow carrots” (gorgeous colors of yellow, orange, red, white, peach- who knew carrots could come in so many colors?) in a number of ways. They make everything look gorgeous. I’ve put them in salads, in my Rainbow Roasted Vegetables, even used them to add earthiness and depth to my spaghetti sauce! This week make sure to make a stop at your Farmer’s Market!

Vegan Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

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“True friends are never apart, maybe in distance, but not in heart.” ~Unknown

Every time I make these muffins I think of my best friend, Brett. Last March, I went to visit her during my spring break and I brought some VERY overripe bananas with me because I was determined to attempt vegan baking. I had heard that bananas could substitute eggs as a binder, so I thought we should try it out. I was there for 5 days and each day was packed with all the things that we do best…eating, talking, shopping, wine tasting, eating, talking….it was so great…and so us. One of our other favorite things to do together is bake. On my last night there we still hadn’t used my bananas…so despite it being 11 o’clock at night, we baked. And it was so worth it! We made these vegan banana muffins and they were moist and delicious. Since then, I’ve been adding non-dairy chocolate chips to them to make them even more delicious! They also freeze well. I’ll often make a batch, and then after they cool, put them into a freezer bag in the freezer. For a quick breakfast on the go, I just take them out of the freezer and microwave them for about 30 seconds and they’re perfect! Great with coffee, almond milk or if you are not a vegan- then maybe you’ll go for the cow’s milk! Oh yeah, and feel free to lick the bowl- no eggs!! :)

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Vegan Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins (yields 12 muffins)

Ingredients

3 very ripe bananas

1/4 c. vegetable oil

3/4 c. organic cane sugar

2 c. flour

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

dash of nutmeg

1/3 c. vegan mini chocolate chips (optional)

Method


1. Preheat oven to 375. Meanwhile, mash the bananas in a medium sized bowl and add oil and sugar, stir to combine.

2. In a separate bowl, mix dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients into the dry and stir until combined. Fold in chocolate chips.

3. Grease or line muffin pan. Fill each cup 3/4 full.

4. Bake for about 20-25 minutes at 350. *Lower the temperature to 350 degrees after about 2 minutes of baking time. Muffins are done when a toothpick comes out clean. (Mine are usually done right at 20 mins)

5. Allow muffins to cool for 1 minute in the pan and then move to a wire rack to cool completely.

(This tip of spiking the oven temperature in the beginning and then lowering it actually helps prevent the muffins from sticking!)

Enjoy!

Creamy Berry Smoothie

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“If we’re not willing to settle for junk living, we certainly shouldn’t settle for junk food.” ~Sally Edwards

First of all, I have to thank my friend Rebecca for this recipe because she is the one who shared it with me! This is now my default smoothie recipe. It is so good that you really wouldn’t think it was so good for you too!

The first time I made this, I made it for myself…just to try it out. I was so surprised at the delicious berry taste, and the creaminess of it- even though it didn’t have any dairy in it! I didn’t taste the veggies at all…so I had to try it on my husband to see if he could tell. I told him I was making him a smoothie, and left out the part that there was spinach in it ;). I served it to him and waited for his reaction. He said that it was really good and asked what was in it. I said, “Well, what does it taste like is in it?” He said it just tasted like a blueberry smoothie! Yes! So I told him that it had avocado and spinach in it and he was really surprised. I have tried “green smoothies” on him several times in the past and he has said that he never wanted one again. However, this green smoothie is husband approved!

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You can make this recipe with any berries. Pictured above is with strawberries, but I’ve also made it with blueberries- which so far is still my husband and I’s favorite, or you could even do a mix berry blend! Berries, especially blueberries, are a low calorie fruit that are very high in antioxidants. They are also said to help improve brain health and memory.

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The avocado is the secret because it gives it the wonderful creamy texture. Avocados are also extremely beneficial. Avocados are actually considered to be the world’s healthiest fruit. They are packed full of the “good fats” as well as vitamin C, K, E, B6, potassium, dietary fiber, and folate. Avocados are very good for your heart. Not to mention, they are my all time favorite food!

