Sunday, January 3, 2016

Resolutions, Intentions or Just Plain Changes I'd Like To Make

New Year's Day came and went.  Like everyone else, I spent some time thinking about resolutions.  I never liked that word.  I always feel like a failure when I don't carry through with whatever I resolved to do or not do.  Intentions is a better word for me.  In 2016, I thought I would intend to write a blog article every day.  Well, here it is January 3rd, and I'm just starting my first entry of the year.   I've now shifted my thoughts to just changes I'd like to make.  Some I will follow through with more often than not.  Some I won't. I'd like to spend some time every day writing.  It may be for the blog, and it may be in my journal, and it may even be working on the novel I started in 2009.

My second intention is to eat more healthily.  This one is a little more challenging.  For one thing, I don't like to cook.  Secondly, my husband is not fond of healthy food, even though his blood tests and blood pressure say he should.  He doesn't like vegetables.  I don't like fruit.  We both like red meat and the skin on our chicken.  In 2015, I resolved to exercise more.  And I've done that.  I use a fitbit and I work to get in my 10,000 steps every day.  Have I lost any weight?  Nope.  And somehow this holiday season, I managed to put on an extra 4 pounds.  Now I read that weight loss is more about what you eat, and not how much you exercise.  Well, crap!

There are so many different eating plans and/or diets out there.  I've tried most of them.  What works best for me is to eat a balanced diet, to choose my carbs wisely, and pay attention to portion control.  I'm not a fan of anything labeled "low fat".  For one thing, they don't taste quite right.  My understanding is that when they take out the fat, they add in sugar and other stuff to make the item taste somewhat decent.  I really like my food minimally processed.  That doesn't mean I avoid all forms of processing.  But it is something I consider.  And by the way, I don't consider "cooking" as a form of processing.  I did six months on a raw diet, and it didn't really make me feel better or lose any weight.  I just need some new ideas about how to incorporate more healthy recipes into my cooking repertoire.

This brings us to my third intention.  I want to weed out all the crap I have on my Pinterest Boards.  Either I need to try some of these things and then delete or keep them, or just delete things I know I won't cook because it requires too much work or items I most likely will never use again.  I mean who really needs 2000 plus recipes?

This blog entry checks off intentions #1 and #2.  I'm writing and posting.  And I made a decent vegetable dish.  It doesn't address #3 as I have made a version of this dish every week for years.  You probably have too, at least if you have read any cooking magazine, watched any cooking show or pinned any recipe for vegetables on Pinterest in the past few years.  Roasted vegetables!  I love them. I make a big batch every week.  I can get at least one serving into my husband.  The rest I eat for breakfast, lunch and/or dinner.

Roasting vegetables is easy.  You can adapt it for any vegetable you or your family like.  I generally use 3 or 4 vegetables per batch.  Sometimes more.  Sometimes it is just what I am cleaning out of my refrigerator.  I use combinations of broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, mushrooms, zucchini, summer squash, brussels sprouts, green beans, asparagus, radishes, potatoes, turnips, rutabagas, anise, onions, and so on.

Wash and chop into bite sized pieces the vegetables of your choice.  Line a jelly roll pan (or any cooking pan that has some sort of side/edge) with foil.  This is primarily for easy clean up and is an optional step.  Drizzle olive oil over the vegetables.  I tend to be generous with this step.  Stir to mix. Now the fun part.  Choose your seasonings.  You can adapt the spices to what other dishes you are cooking.  As a general rule of thumb, I use mostly onion or garlic salt, regular and pepper.  Pop the pan in the oven and bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes, depending on how cooked you like your veggies.  If you are doing primarily root vegetables, you will need to increase the time and/or the temperature.

Here's my little tip.  I only have one oven in my kitchen, and it is often being used to cook whatever my main dish for the night is....at least during the fall and winter.  Therefore, I roast my vegetables at lunch time.  I cook them until they are just a titch under-done.  I enjoy one serving for lunch, and then I let the rest of it cool to room temperature.  Store covered in the refrigerator until dinner time.  Come dinner time, reheat in the microwave or put the veggies in a foil pouch and pop in the over to warm with whatever else you are cooking.

Here's the batch I roasted yesterday.  Before and after.



As you may have noticed, at the last minute, I added some canned little corns.  I was making some soup and didn't use the whole can in that recipe.  I added it to my roasted veggies.  I probably won't do that again - it was a little weird tasting.  This batch was seasoned with salt, pepper, onion salt and Johnny's Salad Elegance (my husband's favorite spice).

I would love to hear about your favorite veggie combinations and seasoning choices.

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