Friday, February 26, 2010

Eat Your Vegetables

Sometimes I think,"I must catch up on eating my vegetables." Here are a few methods of cooking them that I find relatively easy, actually rather fun, take little time and effort cause sometimes that's how I roll! I want to eat healthy and well, but sometimes I am pressed for time like all of us. I want a wholesome meal so this is how it goes. I had some large portabellos in the refrigerator, half a head of cauliflower, some carrots, some kale, some dinosaur kale, and some spinach. I had some russet potatoes so I thought,"let's have a baked potato party!" It is a snowy day in N.Y., a lazy day, to enjoy the family and eat your vegetables!


I/2 head cauliflower, cut into 1 inch slices
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/8 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. minced garlic

4 peeled carrots
1/8 tsp. thyme
1/8 tsp salt
1 pinch ground black pepper

4 large portebello mushrooms
1 pinch salt
1 pinch pepper

1/2 bunch Kale
1/2 bunch dinosaur kale
1/2 lb. spinach
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp. minced garlic

4 medium Idahos or Russet potatoes
1/4 tsp. salt
ground black pepper
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar
1 Tbs. fresh thyme
2 scallions sliced
1 bunch chives sliced thin


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Place the cut cauliflower on a sheet, I used an 18x 24 inch pan, the trick is to not crowd the pan. A cookie sheet will do also, sprayed with olive oil cooking spray. Sprinkle the salt, pepper, and thyme on the cauliflower. Place into the hot oven, on the bottom rack. Roast the cauliflower until golden, about 10 minutes then flip to the other side and continue to cook for about 8-10 more minuted until golden but a bit tender. Remove from the over and toss with the minced garlic. Place on an attractive serving platter.

For the carrots.
Cut the carrots in half and then in half lengthwise. Place them cut side down on a a 18x 24 inch sheet pan sprayed with olive oil cooking spray. Sprinkle with the salt, pepper, and thyme. Place the pan into the hot oven. Roast for 10 minutes on each side until golden brown and cooked through. Place the carrots onto an attractive serving platter.

For the mushrooms
Scrape the underside of the caps(the black gills) with a spoon and remove the gills and discard. Wipe the tops of the caps with a paper towel. Do not wash the mushrooms.
Cut the mushrooms into 1/2 thick slices. Place the mushrooms on a sheet pan sprayed with olive oil cooking spray. Toss with the salt and pepper and set into the hot oven.
Roast for 8 minutes on each side until golden. You could do this with all types of mushrooms. This way they have deep mushroom flavor and do not absorb soo much oil or butter. Place on a serving platter.

For the greens
Cut the kale and dinosaur kale into 2 inch pieces. Wash the greens in a colandar, don't dry. Spray a large frying pan with olive oil cooking spray. Then place the pan over medium high heat. Add the washed greens all at once. Toss the greens with tongs or a wooden spoon. Cover for 1-2 minutes until greens are wilted add a pinch of salt and the minced garlic. Stir well and serve immediately.

For the potatoes
Wash the potatoes then, pierce the potatoes with a fork, about 5 times , all around the potato
Place the potatoes into the 450 degree oven. They can go right on the rack! Bake for about an hour until the skin is a bit crispy and the potatoes give when squeezed.
Remove from the oven and cut a slit down the middle of the potato.
Serve with the accompaniments. Let each person add their own toppings, and have a party!

Recipes and photos by Karen Pickus
Courtesy Karen Pickus 2010

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