Roasting red bell peppers without oil results in delicate pepper pieces full on nutrients. Use in salads, hummus, sandwiches, pastas and you name it. Roast the peppers until the skins wrinkle and the peppers are charred as shown below.
How to Roast Red Bell Peppers: Preheat oven 400° F. Thoroughly wash red bell peppers, place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Roast the peppers in the oven for about 40 minutes (depending on size), turn several time during roasting. After roasting, place peppers in a bowl, cover the bowl with a dish for 10 minutes to steam (so the skins can easily be removed). Strain and save off juices. Remove and discard the core, seeds and skin. Don’t wash peppers, at this point, or they lose much of the nutritional value. Wipe remaining seeds out with a paper towel and strain juices.
Now they are ready to use – make a lovely sammy or enhance various recipes. We freeze some in zip lock bags, then add to marinara sauce. So yummy!
Just call me a tomato snob! I really miss our home-grown heritage tomatoes during the colder months in Pennsylvania. Usually after October any store-bought slicer-type tomatoes are just so dull and not even worth purchasing. Of course you may choose to can tomatoes to savor their fresh taste. But I’ll talking about using tomatoes in sammys and on salads.
So here are two tips around this flavor challenge. If you have more tips, we’d love to hear from you!
(1) We have found that store-bought cherry tomatoes are still rather tasty during this season. We use in salads and in some soups.
(2) We have found roasting store-bought Italian Plum Tomatoes will get us through the winter. They are inexpensive and accessible but still rather flat tasting during the winter, that is, until roasted. After roasting they are taste busting gems! I roast plum tomatoes in my toaster oven about once a week; wrap left overs in the parchment paper which they were roasted on and store in the refrigerator so they are handy to grab.
HOW TO ROAST TOMATOES TOMATOES (PLUM) – ROASTED: Juicy caramelized tomatoes – use to enhance sauces, in salads, on sandwiches or just pop into your mouth for a tasty nutritious treat. It’s easy to make small batches in a toaster oven. They are particularly yummy in the colder months when store bought tomatoes are so tasteless.
Preheat toaster oven 400°F. Cut fresh tomatoes in half lengthwise, cut out stem. Place halves in a medium sized bowl, pour tablespoons of Balsamic vinegar over the tomatoes. Stir until all surfaces are coated. Sprinkle with dried basil, salt substitute and garlic powder; gently toss. Place halved tomatoes, cut side up, on parchment paper; roast for about 30 minutes.
Calories 26 Calories from Fat 0, Total Fat 0g, Saturated Fat 0g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 9mg, Total Carbohydrate 6g, Fiber 1g, Sugars 1g, Protein 1g
Fresh Winter squash are showing their faces at farmer’s markets, vegetable stands and grocery stores in the area. It’s that time of year. I’m in heaven – Delicata Squash! Just to hold them in the palm of my hand is exciting, just my size. This gem is characterized by a cream colored delicate rind with green stripes.
There are so many varieties of winter squash to pick from, but, so far, Delicata has become my overall favorite! Why, you ask? Well let’s see: Foremost, they are so easy to prepare, my favorite method is roasting; you can eat the “delicate” skin, no peeling, yipee; when roasting they become caramelized, so creamy and naturally sweet but not too sweet; they have a somewhat nutty flavor too; perfect size for a single serving (about 6-7 inches long) and they fit perfectly into my energy-efficient toaster oven; the green striped skin is just beautiful, with golden-orange colored flesh; this delicate squash could easily be eaten as a dessert, it’s that tasty…need I say more.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love many types of winter squash, they each have their own attributes and purposes. But today it’s time to roast a Delicata. Perhaps another day I’ll cover other preparation methods.
I’m going to use it as a single serving for my lunch. So here’s the simple roasting process for a Delicata Squash:
Preheat toaster oven for 5 minutes 395 degrees Fahrenheit
Place parchment paper on the oven tray
Place Delicata squash on the parchment paper
Roast for 20-25 minutes or to your liking, turn mid-way. (I love to eat the brown crusty portion of the roasted skin.)
Cool, cut in half, scoop out seeds and stringy flesh (seeds can be roasted too but that’s another post)
Roasting CARROTS from the farmer’s market or fresh from your garden makes a nutrient filled tasty dish. On the other hand, organic carrots from the grocery store are wonderfully tasting too and available year round. It is so quick and easy to roast small quantities of vegetables in my small toaster oven. It is such an energy saver especially during hot weather when you don’t want to heat up your kitchen by using your regular oven. Use your own favorite spices. Boy do they taste terrific, it’s hard to save them as a side dish for a meal, I just want to eat them straight from the oven!
Preheat your toaster oven 400°F for 5 minutes (can be roasted in regular oven too). Cut carrots lengthwise, then cut in half again or to make thickness of pieces similar. Place cut carrots in a medium sized bowl; add 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar or enough to coat; stir until all carrots are coated. Line the baking pan in the toaster with parchment paper; place carrots on the paper. Mix spices together then sprinkle half the spice mixture on the carrots. Place in the preheated toaster oven and roast for 10 minutes. Remove pan from oven, turn carrots over then sprinkle with remaining spice mix. Roast for another 10 minutes. It’s that easy!
Nutrition Facts: Calories 124 Calories from Fat 1, Total Fat 0g, Saturated Fat 0g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 96mg, Total Carbohydrate 29g, Fiber 8g, Sugars 1g, Protein 3g
We love roasted carrots…well any veggie roasted! So give it a try – let me hear how it worked for you!
Roasting market fresh beets is so satisfying! You get a TWO for ONE…the beautiful beets and the beautiful greens! I roast beets about once a week – we cut up the beets for our daily salads and eat the leafy greens with a little peanut sauce…so scrumptious. We love organically locally grown beets for freshness and color variety, then during the off season we purchase red organic at the supermarket. Do we love beets or what! Usually we roast in our small toaster oven – saving energy is always good for the environment, as is, eating whole foods, plant-based.
4 large or 6 medium beets, fresh
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Preheat 400°F. Scrub beets, cut off greens to use later in salads or to sauté. Do not peel or cut off root end. Place in a bowl and coat with a few tablespoons of balsamic vinegar. Roast in regular oven or toaster oven on parchment paper. Depending on size, roast for approximately 30 -50 minutes, turn midway through. After roasting the peels will come off easily.
Calories 43 Calories from Fat 1, Total Fat 0g, Saturated Fat 0g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 64mg, Total Carbohydrate 9g, Fiber 2g, Sugars 7g, Protein 1g
NOW FOR THE BEET GREENS WITH PEANUT SAUCE: Beautiful green leaves steam and pieces of red stems sautéed in peanut sauce.
4 cups fresh beet greens, stems and leaves
1/2 cup water or more as needed
2 tablespoons fresh peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Wash the leaves thoroughly. You can use both the tender stems and the leaves from fresh beet greens. Ribbon cut the green leaves, save the red stems and cut into pieces a few inches long. Stir the peanut butter into 1/2 cup of water, add garlic powder. In a skillet heat the peanut sauce, add red stems first, sauté/ steam for about 3 minutes before adding green leaves. Sauté for another 3 minutes, not too long as you want to retain the beautiful bright green color. Enjoy alone as a side or add to various other dishes.
Nutrition FactsCalories 27 Calories from Fat 3, Total Fat 0g, Saturated Fat 0g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 196mg, Total Carbohydrate 5g, Fiber 3g, Sugars 0g, Protein 3