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Git Yer Veggies In!

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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

Ingredients:
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.

Roasted.

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?

27 Comments

  1. Oh that is a sandwich I could really sink my teeth into! I love roasting veggies too. Fantastic way to get some serious flavour going!!! I make my own bread everyday with wholewheat, linseeds, sunflower seeds and almonds cos I hate the stuff in the stores – no flavour, no character, hardly any crust 😛

    My favourite breakfast is believe it or not, good bread with butter and really really sharp cheese and COFFEEEEEEEEEE! 😀

  2. hey Jessie!

    i love the new pictures you have on the side there. the fisrt one of you is beautiful woman! and the scuba diving one makes me jealous all over again :-). i usually read blogs on my phone so i don’t see what’s on the side of wordpress blogs (this is a wordpress blog right?) unless i read from my laptop (like now) so i miss a lot of side stuff. i’m assuming these are quite new judging from your scuba picture.

    anyways, yummy yum yums on that sandwich! i can totally see people paying good money for this at a restaurant. i’m with you on all those veggies that you chose! i can’t get over how much i want that sandwich right now. And you’re right, that is one good looking bread! i’m sure it tasted as great as it looks.

    thank you for answering my question so thoroughly! like i said in the email, i knew you were the perfect person to ask. as a matter of fact, as i was eating those cookies i was thinking, “oh gosh, i wonder what Jessie would be saying right now.” you know how on TV they have an angel and a devil on each shoulder, well picture you on one of my shoulder and me on the other. lol. have a great weekend, dear!

    1. PS

      forgot to answer your breakfast question. i’m an eggs benny kinda girl. everytime i go out to a breakfast place, i always tell myself i’m going to order something different and fun, but i always end up ordering eggs benedict.

  3. You are singing my song! Love the veggies. Aren’t they ever so gorgeous and delicious this time of year? You probably know I teach middle school Engish Literature and Cooking (tt’s called Foods) to our students. It is truly shocking how much junk our youth today (and their parents) eat. It has become a Fast Food Nation, for sure. They even think a granola bar (high sugar, or even chocolate coated) is nutritious! Parents pack processed snacks for school lunches and kids that arrive at 7 haven’t had a breakfast so buy chips and pop from the machines. Thank goodness, they will be outlawed in all schools in our district this fall! I have a nutritious lunch program and it is almost – and I say almost – a losing battle.
    🙂
    Valerie

    1. I’m so glad to hear that junk vending machines will be outlawed in your schools this fall! You’re right that teaching kids healthy eating sometimes feels like a losing battle because so much of healthy eating starts at home, with parents, and often parents are not aware of what’s best to serve their kids, or they’ve given up. And many “health” foods, like the granola bar you mentioned, are just as bad as typical junk food!

      Thanks for your view, Valerie, and for your role in teaching kids about foods and healthy eating! I hope you are enjoying your travels!

  4. I love roasted veggies!! So that sandwich looks amazing (I just need to find myself a good bread baker!)

    I do eat breakfast — everyday. I can’t function without it. I’m so bad, that if I have a brunch planned for several hours after I wake up, I have to eat something small BEFORE I go out, because I know I’ll crash or overeat later if I don’t. My favorite breakfast is totally cliche, but I really do like starting my day with a big bowl of oatmeal + flax.

  5. Mmmm – roasting veggies is definitely my favourite way to cook them! Right now I’m thinking of roasted sweet potatoes and portobello mushrooms and red peppers – sooo good 🙂 Your sandwich looks fantastic! I really like eating paninis with roasted veggies and cheese, but usually it’s more of a rare treat than a regular occurrence 🙂

    I have to eat breakfast every morning, it’s a must 🙂 Usually I have oatmeal with sesame seeds, cinnamon, flax, and nut butter. Yum!

    Enjoy your weekend Jessie!

  6. I agree about roasting veggies, it brings out all their best qualities. 😉 And paired with hummus, they’re pretty much heaven on earth. I always eat breakfast…oats is my favorite way to go! 🙂

  7. Bacon-Wrapped Fatty starts my day off on the right foot.

  8. LOVE roasted veggie sandwiches like this one – so good!

    I try to vary my breakfasts so I don’t get bored, but right now I’m on an overnight oats kick – immediate energy from the oats and banana, and protein from the Greek yogurt and milk. Perfect! If I want to sweeten it up, I add just a touch of agave or honey.

  9. Mmmmmmmmmmmm, I love roasted veggies!! And roasted veggies on a sandwich… oh, so so so yummy!! 🙂

    Yes ma’am, I eat breakfast every morning!! My favorite breakfast right now is an egg scrambled with spinach leaves on a whole wheat bagel, wrap, or english muffin with some laughing cow cheese. I also have a georgia peach, strawberries, or some grapes on the side.

