I cannot tell you enough how much I love Bountiful Baskets! For $16.50 I get a huge (and I mean huge!) basket full of fresh produce — half fruit, half vegetable. Each week it’s a surprise what we will get, and I love that! It motivates me to try different things and get a greater variety of nutrients than I would normally choose at the grocery store. As far as veggies go, this week we got mushrooms, sweet potatoes, asparagus, zucchini, brussels sprouts, broccoli, and lettuce. It is my personal goal each week to not waste any of it! If I don’t like anything (for example, I cannot tolerate the bitterness of most citrus fruit), I share it with friends.
I normally just steam most veggies, but such a variety prompted me to try something new — roasted veggies. I tried searching for a roasted veggie recipe, but I couldn’t find one that matched all the ingredients that I wanted to use, and I didn’t want any spices to clash (I am not that knowledgable about mixing spices, but I’m learning!). In my search, I did learn that you should at least coat them in olive oil and then roast them at 400 degrees, checking them after the first 15 minutes.
So, armed with bare minimum knowledge and no experience, I started my experiment. What’s the worst that could happen? We have steamed broccoli with dinner yet again. In this “recipe” I used:
- 1 pkg mushrooms
- 1 sweet potato
- 1/2 bunch asparagus
- 2 zuccini
- (I wanted to use brussel sprouts, and I suspect they’d be good, but I forgot them)
First, I microwaved the sweet potato for 4 minutes (because I figured they would take longer than the rest to cook). Then I coarsely chopped all the veggies and laid them out in a large baking dish. I sprayed them with olive oil, sprinkled them with salt and pepper, and tossed them around a bit. At the last minute, I decided to add a little bit of parmesan and feta on top (and I’m glad I did!).
I checked them and stirred them at 15 minutes, and they were done after 25 minutes. They were THE BEST VEGGIES OF MY LIFE! The sweetness of the potatoes permeated into the other veggies while the cheese added a welcomed savory dimension. They were so good that the hubby and I nearly polished off the entire pan. Roasted veggies will be a new staple in my home!
Next on my list to try (and to use up my brussel sprouts) is this recipe, stolen from my dad’s facebook status update:
How do I know I’m unusual? Brussels sprouts, coated in olive oil, dusted with garlic powder and salt, baked @ 350 degrees for about 35 minutes. Yum!
Thanks for the idea, Dad!
This weekend I also made another favorite, Protein Cinnamon Bread. I love it because it gives me the feel of eating a cinnamon roll without the guilt! I follow the recipe almost exactly from here. But I’ll reproduce it below with my small adjustments for convenience.
- 1/3 cup Xylitol (a sugar alcohol — it doesn’t cause a spike in blood sugar, but it does have calories)
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 1/2 cups oat flower
- 2 scoops vanilla whey protein powder
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup Xylitol
- 2 egg whites OR 1 whole egg
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk (Almond Breeze)
- 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Mix together the 1/3 cup of xylitol and cinnamon in a small bowl and set aside.
- The actual recipe calls for for mixing the rest of the dry and wet ingredients separately, but I almost always skip this step — I just pour everything into a large bowl and let my hand mixer do the work. As far as I can tell, it turns out the same only with less mess
- Spray loaf pan or cake pan and add batter — I’ve made it in both but I strongly recommend a loaf pan, because they turn out much more moist
- Evenly pour xylitol-cinnamon mixture on top and swirl around with a fork.
- Bake for 24-28 minutes