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Roasted Vegetables: healthy & delicious

About roasted vegetables

Year round you can find tasty, budget-friendly produce that is ‘in season’, particularly in the autumn and winter months to prepare roasted vegetables. Roasted vegetables make a great crowd pleaser for parties or an everyday ordinary dinner with the family. If you’ve not tried them before, you’ll be pleasantly surprised! Roasting vegetables draws out their natural sugars, creating a crunchy, browned outside and a juicy, tender inside.

How-to prepare roasted vegetables

To begin your roasted vegetables dies, line a roasting pan with foil and spray it generously with non-stick cooking spray or simply choose an aluminum oven-ready pan. Slice/cube variety of seasonal root/winter veggies (that you have washed to remove dirt and debris) for your roasted vegetables side dish. Good choices include parsnips (peel them first), sweet, white, Yukon or baby new potatoes, carrots, onions (sweet onions work well and color), cauliflower, eggplant, Brussels sprouts, butternut squash and any other hearty veggies you enjoy. Be sure to slice/cut the vegetables in fairly uniform pieces for even cooking. Prepare more than you think you will need/be very generous with your ‘mound’ of cut-up veggies. Since vegetables have a very high percentage of water, dry cooking methods, such as roasting, removes much of the water and shrinks them. This concentrates the flavor though the volume decreases significantly. Post-roasting, you will end up with a smaller mound of roasted vegetables.

Drizzle the veggies generously with olive oil and add a sprinkle of your favorite dried herbs, such as rosemary, basil, oregano and thyme (fresh herbs will ‘burn’ in the hot 420-degree oven). Toss well with your hands to coat all of the veggies and spread in the pan in a fairly even, single layer (as best as possible). The last step is to add a pinch of sea salt and a generous grind of pepper. ‘Roast’ in a 400-degree oven for about 40 minutes. Pair your delicious roasted vegetables with roasted chicken, pork tenderloin or any main meat.

Rich Chocolate Mousse make-over

Rich chocolate mousse is an ideal holiday dessert – especially for company when you are looking to impress. Conventional recipes, made with heavy whipping cream as a base, in addition to semi-sweet chocolate, egg yolks, butter and sugar puts you at about 330 calories and 25 g of fat (mostly saturated) per serving.

Simple swaps – instead of heavy whipping cream, try silken tofu (puree well in a food processor until smooth and creamy). Use half high quality, extra-dark (bittersweet) chocolate and half cocoa (combine and melted in a double boiler) to mix into the pureed silken tofu (along with superfine sugar). Vanilla extract and a tbsp of brandy (or espresso powder if you don’t want the alcohol), enhances flavor further. The result? This simple trade-offs do not sacrifice flavor or texture but, per serving (same size), you are looking at about 250 calories and 10 g of fat – a big difference – even with a spoonful of real whipping cream on top.