Roasted Okra & Green Beans

Roasted okra and green beans. A healthy alternative to fried okra or french fries, and so much easier to make.

(Rachel – The Vegan-Eatin’ Daughter)

In our huge haul of garden veggies from Uncle, we had a small batch of fresh okra. I’ve been planning to fry them up, as any good southerner would do, but I’m not really the frying kind of gal. It’s just so messy.

There you have it. The secret to eating  healthy is to be too lazy to clean up greasy pots and pans.

While waiting on me to get over my anal retentiveness, some of my okra and a handful of green beans started to wither away. Still not ready to conquer the mess of slicing, coating, and deep frying the okra, I decided to try out a cooking method I know and love for green beans, roasting, on the okra, too.

I may not be a traditional Southern gal in many ways, but this plate of roasted green beans and okra is my kind of southern treat. In less than 30 minutes, these are prepped, cooked and on your plate. You could serve them as a healthy afternoon snack for kids (almost 11-month old Jackson loved them), a party appetizer, or a side dish to any southern cuisine.

Rachel’s Roasted Okra & Green Beans

Serves 2

Ingredients

2 c. fresh okra (not frozen)
1 cup fresh green beans
3 t. olive oil
1 t. salt
1/2 t. of cayenne

Directions

Preheat oven to 450. Put okra and green beans on a baking sheet. In a small bowl, combine olive oil, salt, and cayenne. Pour the oil over the veggies and rub into them to make sure they are all evenly coated.

Bake for 20 minutes, flipping the veggies after 10 minutes. Sprinkle with a tad more salt as they come out of the oven.

I dipped them in Muir Glen’s organic ketchup (my fave), because I’m a ketchup-aholic, but they really didn’t need anything. Feel free to play with different spices, too.

This was printed from: We Laugh, We Cry, We Cook
The site URL: http://welaughwecrywecook.com
The Title: Roasted Okra & Green Beans
The URL: http://wp.me/p1UwM9-rm
© Copyright 2012 – All Rights Reserved


Pasta Arrabiata with Roasted Garbanzos & Kale Chips

One of our staple vegan meals: Roasted Garbanzo Beans and Kale and a Spicy Arrabiata Sauce served over whole wheat pasta with a side of extra roasted veggies and whole wheat garlic toast. Satisfies every time.

(Rachel – The Vegan-Eatin’ Daughter)

My husband had a few hours off this afternoon, so as I wrote a post for my literary agency’s blog, The Wordserve Water Cooler, Jared kept an eye on Jackson and helped out around the house. He was folding a load of laundry at the kitchen table with Jackson at his feet, and though Jackson can barely reach the table, he managed to grab a corner of one of the piles and pulled half of the folded clothes onto the floor. Looking up from my laptop, I knowingly grinned and said “I’m so glad you get to experience a little piece of my life every now and then.”

The other day, Jared came home and, for what seemed like the 100th day in a row, I was rocking our crying teething baby in the same clothes I was wearing when he left for work, the house a total mess, and no dinner on the table. I told him “Just once, I’d like for you to come home and me to be bathed & dressed, the house to be clean, blogs to be finished, my word-count to be completed, and dinner to be ready. I can usually get a couple of those done on any given day, but I think it would be a miracle to fit it all into one day and be present for our son.”

Here’s what cooking with Jackson looks like on a good night. Veggies are chopped, every piece of tupperware is on the floor. Next up, Arrabiata sauce and emptying the pots and pans drawer.

Never trust a tupperware container from the house of a toddler. It surely has been discarded onto an unswept floor, then thrown back into the cabinet without so much as a rinse.

I know Jared works VERY hard. In fact, I would probably cry every day if I had his job of taming teenagers in the classroom, followed by practice and games most nights and weekends. But it’s nice to know he understands that being a work-at-home mom is not all tickles and giggles either.

On this night, my house was a wreck and the closest I got to showering was sticking my feet in the tub while Jackson bathed and dotting my neck and wrists with a little “perfume” of coconut oil while I cooked. But dinner was on the table and it was delicious. And my husband kindly overlooked the yoga pants and tank top I was trying to pass off as an outfit and the ponytail I was trying to pass off as an intentionally messy updo.

I like to put the kale chips on the side and then crumble them into a tasty crunchy kale dust between every few bites. Jared loves his as chips and just eats them on the side. To each his own.

Pasta Arrabiata with Roasted Garbanzos

This makes a lot of sauce, enough to fill about 2 pasta sauce jars. You can easily freeze leftovers or store them in your refrigerator for up to a week.

Arrabiata Sauce

Ingredients

3 T. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 t. salt
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 T. Tomato Paste
1 28 oz can of whole peeled San Marzano Tomatoes
1 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup red or white wine
2 T. brown sugar
1 T. Italian seasoning
1 T. crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 c. fresh parsley, chopped & divided

Directions

Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large sauce pan. Add onions and salt and saute until translucent. Add garlic, saute for 2 more minutes. Add tomato paste and stir. Add the whole peeled tomatoes and break them up with a fork until nice and chunky. Add crushed tomatoes, wine, brown sugar, Italian seasoning, and red pepper flakes. Bring to boil and simmer for 30 minutes on low, stirring occasionally. Add 1/4 cup of fresh parsley before serving.
Roasted Garbanzos & Kale Chips

Makes enough to top 3-4 bowls of pasta

Ingredients

1 cans of garbanzo beans (also called chickpeas), drained and rinsed
2 c. kale, washed, dried very well, and torn into pieces
3-4 t. olive oil, divided
4 t. Italian seasoning, divided
1 t. crushed red pepper flakes, divided

Preheat oven to 325.  Coat a large cookie sheet with a little olive oil or cooking spray. In a bowl, toss garbanzos in half the olive olive oil until all are lightly coated. Add half of the Italian Seasoning & crushed red pepper flakes and toss again. Pour onto half the cookie sheet. Repeat same steps with the kale, making sure to massage the olive oil into the leaves. Bake for 20 minutes, shaking the pan half way through. They are done when the kale chips are light and crispy and the garbanzo beans have a slight crunch.

