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Taking the Mystery Out of Roasting Vegetables…The Happy Diabetic Way!

Can you imagine the aroma of “caramely” and “garlicy” olive-oil-roasted veggies enticing your taste buds to get ready for a healthy and delicious meal???

If you can…well then you will be all about this blog post!

Let’s just admit it…veggies can be boring. I would like to share a sure way to make things a little more exciting around your house! Roasting is one of my favorite ways to prepare and eat vegetables. You can roast in your kitchen oven or outside in your grill! This cooking method will bring out the fruity and sweet flavor notes of veggies. Give it a try!

Here are some helpful tips to “roast”by…

Tip #1  ONE VEGGIE AT A TIME: It is possible to combine vegetables, but be aware that veggies in combo have different density and will finish cooking at varied times.

Tip #2 OVEN TEMPERATURE for ROASTING: It is best to roast vegetables at a high temperature. Typically 400F or 425F will do the trick.

Tip #3 WHAT HAPPENED TO THE QUANTITY?:  Vegetables tend to shrink when they’re roasted due to the evaporation of moisture in each cut piece.  A pound of vegetables might look adequate when raw, but it will be a little skimpy when cooked.  Allow for another 1/2 pound to make 4 servings.

Tip #4 WHEN IT COMES TO OIL, LESS IS MORE: Toss the cut vegetables with olive oil in a bowl, really getting in there with a spatula or even with your hands.  Make sure the pieces are coated on all sides. Any good quality olive oil will do, but you can save the cost of the extra-virgin oils for salad dressings. I like to think about allowing a couple teaspoons of oil per pound of vegetables. Remember there 120 calories to a T of oil.  Using more oil will only add fat, AND it will make your veggies soggy and oily.

Tip #5 SEASONING: A dusting of  sea salt and freshly ground pepper is all that is needed. I like to mix fresh herbs with the veggies as soon as they come out of the oven.  Thyme, lemon, basil for example. Dried herbs are fine, too. It’s all about the flavor!

Tip #6 THE BAKING PAN: Find a baking pan, preferably one with low sides so the heat will flow over the veggies evenly. Metal is best!

Tip #7 EASY CLEAN-UP: Line the baking pan with foil or with a silicone paper.

Tip #8 NO CROWDING: Arrange the oiled vegetables on the baking sheet, leaving space between the pieces so the oven’s heat can help cook the veggies evenly.

Tip #9  WATCH THEM COOK: Roasted vegetables can be done in less than 30 minutes. Larger and/or denser pieces will take longer. Check-in as they cook. Be sure to enjoy a “taste-e-taste” along the way!

Tip #10  TOSS OR FLIP: About halfway through the roasting time, give the vegetables a quick “mix-up.”  After that, check and toss every five minutes or so, until they’re done.  The vegetables are done when their centers are soft, their outside edges almost crisp and beginning to caramelize.

 

OK LETS ROAST!

 

Roasted Broccoli

Broccoli oven roasted

Calories: 131      Total Fat: 4.17g      Total Carbs: 42g      Dietary Fiber: 9.27g       Sugars: 2.09g      Protein: 5.80g

1 lb of broccoli

 

First, wash the fresh broccoli in cold water. Cut off the ends to prepare 3” tall stalks with florets. Toss the broccoli in a large bowl with 1/2 T of oil. Add kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to your tasting. Roast at 425°F on a baking sheet covered with aluminum foil until stalks are soft and heads begin to brown and crisp. Use tongs to turn stalks ½ way through roasting.
Add your own touch of love-

Add a touch of lemon or lime juice. You can also set aside some chopped parsley and/or crumbled low-fat feta cheese to sprinkle on after roasting. For a Southwest flair, toss with red pepper flakes and fresh chopped pico de gallo.Serves 4.

 

pan

broc

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Brussels Sprouts

IMG_8067

 

Calories: 141      Total Fat: 4.34g      Total Carbs: 26.14g      Dietary Fiber: 10.63g Sugars: 2.65g      Protein: 6.43g

1 lb of brussel sprouts

 

Wash the sprouts, trim ends, and halve lengthwise. Don’t worry about the leaves falling off, as they will roast up crispy. Toss the sprouts in a large bowl with ½ T of oil. Add kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to your tasting. Roast at 425°F on a baking sheet until the sprouts are brown and crispy. Use tongs to turn the sprouts halfway through roasting. Be sure to close the oven door while turning the sprouts to keep the heat captured within.
Add your own touch of love-

After roasting, drizzle on some flavor with balsamic vinegar or chopped cilantro and lime juice, or dress it up before you get started! While you are getting ready, mix the ½ T oil, salt and pepper with ½ T lemon juice and ¼ t of yellow mustard. Serves 4.

DSC_1364

 

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Sweet Potatoes

Roasted-Sweet-Potatoes-with-Pomegranate-Glaze-4611

Calories: 171      Total Fat: 4.18g      Total Carbs: 34.02g      Dietary Fiber: 8.25g Sugars: 1.62g      Protein: 4.74g

1 pound of sweet potatoes

 

Scrub the potatoes, but do not peel them. Cut into 1” cubes. Toss the potatoes in a bowl with ½ T oil. Add kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to your tasting. Roast at 425°F on a foil covered baking sheet until they are caramelized and crispy. Turn the sweet potatoes halway through cooking. Serve hot as a side dish or as a savory addition on top of salad greens!

 

Add your own touch of love-

When getting ready, toss in ½ c fresh thyme leaves and ½ t red pepper flakes to oil, salt and pepper. Garnish with fresh thyme sprigs from your garden pot and pomegranate seeds! Serves 4.

 

roasted sweet potatoes

 

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IMG_8082

 Asparagus

Calories: 75      Total Fat: 3.49g      Total Carbs: 9.03g      Dietary Fiber: 4.78g      Sugars: 4.27g      Protein: 5.03g

1 lb of asparagus

 

First, wash the asparagus in cold water and trim away the lower 1/4 of the stalk. Toss the asparagus in a large bowl with 1/2 T of oil and ½ T chopped garlic. Add kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to your tasting. Roast at 425°F on a foil-covered baking sheet until stalks are soft and the skin is crispy. Turn the stalks at 10 minutes of roasting time.

Add your own touch of love-

Cutting thin rings of red bell pepper to roast on top of the asparagus will offer a feast of flavor for your pallet and a feast of color for your eyes! Top your cooked asparagus with a sprinkle of fresh lemon juice. Serves 4.

roasted asp asp

 

 

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