EATS: Roasted veggies and revelations

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July 12, 2013 by annmquintero

Sorry I punked out last week, Amazons. Sometimes you just can’t catch your own tail, know what I mean? Sadly, there may be more punking out coming throughout the summer. I have a bunch of short trips lined up that will make it difficult to post. I’ll try to get some things lined up pre-emptively, but well, you know… life and stuff.

It’s turned out to be a very busy summer professionally for yours truly, and I’m thankful to have just come back from a visit to the Midwest to be with friends and family. I had some very restful quiet time and got to work on some personal stuff. But now I’m back in the saddle with a lot of difficult music to learn and/or refresh. And stranger than anything, even though I’m back in my NYC home, I almost feel like a visitor here. I’m only here for short stops this summer, which makes it hard to settle in and commit to being here 100%. My kitchen is dusty and my cupboards are bare. I’m trying to stick to small amounts of perishable foods so I don’t have to waste much when I leave again.

When I’m busy, I don’t want to have to think too much about my nutrition. I want to be able to just grab something out of the kitchen and chow on it when I realize my blood sugar is getting too low (I tend to become consumed when I’m working and forget to do important human things). Nuts are great for a sudden attack of the low-sugar hazy-crankies, but it gets old after a while. Know what I always love though? Roasted vegetables.

It occurred to me while I was visiting my gentleman friend and talking to him about some simple things to cook at home, that we Amazons never talked about the simplest of all things. Roasting veggies! (Yeah, ok, we roasted cauliflower, garlic, and butternut squash, but this is me backtracking and talking about the general concept.)

Sure, you could cook them in a pan, but then you have to babysit them. And the texture is different. There’s something special about the all-encompassing dry heat of an oven that has a lovely effect on veggies. Also, this way you can cook in bulk and have a cache of veggies to yank out of the fridge and eat cold or nuke for the week. And at the same time you’re doing your veggies, you can roast some garlic too! Yay for minimal oven time in the hot, hot summer!

 

What you’ll need:

Cutting board

Knife

Roasting pan or rimmed baking sheet

 

Any veggies you like and look lovely at the market!

Fat

Herbs and spices

Salt and pepper

 

Preheat your oven to 375F

 

IMG_0493My preferred combo of roasting veggies at this time of year is bell peppers of all colors, eggplant, zucchini, summer squash, cherry tomatoes, and red onion.

Chunk up your veggies into bite-size portions. Try to keep the chunks of relatively similar mass, for even cooking. By this, I mean if you have a denser veggie (like sweet potatoes), chop them smaller than something less dense (like eggplant).

Toss your veggies in the roasting pan with a little olive oil or whatever fat you prefer. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Add any spices or herbs you might like. If you’re a regular reader, you know paprika and rosemary are always in style with me. But use your nose to sniff through the herb and spice sections. Pick what tickles you!

Veggies with scrambled eggs and some roasted garlic as a condiment! Perfect lazy brunch!

Veggies with scrambled eggs and some roasted garlic as a condiment! Perfect lazy brunch!

Put the roasting pan in the oven and walk away for 20 minutes. Come back, stir the veggies, and put them back in. Now how long you leave them in now depends on how well done you like your veg. It could be 10 minutes or 30.  If you want them still a little springy, it won’t be long. If you like a little char on ’em, it’ll be a bit longer. Ovens and veggies vary. Remember that cooking is all about getting things the way YOU want them!

Thank you for your patience throughout the summer, and I’ll try to keep my eye on the ball for you all!

(If this is your first time reading EATS, I encourage you to check out the Introductions post for my philosophy and list of must-have kitchen items.)

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