Operation Veggie Monster

There are some people in this world that can eat whatever they want, whenever they want, and not gain an ounce. I am dating one of those people. While I may be tempted to make Mike deep fried Oreos and a Cherpumple, I want his interior to look just as healthy as his exterior does. While he’s a relatively healthy guy, his schedule is just as hectic as mine is. He forgets to eat a lot or just doesn’t have time- the other day I asked him what he had for lunch and he replied “fries and corn.” Headdesk. Therefore I have made it my mission to make sure he always has snacks and water, and a hearty dinner full of veggies!

I mentioned before that I used to not be very microwave savvy, but I’m going to be honest- the microwave has been a staple in meal prep as of late. Because I work part-time at the university I’m currently attending, they provide me with a lovely apartment. However, I do not have a real kitchen. I could either have a pseudo kitchen or a meal stipend, and I chose the stipend. There is a kitchen in my building and I would rather have free money to use at the hospital cafeteria to grab a cup of coffee or some greek yogurt between classes. I have a microwave, toaster oven (thanks to Mike’s sister), a blender, and a coffee maker. Oh and a full fridge. Le duh. I used to be opposed to microwaves and while I don’t think I would want one in my future big-girl house, I think they’re super for quick meals.

The toaster oven has been great for throwing together roasted vegetables. Autumn makes me think of roasted root veggies, so I’ve been making parsnips, carrots, and sweet potatoes pretty frequently.

Roasted Roots

  • 2 large carrots
  • 1 large parsnip
  • 2 small sweet potatoes
  • cooking spray
  • chili powder (to taste)
  • cumin (to taste)
  • garlic powder (to taste)
  • sea salt
  • pepper

Coat baking tray in cooking spray and preheat oven to 425°. Chop root vegetables in rounds or half-rounds, then toss with spices (I like a fair amount of spices, about 2 tsps of each). Place on baking tray and bake for 30-45 minutes. Enjoy! I like mine with sriracha and/or spicy brown mustard.

Onto the main course! As I mentioned, the microwave is your friend. I’ve made everything from rice to chicken (for Mike) in the microwave, and 99.8% of it has turned out fantastically. I figured if I can make rice in the microwave, why not pasta?

First, place the amount of pasta that you want in a bowl or container, and then add enough water to completely cover the noodles. Place the bowl in the microwave and cook in 3, 3 minute intervals. After each 3 minute interval, give the noodles a good stir. When the 9 minutes are up, drain the pasta and add whatever you like. 

I’m a big fan of using whatever you have in the fridge, so I added 1/4 cup crushed tomatoes, some hot sauce…

roasted red peppers (that Marissa made!!!)

Oregano, garlic powder, chili powder, and pepper

and lastly, some fresh mozzarella, about 1.5 ounces (again, from Marissa! Because she’s awesome)

Throw it back in your handy dandy wave of micros for 2 minutes

Viola! Doesn’t that look good? And it was so simple! Go ahead, give yourself a pat on the back.

pescatarian/health nut tested, boyfriend approved 🙂

(he even ate and loved the root vegetables! Win!)

What are some of your go-to meals during the week?

–Ariel

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Beet It

Fact: Bears eat beets. Bears, beets, Battlestar Galactica.

Ah, Dwight Schrute. A lover of beets, much like myself.

A recent visit out to the farm stands of Long Island only further provoked my love for these root vegetables. I think my eyes were a little bigger than my stomach, because I ended up bringing home not 1, but 2 HUGE bags of these ruby jewels. One bag was full of pretty large beets, and the other had smaller ones. So I figured, what better way to enjoy these farm fresh treats other than roasting them?

Roasted Beets:

Large beets (sliced into discs) & Small beets (kept whole)

Olive Oil

Salt & Pepper

Garlic (I used granulated garlic because that’s all that was left in the house)

Tinfoil (for small beets)

Step 1: Clean beets

Trim off the root and leafy ends of the beets. Rinse under running water and scrub excess dirt off with a sponge or washcloth.

Step 2: Season beets

For the smaller beets simply toss with olive oil, salt, pepper & garlic powder.

For the larger beets, slice into discs first, and then season the same way. Arrange them onto a baking sheet.

Divide the smaller beets into tinfoil packets, and place them onto another baking sheet.

Step 3: Roasting time (sing to the tune of closing time…)

Roast beets ~1 hour, or until fork tender.

Step 4: Eat those beets!

The sugars in the beets make them caramelize all around the edges.

I personally enjoy my beets plain, but also they make a welcome addition to a delicious sandwich with a little hummus and roasted peppers.

Warning: eat enough of these bad boys, and they’ll turn your pee red. Don’t be alarmed!

Do you like beets? How would you cook them/add them to other dishes? Let us know!

Marissa