Monday, September 5, 2011

roasted root veggie salad

I hope everyone enjoyed their Labor Day holiday weekend. Mine included Fright Night with the boyfriend, brunch with the parents, a couple of birthday BBQs, fighting crowds at the Taste of Colorado, building lots of Target furniture for the new place, and watching True Blood with the usual suspects, Jenna and Michael.

After a full day of grazing on various snacks at the the Taste of Colorado, a light, healthy meal sounded absolutely wonderful. Nothing makes you feel better than a giant, fresh salad, loaded with all kinds of good stuff, so that's precisely what we made last night- big ol' roasted root vegetable salads.

Stuff you need: 1. Lettuce 2. A protein of some type 3. Veggies for roasting- we found parsnips, golden beets, sweet potatoes, red onions, and asparagus 4. Your favorite salad dressing

Start by cutting up all your vegetables into big chunks, while your oven preheats to 400 degrees. Feel free to peel everything if you'd like, but we left the skins on since we didn't have a peeler. You may also want to enlist a few friends for all the chopping, since this is the most tedious part.

When everything is nicely cubed, place the veggies in a large bowl, and toss them with some olive oil, chopped garlic, salt and pepper. You may need to use 2 bowls, or do them in batches if you have a lot like we did. When everything is completely coated, place the mixture into a baking dish (or a few of them) and pop them in the oven for about 30 minutes.
Take the baking dishes out of the oven, give the veggies a good stir and another dose of salt, and put them back in the oven for another 30 minutes, or until everything is perfectly tender, just the way you like it.

While you're waiting on the roasting, watch some True Blood, drink some wine, and prepare anything else you need to- dressing, lettuce, protein etc. For the leafy base, we tore up romaine lettuce, and the greens that came attached to the beets. The beet greens were a little bitter, but a nice compliment to the rest of the salad. Jenna and Michael made fish for their protein portion, and I tried out some chick'n from Gardein, which, I must say, was pretty tasty.

Finally, after waiting so long and patiently, pull those hot, steamy vegetables out of the oven, throw everything together with a little salad dressing, and thoroughly enjoy one giant, healthy, totally loaded salad.
It was just what we were all craving. The leafy greens, and the warm tender vegetables were the perfect combination for a light, healthy salad, that still had some real filling power. Ever eat a salad and still feel hungry? Yeah, not with this baby. Also, all the veggies we used- 1 bundle asparagus, 1 parsnip, 1 red onion, 1 sweet potato & 2 golden beets- made SO much food, there were plenty of leftovers for my dinner tonight. As fall approaches and the months get colder, I will definitely be roasting some more vegetables for my devouring pleasure :)

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