Fail-proof Roasted Veggies đŸ„•

Fail-proof Roasted Veggies đŸ„•

Hey fam 😊

Hope you’re loving summer, wherever your summer might have landed you!

If there’s one summer meal must-have, it’s grilled fish. Or grilled chicken wings. Or, grilled anything. If there’s two – oven-roasted veggies are going on at the same time.


I’d like to let you in on the secret to perfect roasted veggies, because I feel like it’s a complete game-changer. If you already know about this, you know exactly what I mean. And once you’ve got a method you like, it’s easier to want to try different veggies and easily bring a lot more variety to your plate.

Who ever thought asparagus could look so tempting? 👀


Ok. Here’s the classic “recipe” –

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You’ll need:

  • An oven
  • A baking sheet, or pan of any kind
  • A spatula
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Veggies (carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes asparagus, broccoli, etc.)
  • Other spices/parmesan (optional)

Start by preheating your oven to “bake” around 375 F, or a little hotter for potatoes. Maybe 425. You’ll figure out what works best for your oven/each veggie pretty quickly, but you can always cook longer or less depending on how toasty you want them to look!

Wash up your veggies if they’re fresh – use a scrubber to get all that dirt off 😝

(This works great with frozen veggies as well! Just pour them right outta the bag onto the pan.)

If you’re using potatoes or something bigger like that, you can chop them into thin strips, little wedges, chunks, “fries” – whatever!

The fun part- drizzle a little olive oil all over your pan of veggies. About a tablespoon for a decent-sized tray, or just enough to lightly coat the veggies.

The good fats in olive oil help us absorb more of the vitamins and minerals in veggies, so it’s a win-win for taste and nutrition.

Then, hit em with a few pinches of salt. Sea salt, pink salt, whatever! You can add other spices if you have some you really like. If you’re roasting sweet potatoes or butternut squash, you could skip the salt and add cinnamon. But they’re good salted too!

P.S. – If you’re watching your sodium, either a) measure the total amount of salt you use and make sure you don’t consume more of a serving than you need, or b) substitute other spices or one of Mrs. Dash’s salt-free seasonings. Or skip it all together, because just the olive oil will make these pretty darn good.

Once you get ready, stick your pan in the oven! You should do this about 1 hour before you wanna eat.

Cook 25-30 minutes, pull the tray out (with hot pads!), flip all the veggies over with a spatula, and cook 25-30 more.

If you wanna add some Parmesan, pull the tray out again with 10-15 minutes to go and sprinkle some on. This is especially great on green veggies like asparagus or broccoli! đŸ˜Š

And after about an hour, here’s your final product!


Veggies should be crisp and lightly browned. YUM 👅

Temperature, time, etc. are totally modifiable to suit different ovens, vegetables, and tastes – but this should be a good outline to cooking veggies well. It’s hard to mess up – and if you turn the oven light on, set a timer, and stay nearby, you’re not likely to!

It’s also a nice method because you can put these in, forget about them until your timer goes off and it’s time to flip, and use that time to get the rest of your meal ready. Or, if you have some chicken or something already cooked, you can roast these and keep studying or cleaning or whatever, heat up the other stuff in the good old ‘wave, and you’ve got a super low-maintenance but awesome dinner.

This method has also been known to win over even the pickiest of veggie eaters, because it makes them taste super crispy like french fries 🍟

Hope you love ’em!

If you have (or find) a favorite roasted veggie or a favorite spice to add, let us know in the comments below!

xoxo 😘 Stay bright!

Rae

Doubt-free French Toast

Doubt-free French Toast

“Dorm Baking, pt. 1”

Breakfast, at any time of the day, tends to be my favorite meal. It’s easy, satisfying, and usually… sweet. I read an article this week on, after Breakfast for Dinner at the dining hall, that led to some real soul-searching on the subject. The evolution of the modern American breakfast seems to have been one towards, well, dessert.

The article included an infographic comparing many commercial breakfast foods to their dessert counterparts – e.g., a muffin to a cupcake, granola to oreos, etc… and the dessert foods won out almost every time, having less sugar and calories than the breakfast items. Sobering. (Read it here at vox.com).

However, just because a Dunkin’ Donuts muffin contains “x” amount of sugar, fat, and calories, doesn’t mean that all muffins have to be this way.

