Life is crazy around our house. Josh, our 17 year old, is now working 4-6 days a week at two different jobs (gotta pay for university), plus maintaining his studies in high school, and John is off flying 3-4 times a month for 3-5 days at time. That leaves me standing looking in the fridge wondering what to make for lunches and dinner that would be a) plant-based and healthy; b) quick and easy; c) good reheated for Josh; and d) good for one person, me.
Last week I found myself awake at 4:30 in the morning wishing I was still asleep but having no luck. So, what do you do at that hour… you go on Facebook. In doing so I found a great article about ways to eat healthy throughout the week by preparing food in advance. One of the recommendations was to roast vegetables at the beginning of the week and refrigerate them to have on hand. This sounded like a good idea so I gave it a try.
Now, you may be wondering how many times in one week you can eat roasted vegetables without getting tired of them. I found three different ways to serve and enjoy them that the family tried and liked. I don’t have any real measurements as I wasn’t sure how it would all go or what I was going to do with all those veggies. It just sort of happened!
My veggie list is from what we had in the house so it can certainly vary based on your personal likes and means and on what is in season.
Prep Time: 15-20 minutes Cook Time: 30-40 minutes
1 medium butternut squash
10-12 brussel sprouts
2 white turnips
1 medium zucchini
a bunch of asparagus
1-8oz package of cremini mushrooms
1 each of red and yellow peppers
half a cauliflower
2 onions, coarsely chopped
lots of garlic cloves
fresh ground sea salt
herbs to taste (such as rosemary or thyme)
To roast the vegetables
- Preheat the oven to 475 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Cut up all of the vegetables into bite sized pieces.
- In a large bowl toss the vegetables in olive oil and sprinkle with fresh ground sea salt.
- Spread the vegetables out evenly on a cooking sheet and bake for 30-40 minutes stirring every 10 minutes or so to ensure even cooking.
- Cool the vegetables on the stove top, place in a large container and refrigerate.
I do recommend using the veggies up within a few days. We don’t want any one getting sick or our hard work going to waste.
Meal Option #1 Roasted Veggie Pizza
For this recipe you could make your own pizza crust or buy a pre-made crust like we did. If you really wanted to be creative you could try a cauliflower pizza crust. If you do let me know how that went!
Store bought or homemade pizza crust
Fresh tomato, sliced
Fresh basil, torn into small pieces or chopped
Olive oil, optional
Sea salt, optional
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Spread your favourite pizza sauce on the crust, add the roasted veggies and top with fresh sliced tomatoes and fresh chopped basil.
- We opted for a no cheese version but feel free to sprinkle your veggies with a cheese of your choosing or a light coating of freshly grated Parmesan for a nice Italian flair.
- Bake either on a stone, a baking sheet or directly on the rack in a 450 degree Fahrenheit oven for around 10 minutes. Keep an eye on it, so as not to overcook the vegetables.
- Remove the pizza from the oven, sprinkle with extra virgin olive oil and a little sea salt. Enjoy!
Meal Option #2 Roasted Vegetables with Quinoa and Garlic Onion Cashew Cream Sauce
As part of my getting ready for the week I pre-made a batch of quinoa to have in the fridge. So when I was looking for a quick lunch the other day I already had two-thirds of my meal prep done. All I had to do was make the cashew cream sauce and, voila, lunch!
2 cups of water or vegetable broth
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
- Add liquid and quinoa to a medium sized saucepan.
- Bring to a boil and then reduce to simmer.
- Stir occasionally until all of the liquid has been absorbed.
- Use immediately or store in an airtight container in the fridge until needed.
Garlic Onion Cashew Cream Sauce:
1 cup of whole, roasted cashews (these need to be pre-soaked, see below)
1/2 cup + more as needed unflavoured non-dairy milk, such as almond milk
1 Tbsp garlic powder, plus more to taste as needed
1 Tbsp onion powder, plus more to taste as needed
- Place cashews in a bowl and cover with water. Soak overnight or for 8 hours if you have the time. For a quick-soak method, pour boiling water over the cashews and soak for 1 hour. Rinse and drain.
- Place the rinsed cashews in a high speed blender. Add the non-dairy milk and blend. Add more non-dairy milk as needed to get the consistency you want for your sauce. It should be able to be poured like a salad dressing.
- Add the garlic and onion powder and blend. Add more seasoning to achieve the taste you prefer.
- Use immediately, store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.
Putting It All Together:
Place the quinoa and roasted in vegetables in individual microwave safe bowls and heat through. Pour the cashew cream sauce over the heated veggies and enjoy.
Meal Option #3 Cream of Roasted Vegetable Soup
To use up the remaining vegetables I thought it would be nice to switch up the texture and make a soup. Plus, I had some cashew cream left over and didn’t want it to go to waste. It turned out amazing and made a great meal served with some crusty bread.
left-over roasted vegetables
4 cups of vegetable broth or water
remaining cashew cream ( I had about 3/4 cup left to use)
freshly ground black pepper
freshly ground sea salt
- Place the remaining vegetables and about half of the broth or water in a high speed blender. Blend until the vegetables are well puréed leaving some texture.
- Pour into a large saucepan and add the remaining broth or water.
- Warm on medium heat to prevent sticking.
- Add the cashew cream and stir to mix.
- Add freshly ground black pepper and freshly ground seal salt to taste.
- Heat through.
- Serve warm, with crusty bread and a side salad.
And there you have it! One freshly made cashew cream sauce, two pre-made items, three different meals. Healthy, and easy.