Roasted Vegetable Salad for your Meatless Mondays

Roasting vegetables brings out their natural sweetness and beautiful flavor.  Add that to a fresh bed of lettuce or spinach and you have the best of both worlds.  Here’s a great warm, roasted vegetable salad for your Meatless Mondays.  

Warm Roasted Vegetable Salad

INGREDIENTS

1 ½ cups chopped Broccoli

1 medium sized Eggplant/Melongene/Aubergine, chopped

1 Carrot**, chopped

1 Onion, chopped

7 cloves of Garlic, peeled

2 Pimento Peppers, sliced

1 Large Red Bell Pepper, chopped

2 Medium sized Tomatoes, chopped (Optional – I just love tomatoes, I’ll add it to almost anything)

1 TBSP chopped local celery (Optional)

1 teaspoon dried Herbs De Provence

2 teaspoons Granulated Onion powder (looks like tiny salt granules)

2 TBSP Olive Oil

Sea Salt to taste

Your choice of Lettuce or Spinach or both (washed and drained)

 

METHOD:

1.  Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit

2.  In a large bowl, combine chopped broccoli, eggplant, carrot, onion, garlic, pimento peppers, red bell pepper, tomatoes and local celery.  Mix well.

3. Next, add dried Herbs De Provence, granulated onion powder and olive oil.  Mix well.

4. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.  If your pan has a tendency to burn the food you can line it with foil and then spray with non-stick cooking spray.

5. Empty seasoned vegetables onto baking sheet and spread evenly.

Chopped and seasoned mixed vegetables ready for roasting
Chopped and seasoned mixed vegetables ready for roasting

 

 

 

 

 

6. Roast at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 25-35mins.

7. When finished roasting, carefully remove from oven and set aside.

mixed vegetables after roasting
mixed vegetables after roasting

 

 

 

 

 

8. On a serving plate add lettuce or spinach or a mixture of both.  Top off with roasted vegetables.

Serve and enjoy.

**TIP: As the carrots are the hardest and take the longest in roasting, chop these smaller.

Advertisements

Meatless Mondays Split Pea and Oat Vegetable Burger

ground split pea and oat vegetable burgers
Ground Split Pea and Oat Vegetable Burgers

Here’s an easy recipe for your next Meatless Monday.  It’s soft and tender on the inside with a gentle crunch on the outside.

For this Meatless Mondays Split Pea Oat Vegetable burger recipe, you’ll need:

Ingredients

7 TBSPs dry quick oats

16 TBSPs or 1 cup of hot water just boiled

1 TBSP local celery, minced

1 ½ TBSPS chive, minced

2 TBSPs carrots or pumpkin, minced

1 TBSP olive oil

5 TBSPs ground split pea powder

3 TBSPs ground flax seed

1 teaspoon granulated onion powder (looks like tiny salt granules)

1 sprig of fresh thyme, de-leafed

Sea salt to taste

 

METHOD:

– In a large mixing bowl, stir together quick oats and just boiled water for 1 minute

– Next, add celery, chive, carrots or pumpkin, fresh thyme and olive oil.  Mix well.

– Now add ground split pea powder, onion powder, ground flax seed and sea salt.  Mix well.

veggie patty wet mixture
veggie patty wet mixture

 

 

 

 

 

– Spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray

– Take a little more than a golf ball sized amount with hands and shape into a ball.

veggie patty a little more than a golf ball sized amout
veggie patty a little more than a golf ball sized amout

 

 

 

 

 

– Press gently, but firmly, to flatten into a patty a little more than 1/4 inch in thickness and place on baking sheet.  Repeat until all of your batter is used up.  Makes about 8 – 10 patties.

veggie patties ready for baking
veggie patties ready for baking

 

 

 

 

 

– Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 minutes.

– Carefully remove from oven after 25 minutes and flip each patty over. (Caution! Contents will be hot so handle with care)

veggie patty after first bake
veggie patty after first bake

 

 

 

 

 

– Put back in oven and continue to bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

– Carefully, remove from oven.  Patties should like the photo below.

Ground Split Pea and Oat Vegetable patties after final bake
Ground Split Pea and Oat Vegetable patties after final bake

 

 

 

 

– Place on a serving plate, serve and enjoy!

