Roasted Vegetables done 3 ways

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.

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Prep Time: 15-20 minutes     Cook Time: 30-40 minutes

Ingredients:
1 medium butternut squash
10-12 brussel sprouts
2 white turnips
1-2 carrots
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
olive oil
fresh ground sea salt
herbs to taste (such as rosemary or thyme)

To roast the vegetables

  1. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Cut up all of the vegetables into bite sized pieces.
  3. In a large bowl toss the vegetables in olive oil and sprinkle with fresh ground sea salt.
  4. 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.
  5. 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

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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!

Ingredients:
Store bought or homemade pizza crust
Pizza sauce
Pre-roasted vegetables
Fresh tomato, sliced
Fresh basil, torn into small pieces or chopped
Cheese, optional
Olive oil, optional
Sea salt, optional
  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Spread your favourite pizza sauce on the crust, add the roasted veggies and top with fresh sliced tomatoes and fresh chopped basil.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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!

Quinoa:
2 cups of water or vegetable broth
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  1. Add liquid and quinoa to a medium sized saucepan.
  2. Bring to a boil and then reduce to simmer.
  3. Stir occasionally until all of the liquid has been absorbed.
  4. 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
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Add the garlic and onion powder and blend. Add more seasoning to achieve the taste you prefer.
  4. 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

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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.

Ingredients:
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
  1. 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.
  2. Pour into a large saucepan and add the remaining broth or water.
  3. Warm on medium heat to prevent sticking.
  4. Add the cashew cream and stir to mix.
  5. Add freshly ground black pepper and freshly ground seal salt to taste.
  6. Heat through.
  7. 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.

 

 

Empowered Noodle Bowl with Orange-Maple Miso

This recipe actually has two different options for dressings. Tonight I made the orange-maple miso version for my family. Outstanding! I served this dish cold which was pleasantly and surprisingly good. The cold noodles and veggies would be refreshing in the summer as either a main dish or a side salad. Warm noodles make a nice contrast to the cold fresh vegetables that are the topping. It’s nice to have options. Wondering about miso? Try this link to learn more about miso, its health benefits and ways to use it in cooking. Fermented foods are our friends. Just a note about the noodles… it is worth buying the real long, skinny raman noodles not the kind that come in the form of Mr. Noodles. Cooking them just until al dente and then rinsing them and running them under cold water stops the cooking process and keeps them from getting soft. After a rinse, I tossed them in sesame oil to add a bit of flavour and to keep them from sticking.

With thanks to Angela Liddon of Oh She Glows

Prep Time: 25 minutes     Cook Time: 5 to 9 minutes

gluten-free, nut-free option (Orange-Maple Miso Dressing), soy-free option

Serves 4

Ingredients:
For the Orange-Maple Miso Dressing:
3 Tbsp (45ml) light miso
2 Tbsp (30ml) rice vinegar
1 Tbsp (15ml) toasted sesame oil
1 Tbsp (15ml) tahini
1/4 cup (60ml) fresh orange juice (I squeezed one orange and that was more than enough)
1 Tbsp (15ml) water
1 tsp (5ml) maple syrup
For the Thai Peanut Sauce:
1 large clove garlic
2 Tbsp (30ml) toasted sesame oil
3 Tbsp (45ml) natural smooth peanut butter or almond butter
2 tsp (10ml) grated fresh ginger (optional)
3 Tbsp (45 ml) fresh lime juice, plus more as needed
2 Tbsp plus 1 tsp (35ml) low-sodium tamari
1 to 2 tsp (5 to 10ml) granulated sugar
For the Salad:
4 oz (115g) gluten-free soba (buckwheat) noodles (I used raman noodles but they are not gluten-free)
Extra-virgin olive oil, for the noodles
1 (16oz/454g) bag frozen shelled edamame, thawed
1 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 seedless (English) cucumber, diced
1 carrot, julienned
4 green onions, chopped, plus more for serving
1/4 cup (60ml) fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
sesame seeds, for serving
  1. Make your sauceOrange-Maple Miso Dressing: In a mini or regular food processor, combine the miso, vinegar, sesame oil, tahini, orange juice, water, and maple syrup and process until well combined.

