Tag: veggies

Carrot Cake Juice Smoothie

carrot cake juice

Fall is right around the corner here, folks. Even the sunniest days in the last couple of weeks have taken on that thinner, more golden, end of summer light. The nights are downright chilly and pumpkin spice everything has made its annual invasion. I love cooking in the summer – all the freshness and vibrant produce, BBQ’d everything and the general low maintenance approach to food and its preparation. I do, however, really enjoy cooking in the fall when things get a bit more roasted, slower, deeper flavors and more robust ingredients. I like the feeling of “harvest time” and I look forward to the change in temperature and palate.

When a friendly rep from Williams-Sonoma reached out to me to ask if I’d like to participate in their Juice Week, I was in immediately. Juicing isn’t something I do a ton of but I do make smoothies most mornings for breakfast and they become my fruit quota for the day. (more…)

some assembly required

some assempbly required

How is it possible that we are in the second week of September already? Here in Vancouver that doesn’t quite mean that summer is over in terms of warm weather but it does mean that the pace and timing of one’s life may begin to return to normal: back to school or back to work, vacation memories fading quickly. Whether these few weeks are about ‘normalizing’ for you or not, chances are you’re feeling some sort of pinch, some sort pressure, I know I am. When we’re under stress or duress, even if that stress is “normal” for us, it can be so easy to let slide the most important things for our overall well being: eating well, sleeping, exercising and taking time to actually enjoy your life, not just letting it rampage past, leaving you a dizzy spectator.

I won’t preach on sleep or exercise, two things I’m in no position to lecture on, but eating well and enjoying life can so often go hand in hand – but how do we do so when there just aren’t enough hours in the day?

At our house, when no one wants to cook and take out is leaving us non-plussed, we do an antipasto style dinner, some assembly required: plates of this and that which everyone assembles as the wish. Everyone gets something they want, there aren’t many dishes and with a well stocked pantry and fridge it’s not a nuisance to prepare. Make the selection as simple or as elaborate as you like, just make sure you hit the main categories: fruit, veggies, protein (meat or cheese or both, usually) and some sort of vehicle to get it all in, like bread, crackers, tortillas, even fresh lettuce leaves. Beyond that, add something sweet, something zingy (think chutney and/or pickles or olives) and if you’re really feeling luxurious some hummus or baba ganoush to dip and spread.

So take a deep breath, put on some good tunes, crack a bottle of wine and enjoy the satisfaction of putting out a simple dinner without ever turning on the stove.

Roasted Vegetables with Lemon and Thyme

You may look at this recipe and think, “Radishes? Roasted? Really?” and you wouldn’t be alone. I was dubious too. The carrot and parsnip make perfect sense. We know, and love them, as roasted, deeply caramelized jewels alongside many winter dinners. But radishes? Aren’t they for spring crûdites plates or for salting and eating straight from garden? Apparently they are fit to be roasted and taken beyond salads. Who knew?

I have come across recipes many times for sautéed radishes, tossed in butter, but I had never considered roasting them. When the weather turns chilly (or downright cold, as it is right now) I want everything roasted. The oven warms the kitchen, and somehow I don’t mind giving more time to dinner in the winter, perhaps because the weather makes you want to hunker down and stay in. A recent re-discovery has affirmed my love of vegetables (almost any kind) roasted with lemon and thyme. Thyme has a soft lemony flavour and fragrance to it, so it goes beautifully with the aromatic zest and bright, sour juice. Less than an hour in the oven and everything has mellowed, sweetened and co-mingled making for a very savoury, nutritious side to any wintry dinner. In fact, I am not beyond having just these roasted vegetables for dinner. Delightful.

Roasted Vegetables with Lemon and Thyme

preheat the oven to 375° – serves 6 -pairs nicely with roasted chicken or pork

6 large carrots, trimmed, unpeeled and chopped into 1″ pieces

6 small parsnips, trimmed, unpeeled and chopped into 1″ pieces

24 large radishes, trimmed and halved

1 bulb of garlic, broken into cloves, skins removed

the zest and juice of 1 lemon

6 sprigs of fresh thyme,  (or 1 Tbsp dried thyme)

olive oil

seas salt and pepper

Combine the chopped vegetables in a large bowl. Add all but 2 of the garlic cloves. Grate the 2 remaining garlic cloves into the bowl. Grate the zest from the lemon into the bowl as well and follow with the juice. Strip the leaves from the thyme sprigs, discarding woody stem. Drizzle with olive oil (to your liking – usually a few tablespoons will do). Season with salt and pepper. Toss well. Spread the vegetables out on a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 40 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and the undersides become caramelized. Garnish with additional fresh thyme if desired.