A Roasted Vegetable BONANZA!

Remember all those veggies I brought home from the store last week? I used a lot of them over the weekend, and I’m going to show you what I did!

I got invited to a small little get-together to watch the Golden Globes on Sunday. I gladly agreed to contribute a vegetable, side or salad, and I came up with something that serves all those purposes. And it started with roasting a ton of vegetables.

raw-vegetables-on-trays-roasting

Pictured above are three trays of veggies, before they went in the oven. Brussel sprouts (halved) on the left, broccoli florets in the middle, and 3 zucchinis, 2 red bell peppers, and 1 onion, all sliced, on the right. I lined the trays with foil for easy clean-up, and spritzed all the veggies with a healthy dose of PAM before sprinkling them liberally with the Onion and Herb variety of Mrs. Dash.

After 40 minutes in my 400-degree oven (during which I rotated the trays and flipped the veggies once), they looked like this:

roasted-veggies-trays

They looked and smelled great. They tasted great too – tender, with lots of crispy edges and charred bits.

These veggies were going to be the main ingredient in a Roasted Vegetable and Kale Salad. Now that the veggies were taken care of, time to focus on the kale! I decided to saute the kale with some other goodies, and I was able to do that while the veggies were roasting.

I pulled out my big skillet, slicked it with PAM, put it on medium heat, and dumped in a couple of handfuls of Trader Joe’s Healthy 8. This is a prepared assortment of diced vegetables that’s a mix of broccoli, carrots, red cabbage, green cabbage, jicama, green bell peppers, celery, and radish.

trader-joes-healthy-8-vegetables

If you don’t have a Trader Joe’s near you, you can use some onion, garlic, carrots, or whatever you have lying around. I just wanted to add some flavor to the kale… which was my next ingredient.

I used an entire pre-washed and chopped bag of kale. After the Healthy 8 cooked for a minute or two, I started piling in the kale. The bag I used had pieces with the thick stems, so I did my best to remove those. You can eat the stems, but they take longer to cook, and I wasn’t planning on braising these for hours, like you can do with kale and other hearty greens. You can see the stems on the right in this picture:

skillet-raw-kale

Once the kale was in the pan, I added about a cup of water. I remember reading or seeing on TV that water can help you cook down kale, so why not? Had I had an opened container of broth, I would’ve used that. Kale, like spinach, wilts down when you cook it, and after a few minutes, you have a fraction of what you used to have:

skillet-kale-saute

Cooking the kale only took about 5 minutes. When the kale was wilted and cooked, I removed it from the heat. For a dressing, I added 1/2 a jar of black bean and corn salsa (the version that Trader Joe’s sells is called Cowboy Caviar):

trader-joes-cowboy-caviar

I stirred that in, and here’s what I had: kale, sauteed with Healthy 8, and coated with salsa:

sauted-kale-veggies

This alone would make a fine side, or a tasty warm salad to start your meal. But it got even better once I added in the roasted vegetables.  Here’s the finished Roasted Vegetable and Kale Salad:

roasted-veggie-kale-salad-bowl

roasted-veggie-kale-salad-closeup

The salsa adds a little heat, and the variety of vegetables means a lot of textures and flavors. Between the roasted veggies, the kale, and the Healthy 8, this dish has 13 different fresh veggies in it! And it’s versatile as well: I ate the bowl pictured above warm for lunch, but by the time I got to the party a few hours later, it was cold… and still delicious.

And here’s another tip! My friends put together a taco bar (I chose to add the salsa so it would play into the Southwest/South-of-the-Border theme), and they had a bowl of Queso Fresco as a taco topping. Queso Fresco is a light, mild Mexican cheese, similar to Feta. I sprinkled a couple tablespoons of Queso Fresco on the salad, and it tasted even better! I wish I thought of that earlier!  Oh well, I can add that next time. If you can’t find Queso Fresco near you, you can use Feta, or even a little Ricotta.

The salad was a hit at the Golden Globes party, and I had leftovers that would be great for my next couple of lunches. Nothing like a super-healthy salad that I can munch on for days!

Keep it up, David!

For more recipes, check out my recipes page!

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10 Responses to A Roasted Vegetable BONANZA!

  1. Lisa Long says:

    Did not know about the Healthy 8 but now I want some. And some of this salad. Have been making the salsa for years, jar of salsa, corn, black beans, love it on chips but also on baked potatoes. Think your left over salad would be a great addition to baked potatoes too. I am a huge fan of making potatoes into meals with addition of lots of veggies and some grilled chicken.   Keep it up. You inspire me.

  2. Carol Hoerl says:

    Great ideas & I have to get to trader Joe’s!

  3. Janet says:

    Your salad sounds delicious! Our first Trader Joes’ in Colorado are opening on Valentines Day here in Colorado-can’t wait!!! They make it easy to pick fun, healthy foods, and for not a lot of money!!

  4. Catherine says:

    My dog loves the kale stems I take off my kale that I scramble into my egg whites for my breakfasts.

  5. Toledo Lefty says:

    Thanks for the dinner idea — roasted veggies sound great — and I don’t mind warming up the house a little with the oven.

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