Mom always told me to eat my vegetables and she helped make it easy. Even before the health experts began touting the benefits of a diet rich in veggies, she made sure dinner at home included everything from beans and broccoli to beets and butternut squash.
When it came to nutrition, Mom was way ahead of her time. Today my Mom’s yummy yams, crisp cucumber salad and succulent sweet corn are nutritional rock stars!
Health experts agree that vegetables – like fruits are low in fat, but contain substantial amounts of vitamins and minerals. Vegetables are also home for many anti-oxidants that help the body fend off stress and disease by boosting immunity. In addition, vegetables contain soluble as well as insoluble dietary fiber and are relatively low in calories.
Even with that knowledge and good upbringing, over the years, I’d somehow fallen into a vegetable rut. My veggie rotation became a bore…the same old steamed broccoli, carrots and green beans or a simple spinach salad……until last weekend! While visiting dear friends in the Phoenix area, I’m on a veggie high!
Let me explain. My friend, Lisa is an amazing cook. I mean like Rachel Ray amazing. As we talked, I watched in rapt amazement as she displayed her culinary skills. Without a break in our conversation, Lisa whipped up a fresh mozzerella and heirloom tomato with balsamic glaze garnished with basil appetizer (the Food Channel has never seen a prettier presentation!)… tended to a fine fillet of wild Alaskan salmon simmering on the barbecue (on a cedar plank, of course!)...all the while keeping an eye on the oven in which a sourdough loaf was browning and a pan of vegetables slowly roasting. She never broke a sweat.
The entire meal was amazing – but those vegetables were like nothing I’d eaten since Mom’s cooking back in Iowa. There must have been 15 different veggies lightly bubbling in Lisa’s roasting pan…cauliflower, beets, red bell peppers, carrots, potatoes, Brussels sprouts – even parsnips! I hadn’t eaten a parsnip in years!
Lisa’s recipe is surprisingly easy…no secret ingredients…just a variety of fresh vegetables from her local farmer’s market. Just pick up a couple of everything and you can feed a crowd. Because the veggies aren’t overcooked, they’re just as good warmed up the next day.
Lisa’s Roasted Veggies
Cut veggies in medium size, uniform bites. Add garlic and yellow onion to the mix. Coat with extra virgin olive oil plus 2 TBSP of butter. Add salt, pepper, and/or an all spice seasoning. Put in a roasting pan and spread veggies evenly. Cover and bake at 400 for 45 minutes.
Contact Carol by emailing her at Carol@palomarhealth.org.