This is another very versatile, extremely healthy and easy to prepare dish. Fibre, vitamin and mineral rich, it’s a fantastic throw together simple meal. You know how much I love versatility in a meal? Well this covers many bases; it can become a hearty soup, filling salad or delicious pasta sauce! It’s a wonderful, delicious way to ‘hide’ vegetables from kids. Here’s how…
Baked vegetables, three ways (that even the kids will like)
- 1 large sweet potato/s -skin on and cubed (can sub pumpkin)
- 3 carrot/s -unpeeled and sliced
- 100 g mushrooms -Swiss brown or button, whole or quarter field
- 1 zucchini/s -sliced or cubed
- 1 red capsicum/s -roughly sliced
- 2 red onion/s -peeled and quartered
- 4 clove/s garlic -whole and unpeeled
- 3 tbsp butter, ghee or olive oil -melted
- 60 g pumpkin seeds (½ cup)
- 2 tbsp dried oregano
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper -to taste
If making this into a pasta sauce or soup also include:
- 6 vine ripened tomatoe/s -halved and placed cut side up on the roasting tray ( depending on the size of your tray, they may need to sit on top of the vegetables) or 2 punets of cherry tomatoes, whole. The vegetables sit very well behind the tomato flavour. However if your kids can still detect vegetables, then next time, remember to increase the amount of tomatoes and reduce the quantity of vegetables. For very vegetable fussy kids, do this to begin with.
- 1 bulb fennel -quartered
- 1 eggplant/s -small
- Preheat your oven to 180℃/350°F.
- Take a large baking or roasting tray. Throw in all of your cut up vegetables, oregano, salt and pepper and ghee (or butter or olive oil) and toss to coat them all well.
- Place you tomatoes, cut side up on top (sprinkle with a little extra oregano, salt and pepper). Scatter over the pepitas.
- Place in the oven for about 40 - 60 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked through.
- Drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil, adjust the seasoning and serve as a side with any type of protein.
- Squeeze the flesh from the garlic skin.
- Throw all of the contents of the baking dish into a blender or food processor (or Thermomix), with a glug of EV olive oil, season well and blend on a high speed until pureed.
- Add in some fresh basil or parsley to for extra goodness and flavour.
- To add protein, include a can of brown lentils or canellini beans (drained and rinsed). These can be either stirred through or pureed too.
- Add a little water or stock to achieve the desired consistency. I love a thick soup, so I would use only a little stock.
- Squeeze the flesh from the garlic skin.
- Throw all of the contents of the baking dish in a blender or food processor (or Thermomix), with a glug of EV olive oil, season well and blend on a high speed until pureed.
- Add in some fresh basil or parsley too for extra goodness and flavour.
- You could even add a spoon or two of your favourite pesto to the mix (or on top as I have pictured below).
- To add protein, include a can of brown lentils or canellini beans (drained and rinsed). These can be either stirred through for texture or pureed to. You could also add a can of tuna, some diced bacon or chorizo sausage if you like.
- Serve over pasta with grated cheese. I often mix this sauce through macaroni or tube pasta to coat it, add a little feta or goats cheese to if you like and top it with grated cheese. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes.
- My favourite type of pasta is a gluten-free rice and quinoa pasta.
- Let the vegetables cool down.
- Toss salad leaves in a dressing of one part red wine vinegar to two parts extra virgin olive oil, seasoned well.
- Add the cooled vegetables, gently toss and serve.
- This is lovely with crumbled feta or goats cheese mixed through.
- Add some legumes, tuna, cooked meat, brown rice or quinoa to make a real meal of it.
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
- The soup and sauce versions can be frozen.
Vegan and vegetarianObviously avoid any of the meat/ cheese additions (stick with legumes for protein). For vegan choose olive oil.
Legume-freeAvoid the suggestions for beans/ pulses.
There you have it. One dish, loads of healthy meals. Cook without boundaries. Enjoy and I'd love to receive your comments!