Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Roasty Toasty Vegetables


This is one of my favourite dinners--just pile lots of veg in a pan, add some olive oil, balsamic vinegar and Italian herbs and roast in the oven until all soft and caramelised and yum. Sometimes I serve it over spelt pasta (I cannot tolerate wheat but spelt in moderation is still ok with my tum) but this time I served it over quinoa which is an amazing grain (I think it is a seed actually-smacktually) that is a complete protein. So don’t let any annoying know-it-all omnivore tell you that have to eat meat or you won’t get all the essential amino acids (because meat is the only form of protein, right?) just smugly point them in the direction of quinoa. 

Roasty Toasty Vegetables

You need:
Some vegetables (duh!)
I used
4 tomatoes--I prefer to “de-goop” them but my mum would say that is crime
2 red peppers
1 white onion
1 red onion
If I can get fennel at the market I use that but sadly I was too late last week and they were sold out. *sob*
1 TB olive oil--garlic infused olive oil is particularly good
2 TB balsamic vinegar
Some dried herbs of your choice--I used basil, oregano and fennel seeds (because I can’t get enough of the aniseed-y goodness)
Extra added bonus: I added half a pack of chopped Taifun smoked tofu with almond and sesame that was hanging about my fridge. It is delicious and savoury and adds an almost umami flavour to dishes. Great for replaces salty things like goat’s cheese.

While you are cutting up the veg then preheat your oven to 200C/400F. Pile all the veg into a big roasting pan making sure it is all in one layer. Like this:

Then pop in the oven for 20 minutes, take it out and stir and then back in for 20 minutes. Now it looks like this:

Serve it over pasta or a grain of your choice. Doesn’t that look lovely?

We like to top it with “parmesan cheese.”  What? You cry. How is that possible? With the miracle of Nutritional Yeast, my friends. These cheesy flakes of goodness are delicious and contain no cheese at all. They are an inactive yeast grown on molasses and are chock full of B vitamins. They are the secret ingredient to give you that cheesy flavour your mouth craves with no suffering involved.

“Parmesan Cheese”
3 TB nutritional yeast, a.k.a. nooch, a.k.a vegan pixie dust
3 TB ground almonds-sometimes referred to as almond meal. Find it on the baking aisle, You could grind your own but the almonds would need to be blanched beforehand and the skins slipped off and who has time for all the faffing about? Just go buy some almond meal, ok?
½ tsp sea salt, smoked sea salt of you can get it. 

What to do:
Grind it all up in a food processor or mini chopper. Store in the fridge. It reminds me of  the Kraft cheese of my youth that came in the green shaker container.

I love the way the parmesan looks on top of the dish. I would like to say it looks like a dusting of yellow snow, but clearly that has an unpleasant connotation to it so let’s not go there. Maybe a dusting of pollen--that is how I recall pollen looking in Louisiana so maybe that is more accurate. Ok, enough of these similes--just say what it looks like.

It looks delicious.

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