Have I ever told you how much I love roasting veggies? How roasting brings out the natural sweetness of vegetables, so that you need nary a accompaniment to these gustatory delights? No? Well, well! Let’s get started!
With the abundance of local fresh veggies at every grocery store and farmer’s market in the Northeast, Peter and I have no excuse not to include them as staples in every meal. Move over, generic beige grain product! We have a new colorful showoff in the kitchen!
Look at this funky purple ‘n’ white bell pepper I found at our local farmers’ market:
Summer Staple Roasted Veggie & Goat Cheese Sandwich
– Veggies of choice. My favorites are bell peppers, portabella mushrooms, tomatoes, and eggplant. You can use other in-season produce, like carrots, taters, summer squash, or even early apples for a extra-sweet twist.
– Spray of oil
– Goat cheese. You can soitenly substitute any type of cheese/”cheez”/what have you (are you tired of the random references yet?).
– Your favorite bread. My favorite happens to by anything made by Peter. Yeah, he’s THAT good. At baking bread.
-Your best balsamic vinegar. If all you have is the cheap, watery stuff, try this simple trick to turn that balsamic water into sweet balsamic syrup.
Slice veggies into sandwich-sided pieces (see next few pictures for guide). Place in single layer on broiling pan. Spray or drizzle oil on the veggies and broil for 20 minutes. Flip veggies, then broil for another 10 minutes. Note: You may need to adjust the broiling time depending on the size of the veggie pieces.
Peter-made crusty loaf (with the part where I pulled off the best crusty bits is conveniently hidden in the back).
Add cheese to sliced bread and pile yer roasted veggies on top. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and savor!
There’s no excuse for lack of veggie love again!
On a different note, the lovely LeQuan recently asked me a great question that I’d like to share with you all:
Is it worse to not eat breakfast at all, or have a really bad breakfast of let’s say chocolate chip cookies and pop? Yes, I’ve done that and then felt really guilty later. Gary and I had an appointment to get to and it took longer taking care of the kiddies than expected. By the time they were fed (a real breakfast) we had no time to eat. I didn’t want my stomach growling during the appointment so I grabbed some cookies and a pop. So ashamed, but I can’t function w/o food haha. So what’s your honest opinion?
You’ve asked a GREAT question, LeQuan! The short answer is that it’s better to eat cookies and pop rather than no breakfast or first meal of the day at all (you and Gary were smart to get K and L a real meal first – those growing bodies need nutrients! Not to mention, studies show that kids who eat breakfast perform better in school). As long as the cookies are an occasional thing, it’s ok to eat them to give your body some fuel in an emergency. You said yourself that you can’t function without food, and neither can I! 😉 Even so, you’re right that cookies are not an ideal solution. Refined carbs like cookies and pop quickly infuse your blood with glucose (more than it wants to handle at once) and that’s bad for your body. Your body will overproduce insulin, causing insulin spikes and increasing risk of insulin resistance. In the short term, you’re more likely to experience an energy crash later on in the day. In the long term, this practice can cause development of diabetes and other diseases. However, it’s good to at least have some fuel in your body, or else your body goes into “starvation mode”. When you do eat a meal or snack later in the day (and maybe not the best meal, because you are so ravenous), you tend to eat more than you would if you had eaten first thing in the day and your body will store more energy than it would have otherwise. So, be kind to your body and feed it at regular intervals 🙂
Of course, the BEST solution would be to have healthier grab-and-go items on hand for just these situations, like low-sugar granola bars (Kashi makes some good ones), or fruit and a packet of nuts, or one of those single serving yogurts. I ask Peter not to keep cookies and candy bars out where I can see them, because I know I’ll reach for them before the fruit. But, if I keep fruit and other healthy snacks on the counters and in the front of the fridge, I’ll enjoy them much more often!
So, take home message: eat first thing in the day!! Thanks for the great question, LeQuan!
Q: Do you eat breakfast? What’s your favorite energy-packed breakfast?