     

    Thai Peanut Sauce: In a mini or regular food processor, combine the garlic, sesame oil, peanut butter, ginger (if using) lime juice, sugar (if using), and 2 to 3 tablespoons (30 to 45ml) water. Process until smooth.

  2. Make the salad: Cook the soba noodles according to the instructions on the package. Be sure not to overcook them- they should only take 5 to 9 minutes, depending on the brand. Drain the noodles and rinse them under cold water. Transfer the noodles to a large bowl and toss them with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil (this prevents the noodles from sticking together).
  3. Add the edamame, bell pepper, cucumber, carrot, green onions, and cilantro to the bowl with the noodles and toss until well combined.
  4. Pour your desired amount of the dressing over the salad and toss to coat. (Any leftover dressing will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.)
  5. Portion the salad into 4 bowls and garnish each serving with a sprinkle of sesame seeds and some green onion. Serve any leftover dressing on the table.

Angela’s Tips:

For a soy-free Thai Peanut Sauce, replace the tamari with coconut aminos. Tho make this dish completely soy-free, omit the edamame as well.

If you need a soy-free and gluten-free miso, look for chickpea miso. Angela’s go to brand is South River Miso and she says it is absolutely lovely in this sauce.

For a raw version, serve this noodle bowl with spiralized or julienned zucchini, instead of soba noodles.

Kathryn’s Tips:

Use raman noodles instead of soba noodles.

Instead of EVO, use sesame oil to coat your noodles.

I didn’t mix the veggies in with the noodles, instead I put the noodles in a bowl and then topped them with the veggies.

 

 

 

 

 

Oil-free Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

Easy to make, moist and delicious… these muffins do not last long at our house. I was having a friend over tea and realized I didn’t have any treats to put out. Within an hour I had a warm batch of muffins cooling and the kitchen smelled delicious. I didn’t have fresh zucchini but I did have some frozen from the winter. I just made sure that I squeezed all the water out of the thawed zucchini. Too much moisture is likely not a good thing. My choice of sugar, as always, was coconut palm sugar. Best of all, these muffins are super healthy having no eggs and no oil in them. Make sure you save yourself one, especially if the kids find out you have made them.

With thanks to Angela Liddon of Oh She Glows

oil-free, soy-free, refined sugar-free, nut-free option

Prep Time: 20 to 30 minutes      Cook Time: 15 to 17 minutes

Makes 12 muffins

Ingredients:
1 Tbsp (15ml) ground flaxseed
1 1/4 cups (300ml) non-dairy milk
2 tsp (10ml) apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
2 cups (500ml) whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup (125ml) Sucanet, coconut sugar, or natural cane sugar
1/3 cup (75ml) unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
1 1/2 tsp (7ml) baking powder
1/2 tsp (2ml) baking soda
1/2 tsp (2ml) fine-grain sea salt
3 Tbsp (45ml) pure maple syrup
1 tsp (5ml) pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup (75ml) mini dark chocolate chips
2/3 cup (150ml) walnuts, chopped (optional)
1 1/4 cups (300ml) lightly packed grated zucchini (about 1/2 medium zucchini)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees Celsius). Lightly grease a muffin tin with oil.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together the ground flaxseed and 3 tablespoons (45ml) water. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the milk and vinegar. Set aside. It will curdle a bit, but that’s the point – we’re making vegan buttermilk.
  4. Ina  large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  5. To the bowl with the milk and vinegar mixture, stir in the flaxseed mixture, the maple syrup, and the vanilla. Pour the milk mixture over the flour mixture and stir until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips, walnuts (if using), and zucchini, being careful not to over-mix.
  6. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tin, filling each well three-quarters full. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes, or until the muffins slowly spring back when touched. A toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin should come out clean. Coll the muffins in the tin for 5 minutes.
  7. Run a knife around the edge of the muffins to release them from the pan and transfer them to a rack to cool completely.

Angela’s Tip:

For a nut-free option, omit the walnuts.