Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Balanced Dinner with Awesome Roasted Veggies

Friends of the Pacific Electric Trail
"Eat all your veggies and you will grow up big and strong." I remember my Mom repeating that nightly when she pleaded with us to eat everything on our plate at dinner. She was a great cook but if vegetables were on the menu, they always came out of a can.  The kitchen staple of canned vegetables consisted of canned corn, beets, green beans, or maybe mixed vegetables. Sometimes she would try to sneak mushrooms into the meal, but not for me!  My pallet had not been developed, and I was not very receptive to trying a new vegetable dish that she cooked.
If we were lucky, our next-door neighbor would share some of her bounty of fresh picked zucchini, summer squash and cantaloupe from her abundant garden. During the summertime, we enjoyed shucking summer corn by the pots full. Sometimes my Mom would prepare frozen spinach and there never was enough to go around.  We must have been craving iron in our diets because we would gobble up our spinach like there was no tomorrow, maybe Popeye had a little influence.

Fast-forward to meal preparation for my own family.  My curiosity for different culinary experiences expanded, so I turned to the tried and true Betty Crocker cookbook for inspiration.  There were recipes and ingredients that I never knew existed and out of curiosity, I jumped into the deep end to see what all the fuss was about. I started out grilling zucchini, portabello mushrooms and fresh corn on the cob and never looked back.

Incorporating more plant-based dishes to our menu has provided so many options to choose from.  Over the past decade, we have significantly reduced the number of days that we eat protein with dinner.  One of our all-time favorite plant-based dishes that have become a staple are awesome roasted veggies.  Simply roasting transforms everyday veggies into new heights.  The red potatoes get a little crisp on the edges, the onions caramelize, and the carrots intensify their natural sweetness. This simple side dish goes with anything and it is good enough to have all by itself.  When there is a family potluck or dinner party to attend, awesome roasted veggies are our “Go To” dish to share.  Make more than you think because this dish disappears quickly. Our family teases us and now it is more like: “if you forget the roasted veggies, you’re not getting in.”

This week we just received our first farmers market home delivery of produce from Heritage Farmers Market and were delighted to see a bunch of tricolor carrots in the bag. The home delivery was varied and so abundant, we shared most of it with our neighbors. Thank you, Bing Turner for introducing me to purple, yellow and orange carrots. The carrots were scrubbed, cut into large chunks along with a few red potatoes and red onion cut into the same size.  I placed all the veggies on a large baking sheet and drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkled with Montreal steak seasoning then roasted at 450 degrees for approximately 30 minutes, turning once or twice. Roasting the veggies enhances the flavor and can be enjoyed hot or served at room temperature.

Coach Kimberle Smith Austin
I am so jazzed that I was recently asked by a personal trainer, Coach Kimberle Smith Austin if she could feature my recipe as part of her 28 Day Workin Workout Challenge  

Adding more vegetables to your diet compliments your wellness routine and does not weigh you down.  I cannot wait to hear back from Coach Kimberle about how many of her clients tried my recipe and made it their own.

Wednesdays are not the only day to focus on Wellness, but it is
a great day to kick-start new habits

Photo by Wendy Wei from Pexels
Consider new and creative ways to add plant-based foods to your menu.  There are so many vegetable dishes to choose from, start with one and personalize it to your taste.  Continue adding new dishes that you enjoy and before you know it your clothes will begin to fit better, and you will have more energy.  Plant based foods are a healthy part of your regular diet that compliments your wellness routine and is just as important as exercise, sleep, and hydration.
Friends of the Pacific Electric Trail
- Victoria Jones Friend of the Pacific Electric Trail
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Coach Kimberle Smith Austin
28 Day Workin Workout Challenge  
Heritage Farmers Market 

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