Is anybody else sick and tired of this nasty winter? If it’s not snowing, it’s raining and if it’s not windy it’s raining and if it’s not foggy, it’s raining. Blah blah blah…. I’m over it!
I have spent quite a bit of time in the kitchen lately cause’ cooking is what I do when I am feeling down, it’s what I do when I am feeling happy, it’s what I do when I am feeling lonely, it’s just what I do! Let’s face it, cooking makes me happy! Now cooking and entertaining……that’s a great combo! When its gloomy outside good friends (which coincidentally are family) and good food are enough to brighten the gloomiest of days!
I have been really working at eating healthier and doing better by my body so a lot of veggies and moderate amounts of fruits are my main staples. I invited my super health conscious niece and sister in law over for dinner a couple of weeks ago, and I don’t know why, but I felt a bit of pressure to deliver a meal that had maximum taste and maximum health benefits and I hit the nail on the head, if I do say so myself!
To meet the challenge I went to my favorite recipe resource – Pinterest of course! Armed with an amazing pork roast recipe, I started to look for a good veggie dish and did I ever! I found an amazing blog – Spoon Fork Bacon – how can you go wrong with somebody who chose this name for their blog? I trust anyone who will fork me some bacon, wouldn’t you? Her Aromatic Roasted Root Vegetables were to die for! http://www.spoonforkbacon.com/2011/07/aromatic-roasted-rood-vegetables/
Aromatic Roasted Root Vegetables (Serves 4-6)
½ lb. fingerling potatoes, roughly chopped
3 heirloom carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
2 parsnips, peeled and roughly chopped
2 turnips, peeled and roughly chopped
2 red onions, peeled, cut in ½ and each ½ cut into ¼’s
1 head garlic, peeled
2 Tablespoons fresh thyme, minced
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, minced
3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. Place potatoes, carrots, parsnips, turnips, and red onions in a large bowl and toss together.
3. With the side of a knife, gently smash each clove of garlic and add it to the bowl of vegetables.
4. Add the herbs and olive oil to the vegetables and generously season with salt and pepper.
5. Pour the seasoned vegetables onto a large roasting pan and spread in a single layer.
6. Roast vegetables in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes or until golden brown. (Gently stirring the vegetables halfway through the cooking time) Serve.
Then because they were so yummy, I made an amazing Roasted Creamy Vegetable Soup to use up the left overs! I modified this recipe from the blog Cooking Classy http://www.cookingclassy.com/cheesy-vegetable-chowder-aka-broccoli-cheese-potato-soup/ .
Take a minute and check her out, her blog is loaded with yummy stuff!
Cheesy Vegetable Chowder
Yield: About 6 servings
5 1/2 Tbsp butter, divided
Leftover roasted root vegetables – preferably approximately 4 cups, if you don’t have that much use the following (3 chopped carrots, 2 stalks chopped celery, 1 small chopped yellow onion, 2 large peeled and cubed russet potatoes)
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 Tbsp all-purpose flour
3 cups milk (preferably 1% or 2%)
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese (8 oz)
1/3 cup finely shredded parmesan cheese (1 oz)
- In a large pot over medium heat, melt 1 1/2 Tbsp of the butter. If using uncooked vegetables, add carrots, celery and onion and sauté 3 – 4 minutes (if using leftovers, just move to adding the garlic). Add garlic and sauté’ 30 seconds longer. Stir in chicken broth & potatoes and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to medium, cover with lid and cook 15 minutes. I then like to puree a good portion of the vegetable mixture which helps make this soup even thicker and creamier. Be sure to leave some big chunks of veggies too (you don’t want it to be like baby food!)
- Meanwhile, melt remaining 4 Tbsp butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in flour and cook, whisking constantly 1 minute. While whisking vigorously, slowly pour in milk (whisk well until no lumps remain). Cook stirring constantly until mixture begins to gently boil and thicken, stir in heavy cream. Remove from heat and once all veggies are tender pour into the soup and stir.
- Remove from heat and stir in cheddar and parmesan cheese until melted. Serve warm.