Ground Split Pea and Oat Vegetable Burger patty - Serve and enjoy!
Ground Split Pea and Oat Vegetable Burger patty – Serve and enjoy!

The Salty Truth – Fast Food in Trinidad

The Salty Truth About Fast Food in Trinidad

If you regularly eat at fast food outlets, chances are that you are consuming way too much salt.

If you are frequently consuming too much salt, then you are likely setting yourself up to develop hypertension and chronic kidney disease.

Studies have shown that the recommended daily allowance for sodium in healthy adults should be no more than 2,300mg per day.  However, if you are elderly, hypertensive, diabetic, or have chronic kidney disease that amount is significantly lowered to 1,500mg.

So, just how much sodium is in your fast food?

In recent times, major fast food chains such as Mc Donald’s and KFC have posted the nutritional content of their products online and also have them prominently displayed in their restaurants.

Let’s look at some of their facts.

Mc Donald’s

According to Mc Donald’s nutrition facts, one portion of small French fries has a sodium content of about 160mg.  That doesn’t sound half bad, right?  Only if all you are going to consume is one small portion of French fries.

The average person tends to upsize their portion to Large which yields 350mg.  Throw in a Big Mac (970mg) and together you have a combined total of 1,320mg of sodium in one meal and you haven’t eaten dinner yet!

Burger King

Burger King is not that far behind, if not ahead, of the competition.  A Whopper ® Sandwich, without mayo and cheese, can have as much as 840mg of sodium.  Slap on some mayo and a slice of cheese and you could be consuming a whopping 1,380mg of sodium in one sandwich.

If you like to live dangerously you could throw in a large portion of their French fries (710mg) and you’re looking at 2,090mg of sodium.

KFC

And now, KFC!

Sorry folks, I have to do this.

One individual side of KFC wedges can have as much as 810mg of sodium.  And the meat? One breast piece (Original recipe) alone yields 1,130mg of sodium.  Fly in a whole wing (Original recipe) and you just bought yourself a 2,390mg sodium “Death Pack”.

 

How do I cut back?

1. Try swapping your fries/wedges for a salad, without dressing and without cheese

2. Make your wedges and/or fries at home.  You will not only cut down on the sodium content in your potato snack but you’ll also cut back on fat as well.  Click here for an Easy Crisp Golden Potato Rounds recipe.

3. Avoid fast food meats.  These are often over-processed, over-salted and over-saturated with fats.

Crispy Golden Roasted Potato Rounds

Here’s a healthier version for those wishing to get their crispy potato fix.  It has much less salt than the deep fried version popular at fast food outlets.

The potatoes are parboiled, then roasted to give it that crispiness on the outside while remaining soft and tender on the inside.

Try my Crispy Golden Roasted Potato Rounds recipe:

Ingredients

2 Large potatoes, washed (leave skins on)

1 teaspoon dried Herbs De Provence

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

2 teaspoons onion powder

2 Tablespoons olive oil

Non-stick Cooking Spray

Water for boiling

METHOD:

– Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit

– Pot a large pot of unsalted water on to boil

– Slice potatoes into rounds about 1/4 inch thick

raw potato rounds
raw potato round slices

– Place in boiling water, cover and let cook for no more than 5 minutes.  After cooking, potatoes should be soft around the edges but firm in the middle

 

parboiled potatoes
parboiled potatoes

– Strain potatoes

 

– In a large mixing bowl, add potatoes, dried Herbs de Provence, onion powder and olive oil.  Carefully toss together until potatoes are evenly coated and a starchy coating begins to appear on the faces

seasoned parboiled potatoes
seasoned parboiled potatoes

– Next, sprinkle salt over mixture and toss again to ensure even distribution

 

– On a large baking sheet, spray non-stick cooking spray

– Evenly spread potatoes, face side down, on baking sheet

potatoes ready for roasting
seasoned parboiled potatoes, ready for roasting!

– Roast at 450 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 minutes

– Carefully remove from oven.  Potatoes should look like this:

potatoes - first roast
potatoes – first roast!

– Carefully flip each potato round over

– Put back in oven and continue baking for 30  minutes.

– Potatoes should now appear golden brown in color

– Carefully remove from oven and place in serving dish/tray.

– Serve and enjoy!