Serve Arriabiata sauce over pasta and top with a sprinkle of fresh parsley, chickpeas and kale. I actually like to put the kale chips on the side and crush them over the top as I eat them.

This was printed from: We Laugh, We Cry, We Cook
The site URL: http://welaughwecrywecook.com
The Title: Pasta Arrabiata with Roasted Garbanzos & Kale Chips
The URL: http://http://wp.me/p1UwM9-nm
© Copyright 2012 – All Rights Reserved


Balsamic Roasted Garlic Veggies

“I don’t like asparagus. I don’t like broccoli. I don’t like onions. I don’t like garlic. I don’t like vegetables. Well, I do like corn … and potatoes. I like potatoes.”

This was my husband when we first got married.

I don’t remember cooking much in our first year of marriage. In fact, I have no idea what we ate. I hardly have a single memory in that tiny galley kitchen. Between Jared’s aversion to all things that made food delicious to me and the hideous marbled yellow laminate counter tops with cracks on the corners, I must have felt less than inspired.

When we moved to a new town house with a bright white kitchen near Galveston, I suddenly found myself looking for excuses to be in the kitchen. I started shopping at Farmer’s Markets and reading food blogs and became determined to get Jared to love veggies. Little by little, I found ways to prepare certain vegetables in a way he would eat them. He’ll eat onions if they are caramelized or chopped fine and sauteed in a dish. He’ll eat his peas in a split pea soup. And I can get him to eat almost anything wrapped in a tortilla and dipped in salsa. Thank goodness, because in a crazy turn of events, before we moved out of that town home a year later, we had become full on vegans.

The preparation that finally got Jared raving and begging for veggies was roasting them. If it’s coated with a little evoo and seasoning and crisped up to perfection (to him that includes a few burnt bits on the pan), he’s a happy husband and a happy veggie eater!

This method works wonderfully with asparagus, any root vegetables, broccoli and cauliflower, onions, even chickpeas. Try it with a vegetable you think you don’t like and see if it changes your thoughts on it.

Roasted Vegetables with Roasted Garlic

Roasted vegetables are easy enough to serve up on a weeknight and beautiful enough to serve to guests for a celebration dinner.

Rachel’s
Balsamic Roasted Garlic Veggies

Ingredients

(Note: The vegetable  list is just a guideline. Use whatever you have in your refrigerator or is on sale at the market. The seasoning ingredients listed are for about 4 cups of vegetables.)

Potatoes, chopped (small, soft-skinned work great, but Idaho & sweet potatoes are wonderful too)

Carrots, chopped

Onions, quartered (leave one end in tact so they don’t get burnt)

Peppers (bell peppers, sweet tri colored peppers, poblanos) (seeded & quartered)

Broccoli (cut into “trees”)

Cauliflower  (cut into “trees”)

Zucchini (chopped into large chunks or long ribbons)

Squash (chopped into large chunks or long ribbons)

2 T (maybe more) Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 T. Balsamic Vinegar

2 t. Salt

2 t. Pepper

1 T. Italian Seasoning Blend

A full head of garlic

Directions

Preheat oven to 400. Spray large cookie sheet with nonstick spray.

Put all the veggies except the garlic in a large mixing bowl, and drizzle 2 tbs of olive oil over the veggies. Toss until all of the veggies are lightly coated, adding more olive oil if needed. Don’t drench them or you’re veggies won’t get crisp. (The amount of olive oil varies because some veggies soak up more, like cauliflower, and others hardly absorb any, like peppers.)

Add balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning, and toss again. Pour veggies onto the cookie sheet and spread around. If they are piled on top of each other, use a second pan.

Take the garlic, remove the lose skin, and chop the top of the head off the garlic so the inside of each clove is exposed. Place the bulb on a piece of foil and drizzle the top of the bulb with olive oil. Wrap the foil around the clove. Add the foil wrapped garlic onto the pan of veggies (sitting upright). Check this tutorial out if you need a visual.

Bake the veggies and garlic for approximately 40 minutes. The potatoes and carrots take the longest to cook, so cook until they are soft in the middle and crispy on the outside.

Remove the garlic from the foil and allow to cool for a few minutes. Carefully either squeeze the garlic out (like toothpaste), or use a fork to remove each clove. Toss in with the roasted veggies. The garlic is delicious and really elevates roasted veggies! Your friends will most definitely track you down for the recipe. Trust me.

This was printed from: We Laugh, We Cry, We Cook
The site URL: http://welaughwecrywecook.com
The Title: Balsamic Roasted Garlic Veggies
The URL: https://welaughwecrywecook.com/2012/04/24/balsamic-roasted-garlic-veggies