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« Trick-or-Treating Pasta Party | Main | All Hallows Eve Supper »

Long Day, Short Night

By Lori Powell

Lately I have been working into the evening Monday through Friday and then at least one day on the weekend. So I’m trying to get better at meal planning.

I love leftovers so that’s not the problem. I just don’t love the same dish for three nights in a row.

So I am trying to make things that I can transform easily into something else. One of my tricks is roasting a ton of vegetables -- roasted vegetables are one of fall and winter’s delights. All you need is a little olive oil, salt and pepper, and any fresh or dried herbs that you have kicking around, and you have a meal starter for a week’s worth of dinners.

I pretty much empty out my fridge of carrots, parsnips, fennel, turnips, broccoli…whatever I have on hand, along with some onions and garlic (add at the end). These roasted veggies can be transformed by adding to broth and pureeing to make a soup; garnish with toasted bread and top with grated cheese and more olive oil.

Or chop up the veggies and add to pasta with vinegar and olive oil. Use the veggies in a sandwich or top homemade or store-bought pizza dough.

Also, I use them to top store-bought cooked ravioli or simply serve them over some brown rice. The variety is endless. So take my advice and get roasting!

Here is a basic recipe to make your own with what might be lurking in your fridge…oh, and Happy Halloween!

To get the recipe and shopping list on your smartphone (iPhone, BlackBerry, Android device) or PC, click here.

Basic Roasted Vegetables
Serves 1 for several nights

2 carrots, peeled and cut into sticks
2 parsnips, peeled and cut into sticks
2 turnips, peeled and cut into sticks
1 cup broccoli florets
1 cup cauliflower florets
1 small fennel bulb, tops removed, cored and sliced
1 onion, sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh herbs such as chopped rosemary or thyme or 2 teaspoons dried herbs
1/2 teaspoon each kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 to 2 tablespoons sherry wine, or red or cider vinegar (optional) 2 teaspoon finely chopped garlic (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Toss vegetables in olive oil and herbs on a large sheet pan spreading them in one layer. Season with salt and pepper. Roast in middle of oven stirring occasionally until vegetables are browned on the edges and tender, about 25 minutes.
  2. Sprinkle with vinegar and return to oven with chopped garlic if using, and roast for 3 minutes more.

Uses for roasted vegetables:

  • Add to broth and puree to make a soup; garnish with toasted bread and top with grated cheese and more olive oil.
  • Chop the veggies and add to pasta with vinegar and olive oil.
  • Use the veggies in a sandwich or top homemade or store-bought pizza dough.
  • Top store-bought, cooked ravioli.
  • Serve over brown rice.

Special Fork is a recipe website for your smartphone and PC that solves the daily dinnertime dilemma: what to cook now! Our bloggers blog Monday through Friday to give you cooking inspiration. Check out our recipe database for quick ideas that take no more than 30 minutes of prep time. Join the conversation on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Related posts:
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  2. Breakfast for Dinner: Short Stacks
  3. Easy Date Night Dish
  4. Clams are Great for One or Two Bites
  5. Doing Breakfast Justice

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