Today was one of those days: too many vegetables in the fridge, not too much motivation to cook. What I almost always do in those situations is fire up the oven, get out the cutting board, and get ready to roast. Here’s some of my best advice. If you don’t already oven-roast vegetables on a regular basis, you really should start. It’s so, so easy, as healthy as you want it to be, and always leaves you with the most delicious, crispy edged, salt-kissed, olive oil caressed vegetables that took almost no effort at all. So turn on your oven already and roast something!
Really though, I’m not kidding. Almost every vegetable is good this way. Maybe I’m a bit obsessed but I swear, toss a vegetable with some olive oil, salt and pepper (and maybe some rosemary, or cumin-coriander-turmeric, depending on what you’re going for), put it in a hot oven (I usually do 450), and it will be good, promise.
Some suggestions are:
- Broccoli with rosemary (the edges of the broccoli get all crispy and awesome)
- Cauliflower with CCT (yes ok it’s a little bit Rachael Ray of me but it’s a lot to type out!)
- Carrots with just olive oil, salt and pepper (or with CCT, that’s good too)
- Zucchini (I like it best simple, with just olive oil, salt and pepper)
- Rutabagas or Potatoes (both are good with almost anything, although I especially love potatoes with rosemary)
Seriously, the possibilities are endless.
This time I had rutabagas, red bliss potatoes, spinach, and edamame. I roasted the cubed the rutabagas and potatoes and roasted them with some cumin until their edges were browned and crisp. I sauteed the spinach with a bit of garlic, and just used the edamame as they were. Wanting something a bit more substantial than a side dish, I made some quinoa (one of my favorite grains) and scrambled an egg to add in as well. The only other thing I did was make a quick lemon-tahini dressing and this lunch (with enough leftovers for lunch tomorrow) was ready to go. I highly, highly recommend it.
Quinoa Salad with Roasted Root Vegetables and Tahini-Lemon Dressing
(serves 4 as a small main dish)
1 C uncooked quinoa
2 rutabagas, cubed
2 small red bliss potatoes
1 C edamame, thawed if frozen
4 C spinach, uncooked
1/4 C calamata olives, roughly chopped, or more to taste
One egg (just leave it out if you’d like the recipe to be vegan- maybe add some sesame/soy marinated tofu instead…)
1 teaspoon cumin
1 clove garlic, minced, or more to taste
1T lemon juice and a pinch of lemon zest
1/4 C Marcona almonds, sliced or chopped (for sprinkling on top)
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil for sautéing
For the Quinoa
Rinse and drain the quinoa. Boil 2C of water in a small pot and then add the quinoa. Let cook, covered, over medium low heat for about 15 minutes or until the water is absorbed and the quinoa grains look like little curly cues. Take off the heat and set aside.
For the Root Vegetables
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees farenheit.
Peel the rutabagas and wash the potatoes (I like to leave the skin on). Cut both into half-inch cubes and then throw them on a heavy pan or cookie sheet with a glug of good olive oil. Sprinkle the cumin on top and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper (don’t go crazy, you can always add more later!)
Let cook until browned and crispy on edges (check after 15 minutes). Toss to get browning on other sides.
To finish and assemble the salad
Sautee the spinach in a small pan with a bit of olive oil and the garlic. Remove from the pan, and just use the same pan to scramble the egg, adding a bit of salt and pepper if you’d like.
Add the spinach, scrambled egg, edamame, olives, and roasted root vegetables to a bowl with the quinoa and toss quickly. Whisk together the tahini, lemon zest, and lemon juice and pour over, tossing again to coat. If necessary, add a bit more olive oil to the salad. Sprinkle the almonds over the top, and serve at room temperature.