MJ’s Roasted Vegetables

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These colorful roasted vegetables are absolutely exquisite and super easy to prepare. The secret is to buy fresh produce, spice your veggies up, drizzle them generously with olive oil, and bake them on high heat.

Serve these veggies as a side, put them over a pizza, mix them with you favorite pasta, or make a juicy sandwich out of them. You can even serve them with toasted pita bread as a compliment to a Mediterranean hummus and tapenade meal! Enjoy!

Recommended veggies:

  • Ripe red and yellow vine tomatoes
  • Eggplant
  • Yellow and green zucchini
  • Red onion
  • Optional: crushed garlic cloves

Preparation:

  1. Set the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Wash and dry your vegetables and cut them into slices approximately 1/4 of an inch think.
  3. Place your sliced veggies on a large oiled cookie sheet. Put as many as you can fit, but do not overlap them.
  4. Season with salt, pepper, paprika and oregano. Drizzle vegetables with a generous amount of olive oil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven, flip all of the vegetables and bake them for another 5 minutes.
  5. Serve hot, warm or cold.

Serve your roasted vegetables with hummus, tapenade and pita bread, make a pizza or a sandwich with them, or serve them chopped and mixed with your favorite pasta! Enjoy!

Nutritional Value:

  • Tomato→ this fruit is classified as a berry and there are over 7500 tomato varieties around the world. Tomatoes help prevent cancer and heart disease and are a great source of antioxidants, fiber, vitamins (A, B and C) and minerals (especially potassium). When shopping, in order to pick the tomatoes with the highest nutritional value, look for the smallest sizes and darkest colors, these are the sweetest and most flavorful tomatoes and they are also the most nutritious. Buy currant tomatoes, if you find them, they are one of the smallest types of tomatoes and contain the highest levels of nutrients! Red Pear heirloom tomatoes are also delicious, extra flavorful, high in nutrients, and ideal for salads and sandwiches; you can find them at some grocery stores and most farmers markets! To conserve and even increase their flavor, keep your tomatoes out of the fridge. In addition, heat increases their nutritional value, so roasted, stewed, or canned tomatoes are actually more nutritious than raw tomatoes. Note: do not discard their juice, seeds or skin, these parts of the fruit contain 50% of it’s nutrients. Finally, in order to avoid the ingestion of pesticides, buy organic tomatoes or start a tomato garden at home!
  • Onion→ belongs to the genus of allium and is one of the most popular vegetables on the planet. Quite effective in the prevention of heart disease, common cold, diabetes, osteoporosis and other diseases. Onions are rich in chromium, antioxidants, vitamin C and B, and quercetin. As it is the case with many other vegetables, the stronger the flavor, the higher nutritional value it has, so the more you cry while slicing that onion, the stronger your immune system will get! Choose medium size onions instead of large ones, they usually contain twice as much nutrients.  Avoid sweet varieties, since they are lower in nutrients than the more pungent ones. Try to consume more shallots, chives, and scallions (green onions), they are more expensive but have up to six times more nutrients than the typical onion varieties. Cooking onions actually increases their quercitin content, so feel free to eat your onions however you like (just avoid boiling them).
  • Bell peppers→ their nutritional content varies with their color (green, yellow, orange, red, purple, and black). Bell peppers are a great source of antioxidants, vitamin C and A, carotene, folate, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, niacin, and riboflavin. A bell pepper’s nutritional content increases as it ripens, so allow your bell peppers to ripen outside of the fridge before you eat them. Since high temperatures can damage the vegetable’s phytonutrients, eating your bell peppers raw maximizes their health benefits. Red bell peppers have a higher nutritional value than green, yellow or orange bell peppers. Purple or black bell peppers, which are usually more difficult to find, also have a high nutritional content, so if you ever see them at your local farmers market, make sure you give them a try!
  • Garlic→ good source of calcium, phosphorous, selenium, vitamin C and B6, and manganese. Being a member of the genus alliums, garlic has amazing health benefits. Its antibacterial, antioxidant, antiviral, anti-clotting and anticancer properties make this vegetable a super food and a must have in every kitchen! The more pungent its flavor is, the more nutrients and health benefits it has. To find the freshest garlic in the store, check for firm bulbs with tightly attached outer papery skin (avoid garlic with loose skin and sprouting bulbs). Although it is usually more expensive, if possible, choose hard-neck over soft-neck garlic and try different varieties and colors! Also try garlic chives, they have super high antioxidants levels! Note: to increase garlic’s nutritional power and healing properties, mash, mince or dice the garlic cloves and let them sit for 10 minutes before eating or cooking them (a garlic press will do the job and is a great kitchen utensil to have!).
  • Eggplant→ also known as aubergine, eggplant is a species of nightshade–members of the family Sonalaceae–which are usually grown for they economical importance (tomatoes, bell peppers, and potatoes are also part of this family). Nightshade plants are also known for being poisonous to humans, belladonna or “deadly nightshade” is an example of a toxic nightshade plant. Eggplants are rich in fiber and a great source of vitamin K, thiamin, vitamin B6, folate, potassium and manganese. They are also effective antioxidants and help lower LDL cholesterol levels.
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