Comfort Food Lightened Up
I’m not a winter person in the least. Well, that’s not entirely true. I do love snow fall and I’m happy to romp around with my dog for about 3 minutes after a storm. Then it’s a wrap. However, there are some perks to the season. I swoon over warm comfort food. And while for some, we can enjoy things in moderation- too much of anything is not good for you.
I’ve become inspired to stay fit year round and not just when it suits me. After many attempts I quit smoking and embraced a new life with yoga (Namaste). My diet also changed dramatically. Alas, sometimes, I still crave some of the goodies from my past life- mashed potatoes especially. Determined not to fall back into old patterns- I searched for an alternative. And I found one- roasting! Roasting vegetables satisfies that ‘bad food itch’ without breaking the calorie bank.
You can use any kind of local and seasonal veggies. I added green beans 15 minutes in. I like them a little crisp.
Tip for roasting veggies:
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a jellyroll pan with foil, and coat the foil with canola or olive oil cooking spray. Cut your vegetables into small chunks or hearty bite-sized pieces. (I like different shapes- but keep the thickness the same to keep cook time simple)
- Add vegetables in a single layer to the foil-lined pan and spray the top with cooking spray or drizzle with a bit of canola or olive oil (use no more than a teaspoon of oil for every cup of vegetables). If you use oil, toss the veggies about on the pan to coat as much of them with oil as possible.
- Sprinkle on any desired seasonings, such as rosemary or basil, parsley, marjoram, salt and pepper. Coat the tops of your veggies again with canola or olive oil cooking spray, if desired, especially if you didn’t drizzle with oil in Step 2.
Bake until veggies are lightly browned in areas, and tender. If your vegetables look like they are starting to dry out during the roasting period, drizzle some broth, apple juice, or low-fat Italian dressing or vinaigrette over the top. Different vegetables require different cooking times. Check your roasted vegetables after 25-30 minutes (this is probably the halfway point), turn them over with a spatula, then cook until they’re tender and nicely browned around some of the edges (about 25-30 minutes more.)
Serve as a main dish with a salad of spring greens. If a meal is complete without some meat- it also makes a great side with roasted chicken and salad.