How to De-Seed a Pomegranate

Pomegranates are fruits native to Mediterranean territories but also found in some parts of Latin America and the Caribbean.

They are large and round in shape and are often red on the outside.  When cracked open,  they have multiple red seeds which are surrounded by a white membrane.  The seeds have the appearance of red kernels of corn and are the edible part of the fruit.

Pomegranate seeds are a wonderful addition to salads as they add a pleasant tang and crunch.

De-seeding a Pomegranate is a lot easier than thought.  Pomegranates can be scored and then broken open or have the tops cut out (as you would the stem of a strawberry) and then broken open.

Here’s how:

Step 1: Taking a knife, carefully core out the top (as you would the stem of a strawberry)

Step 2: Taking your hands, gently pull the pomegranate apart

breaking open the Pommegranate
breaking open the Pomegranate

Continue until you have broken the pomegranate into about three pieces (this makes it easier to get the seeds out)

 

 

 

Pomegranate - broken apart
Pomegranate broken open

Step 3:  Using a spoon, carefully scoop out the seeds into a bowl or measuring cup

 

 

 

spooning out the Pomegranate seeds
spooning out Pomegranate seeds

Step 4:  Using your fingers, carefully remove any bits of the white membrane.

 

Step 5:  Use your fresh Pomegranate seeds anyway you’d like in your favorite recipe

Spinach Beet and Pomegranate Citrus Salad

This salad is jam packed with nutrients such as Vitamins A, C, Band Folate.  These nutrients are responsible for promoting healthy eyesight, immune function, and skin health.

You can also get a healthy dose of dietary fiber from this great tasting salad.

Here’s my Spinach Beet and Pomegranate Citrus Salad recipe

Ingredients

4 cups spinach (washed, drained)

3 Tablespoons fresh Pomegranate seeds (click here for how to De-seed a Pomegranate)

1/2 cup freshly squeezed Grapefruit juice

1 teaspoon Agave syrup

1 small Beet

1 Tablespoon Sunflower seeds

METHOD

– Place a pot of water on to boil

– Wash and peel beet

whole beet
Beet (whole)

– Cut in half, lengthways.  Take one half and cut into slices about a 1/4 inch thick.  Repeat with the other half

preparing to slice the beet
preparing to slice the beets
sliced beets
sliced beets

– Place beet slices in a colander and place over pot of boiling water.  Cover and steam beet slices for 10 minutes

beets in collander
beets in colander

– Set aside to cool

– In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup freshly sqeezed grapefruit juice and 1 teaspoon Agave syrup.  Mix well and set aside

– Wash and drain spinach

– Line a serving dish with washed and drained spinach.

layered spinach
layered spinach

– Drizzle 3 Tablespoons of citrus dressing on the layered spinach

– Next, spread beet slices on top of spinach layer

– Sprinkle 3 Tablespoons Pomegranate seeds and 1 Tablespoon sunflower seeds on top of spinach and beet

– Drizzle another Tablespoon of citrus dressing on the salad

– Serve and enjoy!

completed beet pomegranate citrus salad
completed Beet Pomegranate and Citrus salad

TIP: Remainder of Citrus dressing can be refrigerated or drizzled on top of individual salad portions.

Soursop

What is Soursop?

Soursop is a fruit native to South America and the Caribbean.  In some parts it is also known as Graviola.

What does it look like?

On the outside, Soursop has thick green, spiny skin and is often somewhat oval in shape.

soursop - outer skin
Soursop – outer-skin

When cut open, it’s flesh is white and fibrous and has multiple large black seeds.  The inside core resembles that of a pineapple.

 

 

soursop - inside
Soursop – what it looks like inside

What does it taste like?

 

It’s taste is somewhat reminiscent of citrus while at the same time having a pleasant rich and creamy flavor of a coconut.

Why should I eat it?

Not only does Soursop taste good, it’s also rich in Vitamin C and dietary fiber.

How can I use it?

After peeling off the skin, cut the fruit in half lengthways.  Take the core out and using your fingers or a spoon remove the black seeds.

The remaining flesh can be chopped up and placed into a bowl or serving dish and eaten as is.  It can also be blended with juices to make punches, smoothies or fruit bars.

Click here for simple Soursop punch recipe.