  10. I love that new pic of you on your sidebar!
    This is one of my favorite types of sandwiches. I usually use feta but I am going to have to try out goat cheese. That sounds amazing!!!

  11. Too funny. I used to tell my patients who did not eat breakfast and claim to hate breakfast foods, that I do not care what they eat for breakfast as long as they eat breakfast. For many, anything is a step in the right direction. I believe in little changes because they add up. So starting with cookies now for breakfast fixed the issue of eating breakfast, then the next small goal is changing those foods for breakfast. If on the run and that is all you can find, no harm once in a while because breakfast is very important…or eating first thing in the day (to avoid labeling the meal).

    And this sandwich looks delicious. Just the kind of sandwich I would enjoy.

    1. You’re 100% right, Melinda! I’ll go update “breakfast” now.

  12. I’m not sure if the things I eat in the morning are counted as breakfast? I usually eat nothing when I leave home, but when I arrive to work I usually have a yogurt, quark or a smoothie drink.

  13. Dave has a good point. Bacon wrapped fatties lack the sugar that causes those pesky insulin spikes. It also has lots of slow burning lipids that give you a constant stream of energy all day. Plus, lipids slow down your gut motility so you don’t eat as much the rest of the day. Did I also mention that bacon wrapped fatties are anti-cariogenic, so less trips to the dentist! Nice work, Dave.

    1. You and Dave are definitely trying to undermine my cred, yo.

    2. Dr. frybaby says:

      Dave is right. But I like my bacon wrapped fatty with fried eggs. Can’t get enough fried eggses. But mind you don’t break ’em. I won’t eat a broken egg.

      Plus, BWfatties have a great side effect. You get to spend several hours in contemplation the next morning as the fats slide all your wasted unabsorbed calories on through and out. Not much time or inclination to eat extra calories when in contemplation.

      How about a Bacon wrapped Haggis? Now that would be good with fried eggses.

  14. I love roasted or grilled veggies..and steamed veggies and raw veggies…I really just love all veggies! I usually just eat them raw because I’m lazy and I like the crunch and I’m trying to eat more raw in general for various reasons, but I also love that natural sweetness that you mentioned!

    And that’s a great answer to the question! I do like breakfast and have it every day. These days I’m drinking smoothies for breakfast. They are fast and easy and you can pack so much nutrition into them. I like them with lots of spinach or kale. Not that I’m following the “green monster” fad, but that’s just how I like them!
    Hope you had a great weekend xoxo

  15. Lovely sandwich. Yes, I always eat breakfast. I just were that I were hungry for it! But I never ever skip it (or any meal or snack for that matter!). I wake up, scrub my face, and get a HUGE breakfast (and this repeats for all meals and snacks…for better or for worse).

    I love the pic of you above. So pretty.

  16. Oh my – it’s been a while! Love the new layout. And I do love veggies. Aren’t Roasted just …in a different league!?! Seriously.

    I often don’t have the time though, so I “saute” them in the frying pan with some canola or olive oil…it can give them that ‘charrd’ look (if I leave them too long…;) …that’s not the same taste as roasting though hey??

  17. I roast veggies essentially every chance I get. It’s my go-to. Fo sho.

    Those sandwiches – insanely awesome. What bread recipe did Peter use??

    I am a breakfast fanatic. I actually am incapable of functioning without it!

    I will TOTALLY bake you cupcakes for your birthday! When is it?

  18. Were goat cheese and roasted veggies not made to go together!? So delicious!!! Add some balsamic vinegar to the mix and man!!! I am in heaven! 🙂 That purple and white pepper…how unique! I’ve never seen anything like that!

    I love your response to the breakfast question. My hubby either doesn’t eat or grabs Pop Tarts after he’s STARVING mid-morning. I encourage him to have something, anything, in the mornings and he calls me a bad dietitian! 😉 Glad we share the same approach on those breakfast haters!

    And for breakfast, it has to be on the go. I make something over the weekend — bread, muffins, quiche, that I can eat on my way, or zap in the microwave at work and add a piece of fruit. Filling, tasty, healthy, and QUICK!

  19. Whenever I have the time, I *always* roast my veggies! Soooooo good 😀 And I totally agree about balsamic vinegar…except I just discovered my balsamic has weird chemicals & stuff in it so I’m on the hunt for a new one…

    I love breakfast. My favorite bfast is….get ready for it…oatmeal 😉

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