If you grew up watching cartoons like Popeye the Sailorman, then you know that spinach is good for you! Like all dark greens, spinach is a great source of iron. It is also high in vitamins C, A, K, and calcium.

Enjoy this delicious and nutritious smoothie!

Berry Smoothie

10oz. of frozen organic berries (blueberries, strawberries or a mix)

1 cup water

half of an avocado

one handful of organic baby spinach leaves

liquid stevia to taste (for sweetness)

1. Put the avocado, frozen berries, and spinach in a blender. Add about a 1/2 cup of water. Blend. Add water as needed until desired thickness. Add a few drops of liquid stevia until desired sweetness. Enjoy!

Note- if you would rather use fresh berries, you just need to add ice!

Asian Vegetable Stir-Fry

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“Did you ever stop to taste a carrot? Not just eat it, but taste it? You can’t taste the beauty and energy of the earth in a Twinkie.” ~Astrid Alauda

I am very excited to post my first recipe on my new blog! This recipe came about one night when I was craving “something Asian” and I had a fridge FULL of veggies- literally. I had to think up a way to use a lot of different vegetables while still making a tasty dish. I was actually surprised at the end result. It was really easy to make and tasted better than I expected…after all, it is all vegetables! This meal is low-calorie, and high in vitamin A, C and calcium. If you are a meat-eater, you could customize this and add some cooked chicken breast to the mixture.

The most time-consuming part is the prep work…so if you have a helper- get your cutting boards and knives out and go to town!

Asian Vegetable Stir-Fry (serves 4)

Ingredients

 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 Tbsp. fresh ginger root, peeled and minced

1 1/2 cup of yellow onion, diced

1 medium carrot, peeled and sliced very thinly

1 red bell pepper, diced

2 zucchini, halved and coined (half-coins)

1/3 lb. shitake mushrooms (stems removed), sliced

1 stalk/bunch bok choy (leaves and stems), sliced and chopped

2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

2 Tbsp. reduced sodium soy sauce

1 1/2 tsp. sesame seeds, toasted

kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

1. After prepping all the vegetables, if you haven’t already done so, toast the sesame seeds. Heat a large non-stick pan over med. heat. Add sesame seeds. Shake pan and stir occasionally. Seeds are toasted when there is a “toasted aroma” and when the seeds are a light golden color. Allow to cool on a plate and set aside.

2. In the large non-stick pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic, ginger, and onion and saute until onion is soft and translucent.

3. Add carrot, red bell pepper, zucchini, and mushrooms. Saute until all veggies are tender and soft.

4. Add bok choy to pan. (Note: your pan may seem really full at this point- don’t worry- the bok choy cooks down a lot!) Stir and mix in with other veggies, saute a few more minutes until white stem pieces are tender and leaves are wilted.

5. Add soy sauce. Season with salt and pepper (about 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/8 tsp pepper.) Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.

6. Serve over warm brown rice. Makes approximately 4 1-cup servings.

Nutritional Information (per 1 cup serving)

Calories: 161

Total Fat: 8.4g

Cholesterol: 0mg

Sodium: 632.4mg

Total Carbohydrates: 18.7g

Dietary Fiber: 4.5g

Sugars: 7.5g

Protein: 6.5g

*Note: This does not include brown rice.

Nutrient Summary per Meal

(1 cup veggie mixture, 1 1/4 cup brown rice, and additional 1 tsp. red. sodium soy sauce)

Calories: 377

Total Fat: 9g

Cholesterol: 0mg

Sodium: 829mg

Potassium: 775mg

Total Carbohydrates: 64g

Dietary Fiber: 7g

Sugars: 7g

Protein: 11g

Vitamin A: 48%

Vitamin C: 84%

Calcium: 26%

Iron: 8%

Enjoy!!