(Roasted veggies over quinoa with curry sauce)
There's nothing healthier and easier to throw together than a big batch of your favorite roasted veggies. No oil necessary!
Witha bit of magical aqua-faba (the juice from a can of chickpeas) and your favorite spices, these veggies can be paired with brown rice, quinoa or pasta, thrown in a wrap or even into a cold or warm salad or Buddha Bowl. That's why you want to roast them a big batch to keep in the fridge.
My favorite veggies together are Cauliflower, Brussels Sprouts and Butternut Squash over quinoa with a quick curry sauce, shown, above. I also LOVE roasted broccoli or a roasted root veggie mix including potatoes, carrots, beets and turnips.
How to spice it up
My favorite spicy spice mix has an Indian flavor (and lots of antioxidants) and includes curry powder, turmeric, garlic powder, smoked paprika, salt and pepper. My second favorite spice mix has an Italian flavor includes garlic powder, dried basil, dried oregano, rosemary, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.
Now, I am not providing a recipe for the spice mixes because I want to encourage you to open up the jars and smell the spices and use your nose to guide you in cooking. If you are not accustomed to using spices, seasonings and herbs in your cooking, this exercise (which you can do at someone else's house where they have some of these spices) will give you an indication as to which spice mix you might like better, or to keep it real simple and just use salt and pepper if neither appeals to you.
(Roasted root veggies over quinoa drizzled with tahini sauce)
Vegan Cooking Level: Beginner
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Choose veggies that are alike in texture so the cooking time is similar such as butternut squash, potatoes, beets, carrots, onions (in chunks) and turnips in any combination you like. Cook broccoli, quartered Brussels sprouts or cauliflower in a separate pan in the same oven so you can remove them earlier. Remove any hard stems or roots from any veggies desired and wash thoroughly. Always peel butternut squash and turnips. Cut them into bite-sized uniform pieces about 1 1/2 inches around, so cooking time is the same for all.
Step 2: Here is the interesting part. You do not need to coat the vegetables with olive oil for them to be delicious. This will save on calories and fat in the meal since oil is the most calorie-dense food at 120 calories of pure fat for each tablespoon. Instead use the same amount of aqua-faba (the juice from a can of chickpeas) as you will see it is the similar viscosity as oil and coats the veggies so spices can adhere, resulting in a nice browning in the oven on a high heat. Season cut veggies with salt and pepper or any other spice combinations you like and spread them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or silpat. Leave room between the veggie pieces so they roast and get crispy and carmelized instead of steaming and getting mushy. Roast for about 20 then flip and roast for another 10-20 minutes, til nicely browned and fork tender. Veggies are done when they are golden brown, a little crispy on the outside and a knife slides through easily.
Step 3: Of course you can eat these veggies straight-away in a bowl or as part of your dinner. But if you make a large batch, you can save it in the fridge and add it to any warm buddha bowl or cold salad you create. You can also serve it over rice or quinoa with a balsamic vinaigrette dressing, a tahini sauce or a cold or warm coconut curry sauce. You can even throw these into a marinara sauce and serve it over pasta.
How to sauce it up:
These veggies and grains are delicious without sauce but if you're a saucy person like me, here are my two favorites, in big batches that serve 2 people for more than 2 days!
Quick & easy curry sauce: In a jar with a lid, mix together 1 can low-fat coconut milk (shaken), 1 shredded clove garlic, 1-inch nub shredded fresh ginger and 1 tsp. curry powder.
Quick & easy tahini sauce: In a jar with a lid mix 1/2 cup tahini, 1/2 cup water and two lemons, juiced. Add 2 grated garlic cloves, 1 tsp. cumin, 1/2 tsp cayenne and 1/2 tsp salt and shake.
You can add more or less of any spice to suit your liking. Keeps in the fridge for a week.
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