Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Extraordinary baked summer vegetables

This past week I've been struggling to balance work, cooking... and moving! My kitchen is by far the busiest area of the house, and the most cumbersome to pack. It hasn't been a smooth process. With just work and cooking, I already have my plate full. The commitment to cook everything at home is not one that's easy to keep faithful to. But the essential for me is to not allow myself to become lazy. "Let's just order in" is not in my vocabulary. Whatever I prepare, however simple or elaborate, will be tastier and more nutritious than any ready-made food I could buy. That I know.

So here are some things I've whipped up hurriedly these past few days.

Stuffed peppers! I remember having this meal a lot when I was growing up, and I remember hating it with a passion. This recipe by Kim Snyder, on the other hand, is vegan and actually not bad. The stuffing is made of broccoli, quinoa, carrots, kale and basil. I am trying to find a way to introduce raw goat's milk cheese in here without breaking Kim's protein+starch rule. Just a note about this: for leftovers, make sure to heat these up before enjoying. I tried to eat one cold and it was quite the disappointment :(

I love fruit. If I could eat nothing but colorful fruits all the time I'd be so happy. The summer is great because we can buy lots of local and fresh fruit so inexpensively. So stock up for the winter! In this bowl, some of my favorites: strawberries, apricots (always organic) and kiwi.

This week's recipe turned out so delicious that I had to share it. It was serendipitous, I think, that the spices turned out just right. The mixture has dazzling tamari and rosemary flavors that you don't expect from a bunch of cooked vegetables. For sure, this is the tastiest thing I've made this month.

Extraordinary baked summer vegetables
~ serves 6

4 zucchini, chopped
10 oz asparagus (about 14 spears), chopped
2 large yams, finely chopped
16 oz mushrooms, sliced
8 oz (1/2 package) frozen edamame
8 oz (1/2 package) frozen pearl onions

1 Tbsp dry rosemary
2 tsp dry dill
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup tamari
7 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped

Mix all the chopped vegetables in a large bowl. Add the spices and mix well to coat. This will make a substantial amount of vegetables, so you will probably need two dishes for baking. 

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees, cover the baking dishes (with aluminum foil if you have no lid) and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the cover and bake uncovered for 15 more minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Serve with a side of brown rice or whole wheat couscous.

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