Roasted Vegetables with Lemon Dressing

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Easy, healthy and delicious. That is what I love about roasted vegetables but let’s get real here, I’m over the boring potatoes or broccoli. I still need easy but I also need variety both for my palette and my sanity. Why not experiment with a variety of vegetables? I really don’t think you can go wrong with roasting any vegetable out there. My latest vegetable obsession is asparagus so I sometimes add extra of it in this dish. Feel free to adjust quantities based on what is a favorite in your household.

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Tips:

  • Watch the pine nuts carefully as you toast them, they burn easily.
  • Depending on how evenly your oven cooks, you might want to rotate the pan half way through the roasting process.

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Roasted Vegetables with Lemon Dressing

Ingredients:

1 bunch of asparagus cut into 1” pieces (discard stem end pieces)

1 large red bell pepper diced into bite size pieces

1 large zucchini, sliced and quartered (or two small zucchini, sliced and halved)

1 ½ cups matchstick carrots

1 medium shallot, chopped

1 ½ teaspoons garlic, minced

1 Tablespoon olive oil

Salt & ground black pepper

1/3 cup pine nuts

 

Dressing:

2 Tablespoons olive oil

Juice of 1 medium lemon

1 Tablespoon chopped fresh basil

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Place all vegetables in a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and add salt and pepper to taste. Stir ingredients until evenly coated with olive oil. Spread vegetable mixture onto prepared cookie sheet. Roast in oven for 35-40 minutes.

While vegetables are roasting, place pine nuts in a skillet over medium heat. Stir nuts in pan until they are slightly brown and aromatic then remove from heat.

In a small bowl, mix all dressing ingredients.

When vegetables are finished roasting, put them back in the large bowl. Pour in the dressing and add the pine nuts. Stir until all ingredients are evenly coated in the dressing.

Lemon Roasted Broccoli

When I was pregnant I couldn’t get enough broccoli. I would eat it any way I could get it – raw, steamed, roasted, mixed into another dish. Of course, the rest of my cravings weren’t quite as healthy so I tried to embrace this one as much as often as possible. As I was reaching the end of the third trimester I just couldn’t stay on my feet long enough to make a full dinner so I started coming up with easier, faster recipes to satisfy the cravings. I suppose it could have been the crazy hormones that guided me to experiment with different flavors. However, I still find myself enjoying this broccoli recipe post-pregnancy.

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Tips:

  • I saved myself the time it takes to cut the broccoli by using a 12oz bag of broccoli florets. According to the nutrition information on the back of the bag, it is already 4 cups.
  • The red pepper flakes add a pretty mild kick of flavor but if you aren’t a fan of heat at any level just leave that ingredient out.

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Serves 4

 

Ingredients:

4 cups broccoli florets

1 tablespoon olive oil

½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 lemon

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spread broccoli florets out on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle olive oil over broccoli. Sprinkle red pepper flakes, salt and black pepper over broccoli. Cut lemon in half and squeeze juice from each half over broccoli. Stir broccoli to get a relatively even coating of ingredients. Roast in oven for 18 minutes or until edges of broccoli are slightly crispy. Serve warm.

 

Green Salad with Grilled Chicken

I can recall learning about food groups and nutrition back in first grade. At some point my teacher started asking students what their favorite food was and then asking what food group(s) that might fall into. Naturally, most kids were choosing dishes like pizza, ice cream or tacos. Not me. Nope, this little odd ball proudly responded with “Salad!” Seriously?!?!? What kind of six-year-old declare salad as a favorite food? It was true though and to this day I’d be happy to sit down to a really great salad over most other dishes. Don’t get me wrong, I’d still like to chase those veggies down with some kind of dessert but an awesome salad is hard for me to resist.

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With this lifelong love of salad you might think that I would eat them on the regular but I don’t. Inevitably, I’m too lazy to chop the vegetables or the produce I bought went bad before I found the motivation to pull out the knife and cutting board. This week I was determined not to use up what I already had in the fridge and then added one or two items that were on sale at the grocery store. Healthy eating and cheap??? YES!!! I hope you enjoy this as much as I did!

Tips:

  • Grill the chicken ahead of time, it tastes great cold on this salad. You could also sub out the chicken for shrimp, salmon or even steak if you’re trying to use up some leftovers.
  • If you don’t have a jar on hand for the dressing, mix the ingredients in a bowl with a whisk.

 

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Serves 3

Salad Ingredients:

5oz bag baby spinach

5oz bag baby arugula

1 cup cucumber, diced

½ cup radish slices

1 cup broccoli florets

1 avocado, pitted, peeled and diced

¼ cup shredded parmesean cheese

¼ cup sunflower seeds

2 chicken breasts, grilled and sliced or chopped

 

For the dressing:

1 teaspoon garlic, minced

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon ground black pepper

½ cup olive oil

Juice of 1 lemon

 

Directions:

Add all salad ingredients into a large bowl, toss to combine. In a mason jar, add all dressing ingredients, cover jar with lid and shake to blend well. Drizzle dressing over salad and toss so salad is evenly coated.

 

 

Garlic Feta Green Beans

P1000341We all know vegetables taste better with cheese. In fact, I’m pretty sure it is some kind of culinary law. This dish is incredibly simple to make but looks like you put a lot of effort into it and tastes delicious. Ahhh, the power of feta!!! Seriously though, it is the perfect combination for entertaining. When having guests over for dinner, the last thing you want to do is spend all evening in the kitchen while everyone else is socializing. Keep the dinner simple by including this as your side dish. I have even paired these beans with a pre-roasted chicken from the store on a busy weeknight.

Tips

  • I happen to like my beans with a slight crunch to them. If you prefer softer beans, just add 5 extra minutes to the initial roasting time.
  • To reduce prep time on this recipe, buy bagged beans that are already stemmed and washed.

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Garlic Feta Green Beans

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

1lb fresh green beans

2 Tablespoons olive oil

1 Tablespoon garlic, minced

½ teaspoon salt

1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese

¼ cup sliced almonds

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Rinse and snap stems off of green beans. Place beans in a large bowl. Add olive oil, garlic and salt. Toss until beans are evenly coated. Spread beans out on the baking sheet and roast for 10 minutes.

Remove baking sheet of beans from oven and sprinkle feta and almonds over beans. Stir for even distribution of ingredients. Return to oven and roast an additional 5 minutes.