One of the breakfast favorites at our campus dining hall is french toast – and we all agree that the toppings are what blow it out of the water. French toast is really just bread and egg, a fairly balanced combo of carbs and protein. I decided to create a really yummy version that can be made in any space, with minimal equipment, and that tastes fabulous without inducing a sugar-coma.

One of our team slogans is “Leave No Doubt” – we try to do this on the track, giving every run, workout, and race our best effort. We like to avoid doubt in our lifestyles as well – neglecting our sleep, studies, hydration, and nutrition isn’t going to make us a better team.

Without further ado, here’s my “Doubt-Free French Toast.”

You’ll need: 

  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup cashew milk (or whatever milk you like)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Cinnamon, to taste
  • 2 small-to-medium slices whole grain bread (I used Dave’s Killer Bread)
  • Toppings (I used almond butter and blueberries)

 

Now, for the easy part. Mix together egg, milk, vanilla, and cinnamon, beating the egg yolk with a fork. Tear up the bread into small, bite-sized pieces and drop into the mixture. Stir well to coat. Transfer to microwave safe mug or bowl.

Microwave on high for 1:30 – 2 minutes, or until liquid is mostly soaked up and mixture appears “set.” Add toppings, and enjoy!

I used 1 tsp Justin’s maple almond butter, and fresh blueberries. This would also be great with a light drizzle of maple syrup and a pinch of vanilla protein powder.

french-toast-blueberry-almond-mug
Yum.

Hope you enjoy giving this a shot! Cooking better rarely takes longer, just better ingredients, a little more thought, and moderation.

Leave no doubt,

Rae

National Hot Breakfast Month

National Hot Breakfast Month

It’s not very cold in Troy, Alabama right now (knock on wood), but that’s no reason not to celebrate National Hot Breakfast Month. When I get out of bed and my dorm room’s A.C. is kicking, there’s nothing better than a warm breakfast to perk me up before class. Warm foods seem to soothe the body – they gently awaken us, helping us to start the day relaxed instead of in a frenzy of worries and to-do’s. I just picked up this adorable smiley mug at The Confetti Crate (a local boutique), and it makes mornings a little bit sweeter too!

Smiley face mug - happy yellow coffee
Isn’t he adorable?

I love drinking coffee out of a pretty mug, and when you’re living the microwave cooking life, it’s also great for oatmeal. It’s way more aesthetically pleasing than a paper bowl, and you also get to have warm hands while you eat. If you haven’t already, I highly recommend trying a mug breakfast. Besides oatmeal, you can cook eggs, oat cakes, and French toast!

Besides being a good (temperature) warm-up for the day, cooking your own breakfast gives you a self-confidence boost right away. Trying a new recipe or just going to the effort to make yourself something you love sets the intention for the day – it tells your brain “I am not lazy, and I’m not afraid to achieve. I care about taking care of myself.”

Here’s a few hot breakfast ideas I’ve made recently, for your inspiration. You’ll probably notice a lot of oats – but I just bought some eggs, so I’ll be making use of them this week. An open-faced egg sandwich on whole wheat with strawberry all-fruit spread sounds awesome for Valentine’s tomorrow!

And remember this one? OMG yum.

Sweet potato stuffed breakfast with berries dairy-free vegan
Yum. Click here for my post on this!

Here’s the mug oat cake I made today – eek! It was delicious!! I combined the oatmeal directions with a cake batter mug cake recipe, and this was the result. I would’ve made it in my pretty mug, but I went with a smiley cup instead because I was already drinking coffee from it.

Sweet cake batter oatmeal bake
Quaker Protein Oats + vanilla extract + almond milk + egg + a touch of olive oil butter = this cake-y goodness!

I plan to feature the recipe for this oatmeal bake ^^ and my microwave whole grain french toast in an upcoming blog on dorm “baking.” It’s really trial and error – but I can share what I’ve learned!

christmas pancake chocolate chip all foods fit
A real hot breakfast – My family’s Christmas morning chocolate chip pancake feast!

This one’s just me reminiscing… Christmas morning. I think this is why hot breakfasts make me feel happy – I miss my family. Remember, y’all – a microwave will never cook like your dad’s skillet, and that’s ok. Savor every part of life, because each day holds things you’ll miss tomorrow!

Cheers, and happy almost-Valentine’s!

Spread the love,

Rae